The 5 E-mail Rules You Need to Be Following

Carnegie Higher Ed Feb 20, 2015 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

In the image-obsessed, video-watching, 140-character world we live in, it’s important to take a good hard look at the marketing e-mails you send. First, let’s establish the fact that e-mail is still very much a must in your enrollment marketing plan. This low-cost tool allows for frequent communication and conversion opportunities.

With us all in agreement that e-mail is powerful and will continue to be in the near future, let’s talk about how to make these messages work best. Both internally and promotionally, e-mail effectiveness increases as ease of completion increases.

Find the last e-mail promotion that you wrote or approved. Take it out and see if it passes these top five measurements:

1. Does any paragraph include more than five lines? If you said yes, consider chopping those paragraphs up or even pulling out a line or two altogether. Unnecessary fluff should go immediately. Avoid stating the obvious and get to the point of the message. No one wants to feel overwhelmed or like they have to work to get through your message.

2.  Are you link crazy? Multiple links to different pages throughout the message is confusing. What do you really want me to do as a reader? What is the goal of this message? Be aware of the attention ratio and focus clicks on where you want them to go.

3. Have you thought of the audience? Your detail and length can increase as the relationship grows. An accepted student info sheet about next steps requires details, and that is good. But for a first-touch Search name, you need to stand out quickly. Find your unique proposition. Stay away from “great facilities, low student-faculty ratio, award-winning faculty”—they will hear about that from 15 other schools that day.

4. Is your e-mail mobile friendly? It’s common knowledge that mobile e-mail reads are at an all-time high and growing. If I have to pinch and move your message to see it on my phone, you can be sure I will ignore or, worse yet, delete it.

5. Most importantly: would you read the e-mail if it wasn’t your job to read it? Put yourself in the readers’ shoes, look at the e-mail in your inbox, and be honest with yourself.

Just like your landing pages you are sending the reader to, you should be evaluating and enhancing your e-mail messages regularly. Check out the Landing Page 101 series on our blog too!

Follow me on Twitter @meghdale or leave a comment. Did I miss anything? Do your e-mails measure up?

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