Every school marketer worth their salt knows the importance of an email newsletter.
Email marketing is a tried-and-true marketing channel. You aren’t trying to compete for your readers’ attention while they mindlessly scroll down an increasingly busy social media feed. When you send parents newsletters, you know you have a captive audience.
In the beginning, we all had the same vision – we would create a newsletter that subscribers would actually look forward to receiving. But the reality is that, unfortunately, too many email list subscribers never open their email and read it.
And this isn’t good for you, your school or your enrollment rate.
If you’re thinking about updating your school email newsletter, keep reading!
Here are 14 tips you can use to design emails that people will want to read.
Write an outstanding subject line
Headlines are of utmost importance. The best headlines draw us in and hold our attention. According to David Ogilvy (a.k.a The Father of Advertising), on average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. Your headline will determine whether or not someone reads your email. Try using CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer Tool to score your overall headline quality.
No one wants to read a generic newsletter addressed to Dear Sir/Madam. Marketing emails need to be personalized to the reader and filled with interesting graphics. Visuals help your readers quickly understand the point of your email.
Get creative with your copywriting
Copywriting matters. Use the best copywriting techniques. Practice being descriptive, accurate and clever (when appropriate). Make sure your content is clear, organized and digestible.
Keep it simple and succinct
Newsletters that are simple are appreciated. Don’t try to be flashy or promotional. The most effective newsletters aim to educate, not sell.
Keep it conversational
The best newsletters make it feel like you’re hearing from a friend. Use language that is friendly and inviting.
Consider mixing it up
Try including a mix of content and a balance between images and text. Make sure your email is easy to read on all devices, especially mobile.
Include a call-to-action
The best emails engage the reader and give them direction. Call-to-action (CTA) buttons stand out and make it easy for people to know what to do next. And while you’re at it, try to think of a CTA that is matched with specific actions related to the post’s content, like “Get the checklist” or “Discover why you should attend.”
Write to the individual
You may have more than one subscriber list (i.e., parents, teachers, staff, board of directors, etc.) Take the time to write an email newsletter to each subscriber group – and write as if you are speaking to one individual. Use a real, down-to-earth vibe that people can relate to.
Make it easy to skim
Use clear headers, sub-headers and bullet points to break the content up. Consider creating topic sections that you repeat every week. Make it easy for people to skim, and they will appreciate you for it!
Don’t try to go into great detail in your email. Write a summary and then link to a blog or website article if people need more information. Include the pertinent details but don’t go on and on about a topic.
Consider asking for user-generated content
Everyone wants to be noticed. User-generated content can help you engage your audience. Ask for input from readers – such as photos or comments.
Try to have fun, take chances, and be entertaining when you can. Hey, we all love a good chuckle now and again!
Keep design and copy minimal
Keep the layout clean and basic. Bucket content into sections to make it easy to read. White space is key in email newsletters because it helps to visually alleviate the cluttered feel. And, when read on mobile devices, white space helps make it easier for people to click the right link.
Test, test, test
To find out what your subscribers want to read, test different aspects of your newsletter to determine what gets the best analytics. You can try:
- Different types of subject lines (short, funny, long, etc.)
- CTA copy and design
- No images
- Sender name (as opposed to the name of your school)
- Emojis in your subject lines
When it comes to designing and writing email newsletters, be sure to follow best practices. But also remember to optimize your emails to gain engagement, shares, and click-throughs. After all, it is estimated that, by 2021, over 316 billion emails will be sent every day – and there will be 4.1 billion email subscribers. Follow these tips to improve the open rate of your email newsletters and send emails your subscribers will LOVE to read.
What tips have worked for sending successful email newsletters for your school? Let’s help each other by sharing with the rest of the school marketing community below!