Make the Most of Alumni Messaging: Email Best Practices

Amanda Kohn by on Jul 12, 2017

In our recent Email Best Practices: Let’s Connect! brief, Corporate Insight reviews several hundred emails from colleges and universities and examines current best practices in alumni email outreach, highlighting those schools and marketing messages that stand out in alums’ ever-filling inboxes. Here, we highlight key findings on email design as well as spotlight Davidson College, a leader in the report.

Davidson College’s Save the Date email excels for its simple Road Trip to Exit 30 theme that seeks to appeal to alumni by reminding them of the school’s location on the interstate. Two graphics within the body add to the road trip theme, and the email’s text is direct, well placed and easy to read. Davidson and its supporters even posted status updates, photos and tweets with the event hashtag #TakeExit30. Unlike many of the emails we surveyed, the entire email can be read at a glance with no scrolling. The subject line—Homecoming 2015 Save the Date—effectively describes the email content while adhering to title-length best practices guidelines. The From line of the email clearly identifies Davidson’s Office of Alumni Relations as the sender. Moreover, the email highlights some of the homecoming events that alumni can expect during the weekend.

While this is simply a save the date, not an email promoting registration, where we would expect more comprehensive linkage, the email nevertheless lacks any links to pages where readers can gain more information, and it fails to provide a call to action or any text identifying how they can contact the school for more details. When promoting such events for out-of-town guests, it is also a best practice to include links for local hotel reservations or travel websites for flight bookings.

Davidson Save the Date Email

To learn more about alumni email best practices, please see our recent report, Email Best Practices: Let’s Connect!

About The Author

Amanda Kohn

Amanda is a Senior Research Associate for Alumni Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more