Single Publication – less than 4 pages | City of Cambridge
Purpose of the Project
The City of Cambridge is always looking for innovative ways to collect input and share information with the community. In today’s day and age, E-newsletters have become a primary method for communication with community members. With the wide variety of services, municipalities are challenged with providing the right information, to the right people, at the right time. Previously, the economic development related material was periodically disseminated using a PDF newsletter format. The new INVEST Cambridge HTML newsletter is focused on providing a more convenient, accessible and engaging experience for the business community with measurable engagement and results and the ability for readers to provide input on what they would like to see. It was part of a branding refresh that also includes print material, new website and overall re-branding of the Economic Development Office.
Staff created a short survey that was circulated to subscribers in February 2017 to help gather intel from users on the current system. Engagement of subscribers was a key element in rebranding the newsletter as questions were asked on layout, format, content, frequency and so on. Results were then analyzed and the new HTML INVEST Cambridge newsletter was developed.
The key objective of the INVEST Cambridge HTML newsletter is to significantly enhance and expand the customer experience and online presence and provide businesses and key stakeholders with timely, reliable information. The newsletter is distributed on the same day each month, so subscribers can depend on regularity. The INVEST newsletter provides efficiency, convenience, engagement, and accessible access to city economic related services and information that is reliable and informative on all devices including: desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
Business owners, investors and community members are able to engage more with the City through technology and learn relevant information quickly and easily by subscribing to the newsletter.
The HTML INVEST newsletter was launched in April 2017. Since the launch, there is a considerable increase in number of subscribers, number of opens and number of clicks through the newsletter. City staff have also received numerous positive feedback from subscribers on the new format and content. Each newsletter also asks the
subscribers to share any good news stories with staff that may be included in future editions.
Challenges & Changes Made
A challenge was trying to understand the appropriate day of the week, time of the day and what content to share that the subscribers were most interested in and likely to view. We overcame this by testing different days of the week and times of the day and monitoring the open and click rates. After several months, a specific date and approximate time was chosen and it continues to prove accurate, as the open rate is maintaining a 5% increase month over month.
The target audience for this publication includes local entrepreneurs and business owners, community leaders, the real estate community, investors, local and regional residents and city stakeholders.