Improve your Announcement Emails

If you are in charge of sending out the announcement email to your group and it goes out weekly (or especially if it goes out daily) – please organize it like this:

New stuff since the last one I sent out

Stuff that was on the last one I sent out but that has changed since then

Stuff that was on the previous email that hasn’t changed, but is still relevant because it hasn’t happened yet.

My son’s high school sends out announcement emails every day and a lot of it is on the email everyday, unchanged. (Parents, please don’t park in teacher’s parking spaces, etc.) Makes it too time consuming to figure out what is new information.

If people are sending you items and you are copying and pasting them into a master email, please highlight everything and apply similar formatting. It will only take an extra 10 seconds. Also, please use paragraph headings, bullet points or some way of indicating the end of one item and the beginning of the next one.

You may think it’s not worth the extra time, but if people don’t read the emails – they are just going to call your or email you and ask you questions that you’ve already answered. If you will take a couple of extra minutes to improve your readability – you will save yourself time in the end.

Improve your group’s calendar

Just about every group has a calendar of upcoming events.  Too often the event details are distributed in the body of an email or in an attached spreadsheet.

Why not use a shared online calendar? Make sure that it supports iCal integration. This will let your members import it into their calendar instead of re-typing it. This will save them time and also eliminate the possibility of them typing it into their calendar incorrectly and showing up on the wrong date or time.

Google and Yahoo both offer free online calendars.  If you’re using Circlebox, it has group calendar functionality built in.