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Friday Favorites e-Newsletter: Synopsis - Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce

2016 ACE: Award of Excellence

We faced a common problem for most organizations -- how to get more of our subscribers to actually read our communications. Face it -- people are busy and we get that. Our traditional e-newsletters were getting an average open rate of 21% - a bit low, partly due to the robo sign-ups to our subscriber list. These email addresses grow our subscriber list, but don't open our communications, thereby skewing our open rate percentage. All that aside, remember that number. Beginning in March of 2015, our President & Chief Executive Officer said she wanted to send out a weekly e-news piece with her favorite things from the week. She chose the name 'Friday Favorites' and we came up with an updated format that's image based. Keeping in mind that people usually have very little time to scan a newsletter, we include only 1-3 sentences on each "block" and make the heading for each block a play on words if possible. We include links to more information if necessary, or as a shortcut for the reader to a registration form. These 'blocks' could be Chamber related, like new members, ribbon cuttings, our signature events, accomplishments, etc.; or community events she attended, as well as a few personal wins thrown in occasionally, for better connection and a little fun. This, in effect, is a 'President's Message' with a modern twist.


Date: December 24, 2016
Organization: Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Website: http://www.spokanevalleychamber.org
City: Liberty Lake, WA
Community Peer Group: Emerging Cities
Revenue Category: $450,000 and under

Friday Favorites e-Newsletter: Synopsis - Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce

Synopsis:

We faced a common problem for most organizations -- how to get more of our subscribers to actually read our communications. Face it -- people are busy and we get that. Our traditional e-newsletters were getting an average open rate of 21% - a bit low, partly due to the robo sign-ups to our subscriber list. These email addresses grow our subscriber list, but don't open our communications, thereby skewing our open rate percentage. All that aside, remember that number.

Beginning in March of 2015, our President & Chief Executive Officer said she wanted to send out a weekly e-news piece with her favorite things from the week. She chose the name 'Friday Favorites' and we came up with an updated format that's image based. Keeping in mind that people usually have very little time to scan a newsletter, we include only 1-3 sentences on each "block" and make the heading for each block a play on words if possible. We include links to more information if necessary, or as a shortcut for the reader to a registration form. These 'blocks' could be Chamber related, like new members, ribbon cuttings, our signature events, accomplishments, etc.; or community events she attended, as well as a few personal wins thrown in occasionally, for better connection and a little fun. This, in effect, is a 'President's Message' with a modern twist.

The images typically come from her cell phone camera when she's out and about. When we need to find an image that fits the message, I love to use the site pixabay.com, since we don't have a budget for images.

These are great fun to create and have been a huge hit. We think it's for a few different reasons. They're visually appealing. With less words and more pictures, they're a quick and enjoyable read. They focus on the wins and what's going right in our Chamber and the community.

Now about that number -- the open rate. We've averaged an open rate of 49% with 'Friday Favorites' -- more than double the average open rate for our industry, according to Constant Contact. That's a win worth repeating.

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