Prospective students, students, and other friends and members of the UWM community are inundated with marketing emails. To cut through the clutter and grab their attention, we must provide compelling content with a memorable, distinctive and consistent brand identity. Take time to consider all the components of your email to make it a meaningful message.
Decide where to place your logo and keep it there. Keeping the location of the logo consistent will help with brand recognition. The header is probably the most effective spot to place your logo because that’s where viewers look first.
The from line is critical because it is the first thing a person looks at when deciding whether to read an email. The name in the from line needs to be a known and trusted source. If the receiver recognizes the name, they are less likely to the delete email without opening it. The name in the from line could be a company or brand name that people recognize immediately. If you know the recipients personally, you can use your name in the from line as well.
Using a generic company name in the “from line” of an email to students is ineffective. Students receive multiple emails from their schools each day and often send them right to the trash. Instead, use a person’s name in the “from line” to personalize it. This increases its importance in the students’ eyes and makes them more likely to at least skim over the email’s content.
The subject line is as important as the content of the email. The subject line is what draws the reader in and makes them want to dive deeper into the information presented. A bland or generic subject will cause people to skip over the email in their inbox and move to something more relevant to them.
The header is the first thing a viewer sees once the email is opened and determines whether they will examine the content further. Eye-catching images and illustrations are effective ways to attract viewers. But don’t overdo the graphics because you don’t want your message to be mistaken for spam.
Email content needs to be significant and relevant to the recipients. Think about what the audience wants and not what you want. That means keeping the text brief but enticing, with information that is simple and straight to the point. Before you go live with the email, read it to yourself in its entirety. If you get bored or impatient while reading the content, everyone else who reads it will as well.
It is also very important that the marketing campaign reflects your brand identity. This way, recipients can make a connection between what they’re reading and who it’s coming from very easily. It’s also a matter of trust. If the receiver doesn’t recognize who the email is coming from, they are unlikely to look further.
When creating content, avoid:
- using words like “Click Here”, “Buy Now” and “Free.”
- using multiple exclamation marks in one sentence.
- writing in all caps.
- coding your font in bright red, blue or green.
- sending one large image with little or no text.
Experiment with link placement in newsletters. The location of a link an be crucial for clicks and the overall success of the campaign. While experimenting with link placement, monitor the click-through rate closely to determine which position works best.
Remember to use buttons when possible. They are easier to remember, shorter and look nicer.
When writing a link, try condensing statements like “To read more about the article, click here,” to “Read more about the article.”
Physical Mailing Address
A physical mailing address is required on all email marketing messages. It is best placed in the footer at the bottom of the email.
Guidelines for Emailing Students
We want to be respectful of students’ time. Many have expressed concern about the volume of email they receive. With that in mind, MarComm’s internal communications manager will review all messages to be sent to all employees or all students to ensure they meet the following criteria:
- The topic should be of interest to all students.
- The topic should be something that impacts their success as students or their ability to do their jobs.
- Marketing emails that promote a specific program or event are not appropriate.
In addition, the provost has determined that departments, programs and colleges may communicate only with students enrolled in the program with which the sender is affiliated. For example, a department may email its majors, and a college can email its own students.
Departments, programs and colleges may communicate with unaffiliated students only with the written permission of the dean of the college with which those students are affiliated. The dean should consider the purpose of the email and balance whether anticipated student interest in its content outweighs concerns about overall student email volume. Communications directed to students enrolled in multiple schools and colleges must be approved by the provost in consultation with the deans.
All communication with prospective (not yet enrolled) students must be managed through UWM’s customer relationship management tool. Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions if you have questions about this.
Custom Templates & Designed Emails
If you would like a custom template or a designed email, please fill out our project intake form.
We recommend that you set up an email signature in Office 365 that includes the following elements:
[school, college or division]
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
[building name], Room XXX
Cell: XXX-XXX-XXXX (optional unless you have no office phone)
uwm.edu [or your school/college/department page]
Although email signatures can be a valuable branding tool, we discourage the use of graphics, including logos, in them. Graphics render inconsistently across email clients (e.g., Outlook, Gmail, Apple Mail) and devices (desktop, mobile). This inconsistency can result in an unprofessional appearance for email communications.