Top Priorities for Email
- Focus on your email strategy. Email is one of the most direct methods of communicating with our audience, and in-house surveys show it’s the number one way students wish to be contacted by us—so you’ll want to make your emails count.
- Know who you can communicate with. You can choose to send emails to inquiries, admits, and accepts in your college’s interest area. Learn more about these audiences, our audience restrictions, and how to define your audience in your email request.
- Encourage action. It’s important for your emails to have a strong call to action, whether that action is big, like signing up to attend an event, or small, like exploring a page on your website.
- Keep it simple. Try to simplify your emails to include a clear purpose or singular objective. This should be communicated through the subject line, the lead text within the body, and the call to action. It’s also important to know that text-only emails, especially when sent from a person instead of a unit, can feel more personalized and elicit higher open rates.
- Deliver key messages specific to your college/unit. Email is your chance to directly share helpful information about who you are, what you do, the majors you offer, your students’ stories, your outcomes, and more with students who have expressed an interest in you.
- Use the university’s shared email template. The best way to strengthen and elevate the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign brand is to present a unified front to prospective students.
- Include an unsubscribe link. All of our emails are required by law to include an opt-out option. This can be included at the bottom of your email and needs to link to our opt-out page.
- Proof. After entering your email into our CRM, Slate, you can see how things will look to a student by sending yourself a test email. During your final proof, make sure to 1) review spelling and grammar, 2) check that all links work, and 3) confirm that all content is up-to-date and accurate.
OUA’s Email Strategy
Email serves as the main driver of OUA’s marketing plan. In addition to using email to assist students with admissions and application processes, our email strategy focuses on encouraging actions (sign up, visit, apply, accept, etc.), delivering key messages, building the brand, and generating website traffic.
Following are the types of emails we send to support our strategy:
- Application cycle emails (dates, deadlines, etc.)
- Operational emails (status updates, transactional communications, etc.)
- Targeted emails by audience (seniors, transfers, underrepresented minorities, etc.)
- Text-only, personalized emails from individuals (Director of Admissions, etc.)
- Content marketing emails (general college search advice, student stories, etc.)
- Event emails (invites, etc.)
- Key message/brand-building emails (Champaign-Urbana, outcomes, etc.)
How to Measure Success
To learn how effective your emails are, you should monitor two things:
- Email open rates
- Email click rates (as many emails should have a strong call to action to drive traffic elsewhere)
You can monitor the metrics for each of your emails through Slate, our CRM. Once you have an established baseline for both open and click rates for each of your audiences, you can refine your methods and improve your rates through research, online tools, and A/B testing on subject lines, calls to action, personalization, and more.
Email Send Process
If your unit is communicating with inquiries and/or admitted students, all emails are sent through our CRM, Slate, in cooperation with OUA. Read more about our email send policies and how to add these emails into Slate.