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Metrolink newsletter relaunch: The verdict

April 2, 2015

If you’re not familiar with Metrolink they are the company who run the tram network in Manchester.  They provide a fantastic service service in the city but a few PR disasters over the last few years mean that Metrolink as a company have been receiving a bit of flack.

Personally, I love the trams but I don’t rely on them to get to work and so haven’t had a bad experience.  When their relaunched newsletter arrived in my inbox last week with the fanfare of ‘Welcome to the new look e-newsletter’ I was intrigued.

Metrolink Newsletter


I must have left my details on their site but I haven't had an email from them for a long time so I guess this is a big relaunch for them. So what’s the verdict?

The good points:

  • The layout is mobile friendly
  • The content is good with many good news stories (Free wifi on trams, new services etc.)
  • They're communicating again with their audience and letting them know of the many new services and updates

Areas for improvement: 

My overall impression is that if they haven’t run a newsletter for a while and they've relaunched it – why isn't the design a little more cutting edge? Manchester is a city known for its many digital marketing agencies who may have done a better job on this for them. This doesn't stand out in the inbox well as a big, local brand could do. In addition, I spotted the following red flags:

  • Where are the anchor tags? The four links in the main intro are crying out to be linked to the relevant part of the newsletter.
  • The links are not mobile friendly but are just tiny links impossible to use on a mobile device. They should be using big chunky buttons that are easy to click on.
  • They are still using ‘click here’ which is not good practice
  • Where is the pre-header?    
  • The subject line of ‘Metrolink Newsletter’ needs to be much more exciting to get the email opened.
  • The unsubscribe should be at the top to comply with best practice and not hiding right at the bottom of the email

Ultimately the most important thing here is that Metrolink are communicating again with their audience directly. However, given the nature of their business and the good news stories on offer, this email is a bit of a missed opportunity. A more striking and modern design combined with the content could be a real winner. 

Posted by Jenni Malley

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