Single Publication - less than 5 pages

Burlington Economic Development E-Newsletters

Submitted ByBurlington Economic Development

Being able to remain connected with our business community during the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging, leading to the shift of our Burlington Economic Development newsletter communications as a valuable information sharing tool. It was essential for our business community that they receive information and updates as quickly as possible because things were changing so rapidly at the federal and provincial levels.

The purpose of Burlington Economic Development’s e-newsletters is to share timely information, including industry and government updates, and successes achieved by the city’s business community. It is a comprehensive, one-stop shop for relevant Burlington business community updates, at a time when guidelines for business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic changed very often. It also services as a method of attracting companies to Burlington, by highlighting various supports and programs available for businesses and recognizing achievements by current companies in the city.

The anticipated outcomes of this project are to educate local companies on pandemic response and reopening guidelines in order to make stronger business decisions, increase communication with Burlington’s business community, and improve brand awareness and knowledge of resources available through Burlington Economic Development. We also want to leverage e-newsletters to communicate other important resources that we were developing, such as Burlington’s Patio Program FAQ’s, a mask guide for businesses, and the Safe Restart Program.

The target audience is our city’s business community and stakeholders – including company executives, realtors, community partners, and City of Burlington staff.

Since the beginning of 2022, Burlington Economic Development newsletters has sent 13 newsletters to over 1300 subscribers, with an average open rate of over 35%. We continue to have a click rate of over 5.5%, significantly higher than the industry average of 1.47% for the government category, meeting our objective of keeping the content relevant and engaging for our audience.

We also refreshed the layout and format of the newsletters to improve readability, with easy to access links for our website, COVID-19 government programs, and more. Every newsletter uses imagery, colours, and fonts that remain consistent with the Burlington Economic Development brand to ensure a consistent brand identity across our digital channels. This way, when businesses see our name in their inbox, they know it contains valuable information that will tangibly support them in their recovery. Our newsletters support us directly in building a brand built on trust, support, and expertise. They became a critical channel to ensure the business community knew we were doing things that would truly assist them on the day-to-day, operational level.

While the pandemic response shifts to recovery in the business community, Burlington Economic Development is continuing to maintain strong and consistent communication through our e-newsletters. Our increased brand awareness was an indirect result of the increased communications, which showed that Burlington Economic Development was there to support the community when it really mattered. Our brand became known as a trusted and reliable source of information about closures. Being transparent with businesses, stakeholders, and residents about COVID-19 pandemic response and reopening measures, along with resources that are available, is important for building trust and a solid foundation for successful partnerships with Burlington companies and community members. While pandemic public health measures have been lifted, our newsletters will continue to serve as a central and convenient platform to receive updates and announcements that will be beneficial to the city’s business community and their partners as they move forward in their recovery post-pandemic.