Over the years, Capture Higher Ed has created hundreds of thousands of emails sent to high school students and their families on behalf of our client institutions. We’ve learned a lot about best practices along the way. Here are six things to keep in mind as you create your enrollment marketing emails.
1. Know your audience.
Emails should be written using language that will resonate best with your audience. When Capture prepares emails for high school students, we are sure to make the content fun and light. For example, we use contractions such as “we’ll” rather than “we will” so that our emails sound less formal and more conversational.
2. Keep it short.
Readers don’t want to comb through a long email. Keep your message to the point and make every sentence count. Leave out fluffy language and focus on including specific information that will help your reader the most.
3. Make the call to action clear.
Email readers shouldn’t have to wonder what action you want them to take. That’s why Capture’s emails typically begin with a hero unit at the top. The hero unit is made up of a short headline and sub-headline that convey the main message of the email, and a button that links to the website we want students to visit. Capture also includes this website link at the end of the email so students are exposed to it twice.
4. Be consistent.
Be consistent with your language, tone and facts within one email and from one email to the next. Here’s an example: One of Capture’s clients offers a Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program, so we make sure we refer to the program using the same exact name each time to establish trust and confidence in our readers.
An email is most effective when readers believe it was written specifically for them. Capture personalizes emails by using a student’s first name in the subject line and within the body of the email. We also work to create emails for specific groups of students so that we can write targeted language. For example, for one of our partner institutions, we send emails to students who live far away from campus, so the emails are about why a student might want to attend school far from home.
6. (Most Importantly!) Be Highly Relevant.
Let your recipients’ behaviors inform your email marketing messaging and pathways. For example, Capture’s Behavioral Email Series (BES) has seen a 35% click-to-open rate — nearly double the industry benchmark — because the emails are sent to interested prospective students, when they are interested. BES features daily dashboard analytics, a 99.7% deliverability rate, and a healthy reputation among ISPs.
Jacqui Weishaar, Director of Client Success, Capture Higher Ed