This piece offers the latest in email newsletter tips for booster clubs. A successful email newsletter can help your organization stay up-to-date on the latest between meetings and offer a critical line of communication for parents and community members who are not on social media, and ensures your important notices aren’t buried in their feed. However, for your email newsletter to be successful, it has to be something people want to receive and read.
Email is alive and well. Many people still check their inbox as their first online activity of the day. One study found 90% of Americans subscribe to one or more email newsletters. Emails are more personal than social media updates and reach a highly-targeted audience. And best of all, there is no competing for attention with social media algorithms.
Effective communication is at the heart of healthy, long-term relationships. And a regular permission-based newsletter is the perfect tool to connect your club with parents and supporters. But to attract and retain an audience, you need quality content, and a presentable layout. So, this article looks at what makes a compelling booster club newsletter. But first, you need a list of emails to send your newsletter to, so let’s begin with strategies for building your subscriber list.
Collecting Emails for Your Booster Club Newsletter
You are likely to have the names and emails of club members who can become willing subscribers. Still, there should be no limits to the size of your following. The more people who “opt-in” to receive updates, the more exposure your booster club gets. Here are five proven ways to encourage people to sign up:
- Online and offline word-of-mouth. The former could be shares on social media
- Sign-up forms at your club’s fundraisers and other events
- Promote your newsletter on the club’s website or social media channels
- Encourage third-party help to collect emails, like local businesses and teachers
- Cross-promotion email, ask a third party to promote your club in their newsletter
The #1 rule here is that your newsletter is permission-based. So you should never buy email lists or harvest them online. To avoid being marked as a spammer and having your newsletter end up in junk mail, only send your newsletter to those who have opted in to receive it. The easiest way to do this is to give people good reasons to subscribe.
OK, now let’s get to the email newsletter tips and look at how to start an email newsletter that attracts new subscribers.
Keep Your Newsletters Simple
It’s tempting to be creative, but a simple, email newsletter design without a lot of frills is often most impactful. And for that, it needs to be to the point, easy to scan, and clutter-free. It should still be aesthetically appealing but not overdone. And always be mindful of your target audience. Your newsletter updates should engage primarily with parents, students, and teaching staff to remind your subscribers of booster club fundraising campaigns and other newsworthy content.
Email Newsletter Tips on Layout
Knowing how to create an email newsletter that appeals to readers is fundamental to its success. People are busy and have little time or patience to read huge blocks of text. And your readers will unintentionally skip over great content if the presentation is awkward. The secret is to spread things out and ensure there’s plenty of white space.
- Include a header image that represents your booster club or school
- Use bold headings and subheadings using title case
- Use bullet or numbered lists to introduce items or steps
- Keep sentences and paragraphs short
- Include images and colors to give it a magazine-type appeal
- Keep the content to a printed page in length (500 words)
- Keep a consistent layout across all your newsletters
There’s a sample of the above newsletter layout later in the piece.
8 Elements of a Winning Email Newsletter
The email newsletter tips below focus on the must-have elements. Including these recurring sections in your template ensures the content flows and nothing is forgotten. It’s OK to rearrange these basic elements between the introduction and closing, but avoid removing them entirely.
#1 Your Subject Line Matters
If you want any chance at someone reading your newsletter you must hook them with a good subject line. People decide whether to open or delete an email by its subject line. The secret is to keep it concise while leaving the viewer wanting to know more. The example above does just that. It tells you that the club has achieved a new record in its summer booster club fundraising, but it doesn’t give details. For that, you need to open the newsletter.
A captivating newsletter intro pulls in readers with the first sentence, much like the subject line. It must be interesting and relevant. For example, begin with a positive sentiment on recent events or make an important announcement.
#3 Newsletter To-Dos
Your to-dos section moves to the present and informs the reader of upcoming plans. It’s essential to be specific and add dates, times, locations, and organizational deadlines. This is the place to list what needs doing, along with a description of the roles and tasks. If there are any unfilled vacancies, ask for volunteers with the necessary skills to come forward.
To help compose this section, answer the following:
- What needs doing, exactly?
- Where does it need to be done?
- Who need apply?
- When must it be done by?
- Why is it important?
- How should it be done?
Add any other relevant to-dos in this section as they relate to your booster club.
|#4 Important Announcements|
As the title suggests, this section has some important announcements. Things often change when organizing booster club activities, fundraisers, and other events. You can use this section to announce those changes or request help. Ideally, your announcements section should stand out from the rest of the content. A highlighted textbox like this is a simple yet effective way to grab readers’ attention.
Protect Your Funds from Embezzlement
Booster club embezzlement is a common problem and unfortunately good embezzlers can go undetected for a long time, leading to thousands of dollars lost. That’s why AIM offers embezzlement coverage for your funds.
