You may have noticed some discussion of the Atlassian Newsletter in our blogs. We ran a survey recently about making our newsletter more relevant. “What does relevant mean?” you may ask yourself. Let me explain…
For three years now — back when Atlassian was selling only two products — we have been sending our newsletter with virtually the same design and format. Atlassian has changed a lot since the newsletter was first launched, and we thought it was way past time to update the newsletter.

What goes into a good newsletter?

We put a survey out recently and asked readers what they liked and disliked in their newsletters. We wanted to know what our customers wanted in a newsletter — does anyone read our newsletter? Do they like it? Do they hate it? If you own JIRA, do you want to know what’s going on with Confluence? etc.
We were quite delighted to learn that many newsletter readers were pretty darned pleased with what we had been delivering for the past 3 years! Here are some unfiltered positive comments about our newsletter:

  • I’m really quite happy with what you’re doing now, but I’m sure that however you change it will be even better and more impressive – well done!
  • I like the present mix
  • Fluid layout.
  • Generally, I regard the Atlassian newsletter as one of the best produced by any company. A good blend of company news, products news and things of general interest.
  • Only that it is about the best I have ever seen in ANY company – (x30 or more I have seen). Also that it has jumped and improved a lot more in the last 5 months, from my outward perspective. You guys are rockin’ it! But you know that. Keep it up!
  • Nice clean, feature rich, informative and well organized.
  • It is great. In general I think Atlassian is my favorite design/structure of all my various newsletters. I also really like the random links at the end, usually I find 1 or 2 really useful links.

There was, of course, some constructive criticism. Here is a taste of what people were looking for, which they thought we lacked:

  • Maybe include a ‘Win Stuff’ section at the bottom…
  • I would like to see roadmaps of products I use. For example, Confluence 3 may have xxx features and is hoped to be release in Qx. Would also like to see links to presentations made at Atlassian user groups.
  • Needs more free stuff! How about a monthly contest with t-shirt giveaway?
  • The newsletters are currently worthless if you already read all the blogs… I think this is my main issue with the newsletter in its current state.
  • You could perhaps move the table of contents to a “sidebar” with articles more in an “editorial” layout (2 columns)
  • Needs a TOC with links I like the design (headline, picture of author)

The Result

                                        Old Newsletter                                                       New Newsletter

As you can see, the new design is much different from the old one. Here are the main points of improvement:

  • Header – the first thing you may notice is a new header design. Aesthetics are so subjective, but we thought we’d stick with this new header design for a bit. Maybe we’ll hold a contest for a new design in the future?
  • Two-column format – we wanted to have one column solely dedicated to important, recurring information, that would be included in every newsletter issue. This column is reserved for items like issue date, table of contents, upcoming events, and any informational/promotional banner ads.
  • Table of Contents – our TOC is entitled ‘In this Issue.’ This feature allows you to easily scan the newsletter’s contents and click through directly to articles of interest, without having to scroll down through the whole newsletter.
  • Newsletter exclusive – our goal is to include a monthly exclusive article which you can’t find elsewhere. This month’s exclusive was a T-shirt give-away for one winner who answered a 1 question survey.
  • T-shirt give-aways – we’d like to include a monthly give-away for people who do something for us. This will most likely be answering a short survey. This month’s question for the shirt give-away was ‘what do you think of our new newsletter design?’

Want to keep up with Atlassian and our products? We highly encourage you to sign up for our newsletter. If you know anyone that would be interested in our newsletter, please forward this blog on to them. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding our newsletter, please feel free to contact us.

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