6 Ways to Create Effective Student Emails

6 Ways to Create Effective Student Emails

Nicholas Burrell

Crafting student email communications is a common practice in our profession, however it can be quite challenging. How can you condense complex regulations into something digestible for students? How do you craft an email short enough to maintain the student’s attention? How do you get students to open your communications in the first place?

Here are 6 tips and strategies for fine-tuning your student emails:

  1. Maximize Your Subject Line

    Create a call to action in your subject line, or lead the student to inquire further by clicking on the email.
    For example: “You can do it! Get into good standing for financial aid”
    or “Your student loan money is here! Do you know what’s next?”

  2. Send Less Email

    Find ways to combine certain communications to lower the total number of emails you send. If students are bombarded with what they believe is too many emails, they are less likely to open your messages. Utilizing a communication calendar to plan out your messages and ensure sufficient spacing between emails can be extremely helpful.

  3. Use Lists or Bullets

    Lists or bullets can help you keep each statement brief and understandable.

  4. Limit the Number of Hyperlinks

    This may seem counterintuitive, but the more links you provide in emails, the less likely students are to click on any link. Direct students to one specific link and make it prominent so they will be encouraged to go one step further.

  5. Use Visuals

    Adding images to your emails provides an engaging experience for students and is a great way to disseminate a large amount of information. The Department of Education created free infographics available for all schools to use. For example, here’s the department’s infographic on The FAFSA Process.

  6. Provide Encouragement

    Use encouraging language to prompt students to take action and to let them know they are not alone in the process.

Nicholas Burrell
Director, FATV Content Library
CAFAA Service Organization Representative