As we start to progress into the new year, HOAs will soon be occupied with writing the agenda for their yearly community gathering and board meetings. Not to mention the prep work that comes along with it — organizing a location, managing food and beverages, creating an agenda, technical setup, and most importantly, making an announcement.
Long gone are the days of countless paper trails and long hard copy newsletters. Thanks to technology, the ability to send an announcement email makes it digestible for your readers to be sourced with information in half the amount of time — an announcement email works as the umbrella for your primary source of communication within the organization. An announcement email can take many forms, such as a news update, a public statement, an event invitation, an important reminder, or even a crisis communication. By creating a well-written announcement email, your readers will gain vital transparency behind the event's significance.
To better help you create your announcement, listed below are 5 useful tips to creating the perfect HOA announcement email.
1. Know your audience - “Who am I writing this for?”
Although the answer to the question may seem obvious, we recommend taking high consideration of specific measurables within your audience. For example, demographics, location, HOA history of governance, and lifestyle. By identifying each measure, your announcement email will be able to connect on a more personal level, along with furthering the interest of your readers.
2. What’s your element of style -“What techniques can I use to enhance my writing?”
Contrast - When using difference, avoid using the same elements on a single page, such as color, size, and spacing. We suggest using components that will catch your reader’s interest — for example, a strong feature image, an eye-catching header, or a company logo.
Repetition - Using elements of repeating visuals can help enhance the unity of a well-written announcement email. For example, consider using the same font family or color scheme to appeal to your reader visually.
Proximity - When placing visuals and text into your email, consider placing items close together vs. spacing everything out. This will help reduce clutter and blank white space.
Spelling and Grammar - In any situation, always double-check your announcement email for any spelling or grammar errors. Also: use structured sentences, clear paragraphs, and subheadings when conveying a large amount of information.
3. The Five Ws
The who, what, where, when, and why — known as one of the first rules of journalism. When writing to your audience, consider the 5 Ws as a building foundation to your announcement email.
Why - Why are you sending this message? Every announcement needs a clearly defined goal: this will allow your reader to see what type of action is expected of them.
What -What are you trying to say? This is where writing your description of the announcement will come into play.
Get to the point
Be relevant and timely
Use action words that convey a neutral tone
Who -Who are you targeting? As you write your announcement, consider your target audience to better convey and tailor your message. Be sure to include details about any special guest or HOA committees that may relate to the announcement.
When - When will you send it? When scheduling a date to send your announcement email, be considerate of other committees' agendas. We recommend sending an announcement email at least 30 - 15 days in advance, followed by one to two reminders no later than 72 hours before the starting date.
Where - Where is your meeting being taken place? Are there any special instructions that your readers may need to know before attending? If hosting a zoom meeting, be sure to provide your audience with any special instructions on how to log in, along with any additional documentation.
4. Gain the attention of your reader
Depending on your audience, some readers can become overwhelmed by too much text or use the same words. Just as a movie uses a trailer to grasp its viewers' interests, your goal is to gain the reader's attention so that they gain interest in your topic. Consider the following guidelines when writing to your reader:
Use topic sentences to break up columns of copy.
Use bold text and colored headlines when necessary.
Add charts or graphs to convey interests in specific topics.
Incorporate visually appealing graphics, along with your HOA logo, at the top of the announcement email.
Consider using a personal signature at the end of your announcement email.
Using positive language and words of significance.
5. Email format and browser visibility
Depending on the type of browser and system currently being used within your HOA organization, some readers can become overwhelmed by over formatted text or images' misplacement.
Test - We recommend sending a test email before sending the official version of your announcement email. This will allow you to fix any technical or format issues.
Rich text - At times, copying and pasting images does not always work for some web-based email services. We recommend using an email service that allows you to send a rich text or utilize HTML. Note, images can’t be embedded in explicit text messages. Dragging and dropping an image into an email message can work for those using web-based email services such as Yahoo Mail or Gmail.
Sizing - At times, sizing images and text can sometimes cause errors in your format. Depending on the type of browser being used to create and view the email, we recommend sizing all images with a standard compatible size for mobile and desktop views.
550px - 650px - best standard image size for email.
360 x 640 - most popular screen resolution for all platforms.
Email size limit - In most cases, when attaching files or images to an email, 10MB has been known to be the standard size format for most email servers. Keep in mind that all email servers are different and may have set requirements for attaching files.
Your community announcement or message doesn't have to be limited to an email. You can also keep HOA members informed and up to date with HOA software, like TownSq. Announcements and important communications can be easily accessible by mobile device or computer. The app provides a centralized location for members to gain information and stay connected within the community on a secure platform.
Now that you have these 5 tips to craft your perfect HOA email, you are ready to communicate with your residents. Download our Free email template to get started!