If you subscribe to Alliance Online News, you may have noticed last Tuesday, when you received the latest issue, that it suddenly looks very different. (Don't receive Alliance Online News? You can subscribe here.)
That’s because we’re in the midst of transitioning to a new email distribution service and implementing a new template that, we believe, will help us reach more readers. We’re still working out the kinks. If you have had any trouble with our new template or just want to share your thoughts on the new design, we want to hear from you. You can offer comments here.
Why are we doing this?
Well, with more and more people these days reading emails on their smartphones and tablets, rather than on computer screens, we realized our newsletter needed a major update. The biggest problem we identified was that, on smaller screens, the text in our newsletters was much too small, forcing readers to zoom in and pan left to right in order to read it.
The template for our newsletter remained the same regardless of where it appeared, and that needed to change if we wanted to keep up with our readers. The answer was “mobile responsiveness.” That’s a fancy term for a pretty simple concept. All it refers to is the capacity of a template to conform to the screen dimensions of whatever device you’re using to view it.
You can get a sense of the difference this makes from the examples below. On the left is our old newsletter in a mobile environment, and on the right is our new newsletter in a mobile environment. Which one would you rather read?
So for the last few months, we have been working with a designer to develop new mobile responsive templates for all of our newsletters. In the process, we’ve also been updating the design and adding new features like embedded video and RSS driven content. In the near future we will roll out new designs for our Advocacy Update, Donor Newsletter, and Rapid Re-Housing Update.
We aim to make our email newsletters more dynamic and reader-friendly with this overhaul. But as always, the single most important goal of this overhaul remains the same as it is for all our communications efforts: that our message, research, and resources for ending homeless reach (and help) as many people as possible.