Website launch gives us reach and impact, Trail Blazers!

15 September, 2021

Boom! Boom! They’re the big sounds following our website and e-newsletter tandem launch earlier this month.

CMRT launched its funky and functional website in August and a few days later coupled that with its first HTML email newsletter.

The launch was made possible by a small volunteer team with digital experience. Castlemaine web developer James Mack managed the build, Campbell’s Creek marketer Sandy Harman tweaked UX and managed the images, Guildford project manager John Carruthers wrote the website specifications and drafted content, and Melbourne communications manager Jen Sutfin developed the e-newsletter. The team also drew heavily on Castlemaine social media expert Josh Poole, and for illustrations by Castlemaine storyteller Scott Rossiter and landscapes by Barker’s Creek photographer Mick Evans.

The results have been stunning. Members flocking to join or rejoin using our easy online form. Hundreds of dollars donated via our two-click web donation engine. Also, Trail Blazers, almost 50% of you opened our e-newsletter and many of you clicked through to read more: big metrics for an electronic direct mail campaign!

“We’re really stoked by the launch impact”, incoming Online & Communications lead Sandy Harman said. “We carefully planned how the site would work for users and in tandem with the e-newsletter. But to see a big and immediate response from our members and supporters was super encouraging.”

“It’s been a lot of work and a lot of fun!” Sandy said.

The website allows people to join and pay online, make online donations, sign our online petition, catch trail news, find out about trail events, get involved in our campaigns, sign up for our e-newsletter and discover the trail with a map illustration and photographs along the trail route.

Outgoing Online Communications lead and CMRT President John Carruthers praised the work of the volunteer digital team which designed, developed and tested the website and e-newsletter platform part-time over 3-4 months. “It really was a team effort,” John said. “We all brought valuable career experience and creativity to the project.”

John said the website and e-newsletter were important tools to help CMRT reach its supporters and government decision makers.

“Last year we kicked off our our online presence with social media and then an online petition. Now we’ve added a website and a newsletter. Put these together and we have genuine potential to engage online with our members, supporters and government. In terms of online engagement we’re building a small ecosystem,” John said.

“Of course, whatever we do online only is only really effective when it complemented by our community outreach at stalls and events. Lockdowns have hindered that, but meanwhile our digital tools have given us enormous reach.”

John said the website also made managing administrative data like payment transactions much more efficient.