Using your trust in them to manipulate account software, handle cash, and pad reimbursements, they can discretely siphon funds to their pocket. With AIM’s embezzlement coverage, if a trusted member, from the president down, steals your funds we will replace them (Terms and Conditions May Apply).
Learn More About AIM’s Embezzlement Insurance for Booster Clubs
Remember, volunteer recognition is among the most important of all email newsletter tips. Acknowledging individuals and teams is a small gesture with a big impact. Plus, volunteers who feel appreciated and valued are more likely to continue offering their time. Therefore, your newsletter acknowledgment section should mention all those who contribute in some way. That includes the high school faculty, administrators, parent volunteers, donors, etc.
Add a separate section for volunteer(s) of the month to highlight your star performers since the last newsletter update. These are helpers who went above and beyond what was expected.
#6 Message from the Club President
A short message from the booster club president can help personalize your newsletter further. If the president has much to say, consider adding a link to a video message instead. But if it’s a short message, include it in the acknowledgment section above under a separate subheading.
#7 Actions and Contacts
Summarize the actions readers can take along with your group’s contact us details. That could be a single point of contact or the contacts of those taking care of specific areas. The point is to make it easy for readers to get in touch should they want to contribute in some way or ask questions.
#8 Extras (Optional)
A simple newsletter layout doesn’t need to be dull. You can add a fascinating fact, an inspirational quote, or a funny story if it fits with your content. And a few well-placed photos and other visuals will give your email a glossy magazine appeal. Adding links to the club’s social media accounts is another way to encourage member interaction.
The Basic Email Newsletter Template
Below is an illustration of a basic email newsletter template. Once you have organized your content, you can work on enhancing its aesthetic appeal. For example, you may want to use columns, add social share buttons, or multimedia elements. But as you do this, remember to keep the layout uncluttered and spaced out for easy reading.
The great thing about newsletter templates is that you only need to create them once. After that, it’s just a case of adding your new content for publication. It makes the process of creating and sending a newsletter much simpler and faster.
Types of Booster Club Email Newsletter
Most booster club email newsletters communicate and engage with your general audience interested in your club and the activities it supports. But you can create other newsletter layouts for targeting a more specific audience or cause. For instance, to ask for feedback or suggestions. Or, a short promotional newsletter to remind of upcoming events can also be valuable.
Best Email Newsletter Tips for Content
Whoever writes your booster club email newsletter should always focus on the reader’s benefits. That is, “what’s in it for the reader?” Why should they want to read what you write? Successful content must highlight the benefits to student education, school extra curricular, and the local community. Your content should back these claims up with specific examples.
Keep it personal by talking to the reader directly. Be clear and concise throughout, and maintain a topical theme. If there are many different things to cover, it might be better to split the content up and add it to a follow-up newsletter. And always try to include something new and exciting. Lastly, don’t try to hard with your writing. Avoid jargon and needlessly big words when simple language will work.
When to Send Your Booster Club Email Newsletter
There is no hard rule on when to send booster club newsletters. That said, you don’t want to bombard subscribers with too many updates. Instead, aim for a monthly or bi-monthly schedule. And think about the timing, too. That way, your subscribers will know when they can expect—and look forward to—the next newsletter update.
Schedule Newsletters with an Editorial Calendar
An efficient way to manage, edit and schedule your email newsletters is to use an online editorial calendar. Online calendars let you restrict access to the newsletter team. Google Sheets is a perfect online platform for this. All those working on the content and schedules will see changes in real time. Best of all, users can work on the calendar remotely, 24/7. And when someone updates the calendar, the platform auto-notifies others on the team.
You have complete control over the editorial calendar, but it should include these six basics:
- Roles of responsibility (writing, proofreading, research, etc.)
- The agreed send date of your newsletter
- The newsletter’s theme
- Subject line
- Current status, e.g., not started, draft, proofreading
Automation tools are another option if you prefer to send your newsletters automatically on set dates and times. With either approach, make sure you do a little research beforehand so everyone agrees on the best-suited calendar for the team.
Protect Club Decisions from Liability
Unintentional misinformation, misrepresentation, or perceived deception in booster club communication can result in lawsuits. Your organization and its individual officers can be held responsible and sued for alleged false or misleading information. AIM’s Directors and Officers Liability coverage pays to defend your club and officers from lawsuits for“wrongful acts.”
More Here on AIM’s Affordable Directors & Officers Liability Policy
These best practices and email newsletter tips help lay the basis for your booster club newsletters. Updating your subscribers this way is a fun and persuasive way to draw attention to your causes. And remember, a well-written, well-presented, and highly relevant newsletter is a powerful tool for booster clubs trying to grow.