Today we’re going to modernise. To elevate beyond the attached PDFs of yesteryear. Research shows that:
92% of parents read school newsletters on mobile and a language other than English is spoken in around 21% of Australian homes.
So together we’re going to create an eNewsletter that looks better, reads more naturally and it will ensure that your message gets across as effectively as possible (there’s even an option to print PDF’s if so needed).
I’m going to give you a quick demonstration of SkoolBag’s eNewsletter feature. If you haven’t already, watch this video to learn why hundreds of schools have been making the switch.
Even if you have zero experience with desktop publishing and design, creating an eNewsletter with SkoolBag is going to be a cinch, thanks to the browser based admin console that can be accessed from any desktop computer. So let’s get started!
Claim your Free Account to begin!
If you’re not already a SkoolBag customer, signup for a free account.
Then point your favourite browser to your SkoolBag Admin Console, on the left-hand panel, you’ll see the eNewsletter tab. If you’re an existing SkoolBag customer, you might need to request access - simply follow the on screen prompts.
From here you can peruse any past newsletters, and copy them (using the blue Copy icon) to save time. Alternatively, you can sample templates we’ve provided.
For this guide, we’ll create a new newsletter from scratch.
Alternatively, if you want to draw inspiration from your schools previously published eNewsletters, click on the eye icon that’s sitting on the icons presented here.
When you click on Create Newsletter to begin creating, you’ll be in Draft mode. This means that while your changes are going to be auto-saved, nothing will go live to your audience. It’s a safe environment where you can tamper to your heart’s content until you’re happy to post. If you leave the site and come back, simply click on the Edit icon that looks like a blue pencil to pick up where you left off.
Step 1: Customise your template
First thing is first - let’s give your newsletter a name.
Then - let’s nail the overall look and feel of your newsletter before we start to fill it with info. The top toolbar lets you change the look and feel by selecting a new background image or photo. Simply click on ‘Choose File’ and once you’ve located the image on your computer click on the little green Upload icon to use it as a backdrop.
(Note: SkoolBag will have already uploaded your school’s logo – it’ll be waiting for you to use. )
TIP: You can grab your school’s logo from the top-toolbar by right-clicking and saving the image, then uploading it to the header. Simply follow these steps
If you’re after a less busy background simply select a solid colour instead. You can also alter the header colour like this and select from one of our predefined web-safe fonts to ensure your message looks perfect, no matter what device or browser it’s being viewed on.
Next, you’ll want to add a footer with your school info.
Click on ‘Bio’ to slot in a module and click the ‘Edit Bio’ icon in the upper right to start tailoring it. You can alter the main image of the module, add in a descriptive text paragraph and enter pertinent contact information. This can be a mailing address, phone numbers, social media details, email or an external site link.
Once you’re happy with the basic essentials of your newsletter canvas, you can jump into creating and editing the content that will be slotted in from week to week. Building the newsletter is done by adding more modules. This ensures that you create a consistent formatting every time.
Step 2: Adding content with modules
Now that we have a basic framework of an eNewsletter, we can start to fill it with the good stuff.
You might want to lead with a text module that carries an introduction of 100 words or so. Running your mouse over Add Module will make a pop up menu appear. Click on ‘Text’ and then overwrite the dummy text that fills out the headline and bodycopy by clicking the ‘Edit’ button on the top right of the module. Fill in what you need and then let’s accentuate it with a welcoming image.
You can add whatever you want, really. For now, let’s keep it basic and add in an image. Simply drag and drop your photo to add it to the module.
Once you’re comfortable with Text and Images, why not take the next step by combining them with the dedicated Text/Image module. Clicking on this feature will allow you to blend a written and visual element to sit alongside one another. You can also pick the orientation via a dropdown menu.
You can also try more advanced modules like File for important PDF’s, Video or Button to highlight important Weblinks.
Step 3: Saving and publishing your masterpiece
Once you’re happy with the content simply scroll up to the top of the page and click ‘Save Changes’. You’ll be shown a preview of your newsletter and you can now make the eNewsletter ‘live’ by switching the toggle from red to green.
After making the eNewsletter live, the option to print the eNewsletter and the link to publish your work will appear on the top the screen. And that’s it – your first creation is ready to be sent out into the world!
Step 4: Share your fancy eNewsletter far and wide
From here you can click to make it live and you’ll be able to capture a shareable link for your eNewsletter which you can attach to an entry in SkoolBag and easily promote across any social media platform.
There’s also an option to print and save a PDF or print a paper version of your newsletter.
Note: a digitally distributed version is more preferred as you’ll see that once you share an eNewsletter URL you can track the number of visitors.
That’s it really – all you need to effortlessly create online newsletters with SkoolBag!