While it might seem like creating and sending a weekly email newsletter is just one more item on an ever-lengthening to-do list, there are a lot of reasons to prioritize newsletters — and (fortunately) a lot of tricks and tools that can help you do it.

If you’ve already been sending eNewsletters to students, parents, staff, and community members, then you’ve probably worked out at least some of the kinks regarding your email platform, your content, and the way that you manage your contact list. But if the labor of putting it all together each week feels like a total drag, there are a number of other ways that you can lighten your load and streamline the process.

Here’s how to do it; with actionable tips you can start putting into practice today to make email newsletter creation a breeze.

1. Use Templates

If you’re starting from scratch every time you send an email newsletter, then you’re wasting a lot of time.

Pretty much all email platforms — including both automated and non-automated ones — come with a library of templates that allow you to insert your content each week instead of having to mess around with formatting. It’s a huge time saver, allows you to create high-quality and clean newsletters, and it’s a way to lend additional continuity to your messaging.

2. Have a Process for Gathering Content

One of the most time-consuming parts of any eNewsletter creation process is sourcing the content that you’re going to use. This can be especially true for K12 school communicators, who may be aggregating information from various departments.

A better option: set up a way for people to send content to you rather than having to reach out. For example, a special email address or a specific online form where teachers and faculty members can send information they think might be newsletter-worthy. This way, you won’t have to dig around, and you’ll be able to easily pull together the most relevant content.

3. Use a Tool to Check Grammar and Punctuation

Take the guesswork out of editing by using Grammarly or a similar tool to easily weed out typos and grammatical mistakes. You’ll still need to do a once-over to ensure that their recommendations are a good fit, but you won’t have to give your content multiple read-throughs in order to feel confident that the copy is clean. Likewise, if you send a test of your email newsletter to a coworker prior to sending it to your subscribers (which we still recommend), they’ll be a whole lot less likely to send it back with multiple red line change requests.

4. Set up an Image Repository

Setting up a simple Cloud drive where you can store images that you’ve previously used in newsletters and images that you might want to use in the future will up your eNewsletter game. Then, whenever you need to pull an image to go with your content, you’ll know exactly where to look.

Important tip: make sure that you label each image instead of just relying on thumbnails. It might take a minute to get everything labeled from the outset, but it will make it much easier to search for what you need later on.

5. Sync with your SIS System to Keep Contacts Up-to-date

Find yourself spending a lot of time manually updating contact lists? We feel you. As a more preferable alternative, sync your email platform with your SIS system so that contacts are updated automatically. That way, if a family leaves or joins the district, their information will be input on the backend — without the need for you to go in and do it yourself.

6. Use Tags and Automation to Keep Data Clean

One of the trickiest parts of managing school email newsletter communications is dealing with all of the data. But things like contact list segmentation and monitoring open rates are key to ensuring that your emails are doing their job, so you can’t exactly skip out on them. 

To make it more simple, use a marketing automation platform to set up tags that allow you to easily segment contacts based on who needs to receive what information, as well as to allow you to see at a glance who’s engaging with your content. Even better, automate your data as much as possible so that you can see what’s going on with a single glance.

The more of these tips that you can implement in your eNewsletter process, the more time you’ll free up for everything else that needs to get done. You might even discover that sending out a weekly email newsletter can be a stress-free and seamless experience, rather than something that you almost (or fully) dread having to do each week.