In 2014, the main method of reaching out to students, staff, and alumni is through email. However, every other organization sends out email to your students, staff, and alumni too. The questions for student affairs professionals and student leaders becomes: how can you increase contact and engagement with students digitally? Here are three tips on how to make your event or information stand out in the inbox:
#1: Write an Effective Subject Line:
Writing a good email subject line is a lot like stand-up comedy—you’ve got one shot to deliver and capture the audience. With that being said, there are two keys to writing an effective subject line: personalize it and make it local. There is a difference between:
Family Weekend 5K on October 8
Jamie, Run the State U Family Weekend 5K
The way to hook people into reading their email is to make it something that is theirs. In the example above, it isn’t just a 5K; it’s something you are invited to and it requires less effort to attend because it’s on campus.
#2: Be Mobile-Ready:
We know that Millennials access information through their smartphones—but are you making sure that your content is mobile-ready? If you are designing your emails through a client such as MailChimp, this may be done on the back-end without any prompting on your part. If not, you can utilize CSS media queries to take care of this for you. Simply put, a CSS media query is a piece of code that determines the dimensions of a device screen and automatically adjusts the email content to fit it. This is a piece of code that would go at the beginning of the HTML code. You do not need to be a web development expert to utilize media queries—many great examples can be found online that you can copy and paste.
#3: Check Your Content:
Have you ever wondered why seemingly innocuous emails end up in your spam folder? Though some emails will fall through the cracks, there are ways to avoid being categorized as spam. First, make sure that the ratio of images to text is nearly equal. Too many or too few images in an email is a trigger for being kicked into a spam filter. Next, double check that there isn’t an excessive use of caps lock— even though you and your students may be very excited about the upcoming campus event, the spam filter will not see it that way. Finally, make sure that your email content, including text and images, doesn’t exceed a typical email.