During my internship for Michigan Energy Options the communications team was tasked in creating the quarterly newsletter. The organization had previously sent out one other E-Newsletter and had created an account with MailChimp. Being unfamiliar with the program I immersed myself in the forums and learned just how tough it can be to work with newsletter clients. In the previous newsletter they had had issues with delivery and content. That is to say they had written articles and delivered it exculsively in email format and for my opinion I do not read full articles in my email, let alone 5-6 articles.
Therefore I came up with a plan proposal for Executive Director John Kinch and the rest of the communications team to reinvent how we send the newsletter. I offered up to create a new template in MailChimp which would give snippets of information and then link over to a PDF full text document. Initially it was rejected but after convincing them that users don’t read past the first two articles with some impromptu user testing I was allowed to continue. With that I did just what the plan prescribed. I took the content we had after it was finally edited down and built out a full PDF with relevant images, formatting, and newsletter look and feel in adobe Acrobat. I then took those articles and edited them down for the email version that would be sent out to people on our list serve. You can click the image for a full sized version. I redesigned how layout of the article by putting the “call-to-action” buttons along the top of content and then used images and a slightly altered color scheme to have a “Read More” button that would then direct users to that article’s page in the PDF hosted on the Michigan Energy Options site.