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Jon's Corner

2011 and the Mobile Phenomenon:
I’ve been travelling around the world lately, speaking about mobile technology and your school’s mobile site. This sector of the tech industry has been experiencing unbelievable growth: AT&T mobile data traffic increased 50 times in just three years. (Morgan Stanley Research). We know this is the iPhone and iPad pushing these stats northward. Add in the impact of Droids, Blackberries, and countless other smartphones and tablets and it’s clear that how and when we interact with the web will be mobile-driven, not desktop and not laptop-driven, today and tomorrow.

With that in mind, here are a few areas to consider when thinking mobile: 

1. Mobile Content
What content should be on your mobile site and how it should be displayed? Remember most of the information presented on mobile phones consists of lookup information. Luckily, every finalsite client has a mobile site as part of their partnership with us, so your constituents, once you have enabled your mobile site, have easy access to page types like: About Us, Athletics, Calendar, News and Directories. More page types are in the works, so be sure to submit a support ticket if you have not yet enabled your mobile site for your school.

2. Mobile Design
On a related note, how does your current site look on a tablet or mobile device? When redesigning your website this year you really need to think about more browsers than just your desktop. What about the function of content that needs to be displayed? Should you design your mobile site before your main website? And should you limit the use of Flash to ensure readability on Apple mobile devices? Practices like this will help in your content strategies and design practices. Contact Anthony Tata and he can get you started with a new mobile-friendly web design.

3. Mobile Apps
Software is moving to the Cloud (where the action takes place via the Internet rather than software residing on your desktop or laptop computer) exponentially and one of the main catalysts is web-based mobile applications. These trends will change the way we think and work. Even the rapid growth of tablet computers will open the door for many new options this next year and in the years to come.

4. Mobile Marketing
Forrester Reasearch forecasts that marketing expenditure on mobile display ads and search will surpass $1 billion in 2011. With Google controling 97%% of the mobile search space make sure your school site has a mobile site plus search engine internet marketing presence.

Don't forget that finalsite can help with with internet marketing (search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising). Again, contact Anthony Tata to learn more.

This is a rapidly evolving area of technology so stay tuned as we keep you up-to-date on the latest changes in the mobile field.


In This Issue:

News You Can Use

Best Practices

Did You Know?


02-17 NEW:
Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart
Miami, FL
02-08 NEW:
Trinity Academy
Raleigh, NC

02-01 NEW:
The Woodlands Christian Academy
The Woodlands, TX
American School of Paris
Paris, France
Trinity Christian School
Fairfax, VA

01-21 NEW:
River School
New York, NY
01-21 NEW:
Waterside School
Stamford, CT
01-20 NEW:
Charlotte Christian School
Charlotte, NC
01-20 NEW:
Jesuit High School
Portland, OR
Junipero Serra High School
San Mateo, CA
01-19 LAUNCH:
American Overseas School of Rome
Rome, Italy
read more >

News You Can Use


Correction from February Newsletter


Oops! We goofed! We spotted an error with our Teacher's Corner content from our last newsletter. Correction: Option 3: Link to a dynamic file folder, should be used to create a new resource folder seen here:

and not used to create an individual resource as stated in the previous newsletter. We've also provided a tooltip:

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What Did You Say? Social Media Etiquette Webinar 3/29


As today’s headlines show, risky behaviors on social media sites like Facebook can have grave consequences. Perhaps it’s time for a lesson in social media etiquette. Join finalsite President and Founder Jon Moser on 3/29 at 2 PM EST as he shares tips from the corporate world on interacting professionally on Facebook and similar sites. A great webinar to share with your team at your school! To register for this or to see any of our other popular webinars, go to our Webinar page.

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Greenwich, Portland (OR), Philadelphia, and More....


finalsite is on the road with Web Tech Events. These free half to full day workshops are filled with the latest web trends and networking opportunities and include a free lunch. See for a complete listing of upcoming events as well as more information. Don’t miss out!

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LAST CALL TO SAVE $$ - finalsite University 2011 - Save $50 and change!

Sessions are being finalized, activities planned, giveaways purchased…. finalsiteU is in full swing. Each year, hundreds of educators convene in Connecticut to network, to learn, and to re-energize their web strategy for their schools. This year’s conference – June 21 through 23 at Avon Old Farms School in Avon, CT – promises to be the best yet! Register today for THE web strategy conference of the year and receive over $50 off your registration.

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Mark Your Calendars - finalsiteU International April 12-13, 2011


Broaden your web horizons at finalsite University International: Web Strategies for International Schools in Istanbul, Turkey April 12 through 13, 2011. International school professionals will share best practices for the web, brainstorm new solutions for online challenges, and network with colleagues from across the continent. There is no charge for this event and you do not need to be a finalsite client to attend. Go to to register today or to learn more.

