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Advice on Redesiging a Newsletter

Posted on | January 24, 2012 | No Comments


Thinking about redesigning your e-newsletter?  Get some tips from reading how Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens redesigned theirs.

Phipps, a great steel and glass Victorian greenhouse, has been inviting visitors to explore the beauty and mysteries of plants since 1893. Since part of their mission statement is to, “advance sustainability and worldwide biodiversity through action and research,” it’s pretty much a given that they would reduce their use of paper. That’s part of the reason Phipps started using an e-newsletter many years ago. Unfortunately, without the limitations that come from a finite number of pages, over time the e-newsletter morphed into something quite large. Phipps realized they needed to produce a smaller e-newsletter that would make a stronger tie to their social networks and find a fun way to appeal to all of their audiences. Sounds pretty daunting, so they turned to Ennect’s email newsletter software for help.

Redesign Aligns with Conservatory’s Business Goals

Before Liz Fetchin, director of marketing and communications at Phipps met with Ennect, she did her research. “We looked at what other gardens were doing and picked out elements we liked,” said Liz. “Ennect analyzed our choices and was able to draw parallels and create something unique.”

The result is a clean template featuring large photos that’s visually pleasing and is a quicker read. Phipps also decided to separate the information they share about sustainability into a new e-newsletter called, ecoInsider.

“Our members frequently ask about behind the scenes tours so we thought the ecoInsider would serve both our mission to advance sustainability and our members’ desire for insider information,” explained Liz.

Now, parents looking for classes for their children, homeowners looking for sustainable gardening tips and everyone looking for details on Phipps’ many special events all have easy access to the information via the standard tree-free e-newsletter and the new ecoInsider.

The Social Network, Email Connection

Since Phipps wants to grow their social networks, Ennect moved the social icons on both e-newsletters into a more prominent location.

“We are using email to build social networks and using social to get people to sign up for our newsletter,” said Liz. By strengthening the ties between both their email and social network marketing efforts, they are positioned to develop deeper connections with both members and non-members.

Prepping Internal Team Essential to Success

Old habits can be hard to change. Liz knew she needed to take the time to educate the other managers so the new design would be well received. “I printed out the old newsletter and it came to 12 pages. Once it was a visible document, it was easy to make the case for a more streamlined design.”



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