District Newsletter Gets “e” New Look

As you have already noticed, we have a very new look and format for our District Newsletter. The District has decided to go with a more e-friendly format in an attempt to enhance the reading experience for our members. The purpose of this article is to better acquaint our members with the goals, rationale, and practical application of the new “eNews”.


We had a hand-full of goals in mind with the eNews format. First, we needed a format that was much more interactive for our readers. Readers can quickly scan the eNews for their primary areas of interest and click links to their favorite material. Secondly, we needed a system to better assess and gauge what those primary areas of interest were, beyond submitting surveys. We need real-time, on-demand data to give you all more of what you are wanting. Lastly, we needed a vehicle that could drive readers back to our other social media outlets, where they would have access to more current and up-to-date information regarding our District. So why did we choose eNews, and not continue with publisher and the current pdf with links?


The rationale behind the MailChimp-based eNews was that it really met multiple needs and goals in one package. We already utilize MailChimp for our e-Blasts and District updates, which means there is no additional costs to our membership. This product also allows us access to important analytics and metrics that helps us identify open, click rates, and social performance. For example we know that e-Blasts are opened by over 40% of the membership on average. This is double the industry average. Therefore, we know that this is an effective means of communication. Tracking links allows us to identify areas of primary interest by our readers, so we can expand and grow those areas. In addition, to MailChimp we can utilize Google and Facebook analytics to evaluate our traffic back to our other media outlets. Our social media has tremendous activity over the months leading to the MAATA and NATA meetings, but drops off significantly in the summer and fall. Therefore, we will be introducing an extra edition of the eNews. We will have one for post-MAATA and another for post-NATA, and plans for a late fall edition which will serve as a highly editorial piece with upcoming MAATA Meeting information. Embedded within each of those issues are numerous links that should then drive readers back to our website and social media to keep them better informed about current events in the District. Speaking of staying on top of current events, the new format of the eNews will also include a “Mission Possible” section that will raise awareness and offer direct access for our members to get involved in key initiatives like the NPI campaign. So how does this all work?


Now that we understand our goals and rationale for the format change, we would like to take some time to discuss the use and topic areas. As featured under our banner, you will find the new “Mission Possible” area. As stated previously we want to better inform and involve our membership. Therefore, each eNews issue will have a new opportunity for our membership to get involved. Hit the “Mission Accepted” button and you’re on your way. Each issue will also have a feature story highlighting a main event in the District over the last 3-4 months. To the right of our feature story is a list of articles inside the issue. While subjects will vary, we should routinely find letters from leadership, reports from essential committees and states, as well as headlines around the District.
We hope that you enjoy the new format. We truly feel that the eNews will allow us to reach a larger audience, foster an interactive newsletter experience, and increase awareness and opportunities for involvement throughout our District. Please forward any comments or feedback to jlhoffma@sting.graceland.edu.