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finalsite Survey Retires

finalsite Survey, after an illustrious career as your online forms and survey tool of choice, is due for a well-deserved retirement. Like all things online, it has been upstaged by something better, faster, and easier to use (something which no doubt also comes with a higher version number!): our new Forms Manager. So on July 1, 2011, we will take finalsite Survey offline. You will still be able to send it a letter by mail, if you wish, or by courier, if you must, but you will no longer find finalsite Survey in the online world. Its forms and surveys will cease collecting information and will instead display a polite but firm message saying it has retired. Visiting the finalsite Survey login page will earn you an admonishment for disrupting its newfound peace and quiet. And attempting to create a new finalsite Survey page in our CMS…. well, that simply won’t be possible. Mark the date! finalsite Survey retires on July 1, 2011.




Best Practices for Schools

Engage Your Audiences with a Mash-Up Page:
Oakridge School's Story


“We wanted to aggregate all of our different social media outlets in one place."

-Jason Kern, Director of Technology, The Oakridge School


With 77%% of independent schools now having a Facebook page (CASE/Lipman Hearne Study, October 2010), the question isn’t so much “Should schools be on social media?” as it is “How can we use social media to our best advantage?” One solution is a mash-up page. A mash-up is the bringing together of two technologies. In the case of social media and your school’s website, a mash-up is a web page on your school’s site that pulls in the feeds from your school’s Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, and more. Mash-ups can thus provide one-stop viewing for your constituents and prospective families, increasing engagement and helping to achieve marketing goals.

The Oakridge School in Arlington, Texas recently developed a mash-up page that has met with great success. School staff used a Portal Page for the layout and worked with finalsite design staff for the styling of the page itself. Admission-specific videos are just one example of many types of content the school is adding to their social media sites, content which is then viewable on the mash-up. School staff have seen an increase in followers, likes, and subscribers after the launch of the mash-up page. For more information on the rationale and results of this innovative take on social media, see finalsiteShare.

Did You Know?

Five Hot eNotify Tips

eNotify questions always seem to be popular support requests, so below are some tips from finalsite’s outstanding Support team addressing some of the more frequent questions and issues it has seen lately:

1. Use tables for positioning images and text. Yes, it's “old school”, especially if you've just finished that CSS course and know all the cool things you can do with CSS, but one thing you have to come to terms within HTML email is that many email clients ignore some or all CSS attributes. Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2010 ignore many CSS attributes, and those account for at least 25%% of recipients. If you're not familiar with using the table tool in the editor, watch this brief video tutorial. NOTE: Use only tables created in the eNotify editor. Do not paste in tables from Word or other applications as email clients and spam filters will not like them. 

2. Use fixed pixel widths for tables and horizontal rules. This is the opposite advice we'd give for web pages, but some email clients don't handle percentage widths well and will give unpredictable results, often stretching out your email body wider than you intended to. Specifying pixel widths will lock things in place. 

3. Give recipients a link to view the email as a web page. Some recipients would prefer to view your email in their web browser, either because their email client doesn't display HTML very well, or because they prefer having access to a wider variety of tools available in browsers. We've received several questions lately about the best way to create this link, so here is a short video showing two methods. 

4. Monitor your spam complaints. Spam complaints to an email service provider are the worst thing that can happen to your sender reputation. As most email providers share spam reports with major spam monitoring services, it doesn't take many to get your eNotify server graylisted or blacklisted by all email providers.

In the hopes that recipients will give feedback about unwanted email to you rather than to their email provider, we include a "Report as spam" option with a comments field in our Unsubscribe interface. These particular reports go to you, not the email provider, and can provide valuable feedback about how recipients view your emails. Perhaps they're getting information that doesn't apply to them, or perhaps they don't want to receive solicitations. Whatever the feedback, you can use it to make adjustments to your content or list usage that might keep you off of a national blacklist.

If you are not receiving these notifications, you can add your email address to receive them as shown below (comma-separate multiple addresses):

5. Include our eNotify server in your SPF record, if you have one.
An SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record would be filed with your domain name provider/host. It states which specific email servers are authorized to send emails using your domain name in the “From” address. This helps prevent unauthorized email servers operated by spammers from sending emails that appear to have come from your domain, a process known as “spoofing” (remember those fake eBay emails?). Receiving servers and spam filters can check the SPF record of any incoming email to determine if it was sent legitimately by the owner of the From address.

SPF records are not required, but they are increasingly popular. If you file an SPF record, you must declare our eNotify servers as being authorized senders by putting “” in it; otherwise, many of your eNotices will be rejected as spam by servers which check SPF records. Improperly formatted SPF records can also create widescale rejection issues, so please consult a knowledgeable email administrator before filing one. We do monitor SPF record rejections daily, though, so if we see them happening we will notify you of the problem.


Past Newsletters:
February 2011

January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010


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Phone: 860.289.3507
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