What universities should look for in an email platform

March 28, 2017 McKenzie Gregory

 
 
Email is a vital channel for admissions, fundraising, ticket sales, departmental news, student life — you name it. But all that email can sometimes lead to an overly complicated program, communications overlap, and a lack of branding and quality control.
 
That’s why it’s crucial for university marketers to keep a few specific considerations in mind while choosing an email platform. 
 
We'll be real with you: Over 800 universities choose Emma because our product helps them stay organized and get more done – and yes, we DO offer all these features. But we also know there are a lot of other great options out there, and we’re not the perfect fit for everyone.
 
So regardless of who you end up choosing, here are some things you’ll want to look for while shopping around to ensure your email platform is the best option for your school, campus-wide. 
 
 

 

ADMISSIONS

Whether it’s recruiting new students, communicating key application deadlines, or sharing exciting acceptance news, admissions professionals face several challenges in their day-to-day work. Here are the features you'll need to tackle them: 
 
1. Keep wait-listers separate from accepted first-years. Avoid headaches from clunky CRM’s. Great list segmentation tools will help you target the right group with the right message at the right time.
 
2. Automate the best mailing for each step of the process. An intuitive and flexible automation interface makes it super easy to create, organize, and schedule your emails ahead of time to keep applicants informed from submission to acceptance. 
 
3. Show why your school is their first choice. Gorgeous, customizable templates will help your school always have its best foot forward. Bonus points if they’re all mobile-optimized, so your emails will look great on any device – especially since chances are good that your prospective students live on their phones!
 
 

 

ATHLETICS

Connecting with alumni, building relationships with boosters and fans, sharing news of the latest big win... the work of an athletics professional is never done. If your role falls in this realm, keep an eye out for these features in your email platform: 
 
1. Manage all teams under one "Athletics Department" umbrella. A tiered account structure allows you to create sub-accounts for each team and manage campaigns, staff access, and invoicing from one central dashboard. Lock down creative assets to maintain a consistent brand experience for all teams, or open them up to allow more design flexibility.
 
2. Keep your fans informed (and sell more tickets). With so many overlaps in seasons, it can get hectic organizing communications for all of your teams at once. Automation makes it super easy to create, organize, and schedule your emails so your fans get the right message at just the right time during the season.
 
3. Monitor your results on the go. A mobile app is a must-have for athletics professionals. Whether you're at your desk or in the stands, keep track of how your latest mailings are performing and adjust your strategy from there. 
 
 

 

ALUMNI

Effectively communicating with alumni and donors is no small task. Whether you're promoting the next reunion or working to reach fundraising goals, development professionals should look for the ability to: 

1. Segment by graduation date, donation history and more. Regular donors shouldn't get the same sort of messaging as people who have never given to your school. The best fundraising relies on the kind of relevant, targeted messaging you get from effective list segmentation. 
 
2. Rally your donors and boost fundraising. Create, organize, and schedule more personalized messages for each phase of the development process. Then, track the actual dollars raised from each email campaign with powerful integrations
 
3. Help alumni feel like they never left. Bring back all the warm-and-fuzzy memories your alumni have from their college days with consistent branding and compelling campus imagery. Find a platform that allows you to share these creative assets across the board. 
 
 

 

Excuse us while we toot our own horn for a second, but here are a few more benefits that come with our University Edition: 

A tiered account structure. Unite your schools and departments when it makes sense. Separate them when it doesn’t.
 
Central admin. See what emails are working university-wide from our University Dashboard, or drill in to individual accounts with ease.
 
The right pricing for you. Manage billing at the university level, or let Emma bill each department individually. Emma works how you work.
 
Want to take it for a test drive? Just get in touch to schedule a live demo of our University Edition!

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a content writer on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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