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4 Quick Email Tips for Higher Ed Marketers

March 10, 2014
Min Read

Email has become the go-to form of communication for most industries, but maybe none more than higher education. Email marketing can be used for anything from recruiting potential students to sharing department news. It’s easier than ever to get started with email marketing, thanks to inexpensive web applications such as Mailchimp, Emma, and Constant Contact. Email marketing for colleges can offer great results with a fraction of the cost compared to traditional forms of marketing.  Here are a few tips on increasing the effectiveness of your email communication in the higher education workplace:

1. Keep your “From” name consistent.

This can affect your open rate even more than the subject line. Customers often decide whether they want to open the email based on who the email is actually from.

  • Send the email from a department or group rather than an individual. This way if that person leaves, your email “from” doesn’t need to be changed.
  • Send “from” an individual only when the name is someone recognizable to your audience and will increase your opens.  This would trump the possibility of changing your “from” at a later date.

2. The subject line is one of the most important things about your email communication.  

Keep in mind these statistics: 69% of email recipients report email as Spam based on the subject line alone and 35% of recipients open email based on subject line (source: Jay Baer, Convince & Convert).

  • Don’t get caught up too much in making things sound clever. Keep things simple and straightforward so as not to confuse the recipient.
  • Pay attention to the length of your subject line. People are often checking it on a mobile device, and you need something short and sweet to grab attention.

3. Give your email a strong call to action.

Even if you’re just trying to communicate something going on in your department, include a call to action. This is a great place to push people to a Facebook group or to engage in a survey. Lead your reader to what you would really like them to do.

  • Make it as easy as possible for you reader to take the action. Include the link to what it is you want them to do and explain it in clear concise instruction.

4. Do not send too many emails.

Emails can be just as annoying as junk mail, and spamming your reader is never a good thing. Most people are getting way too many emails per day and are likely to mark you as spam or unsubscribe from your list if they perceive your emails as having little value. In higher education, it may be easy to get students to open an email from you; however, if the email doesn’t contain information they care about, then they more than likely aren’t going to open your next communication.

  • Save up your content until you have enough for a good email. Don’t send multiple emails that could have been combined into one.
  • Keep your word counts as short as possible. You have a much larger chance getting your readers engaged with useful information in a smaller email.

Email marketing can be a truly great way to communicate with students, faculty, or even the public. Tracking analytics will be a great way to test new ideas and see what is working for you or your department. All of the email marketing tools worth their salt will have good guides and reports to help get you started and then keep you pointed in the right direction.

Learn more about our email integrations!

Formstack integrates with 7 popular email marketing platforms, making it easy to pass form leads automatically into an email list. Check out our Integrations page for more info about these awesome apps!


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Formstack is a SaaS company with a mission to help organizations digitize what matters, automate workflows, and fix processes—all without code. A variety of team members come together to compile posts under Formstack's authorship.
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