How to Send Emails Students Will Actually Read

Email being deleted.

What happens to the emails your office sends to college students? Maybe they get lost in cyberspace. Maybe they are erased by your college’s rival mascot. Maybe students actually read them and respond in a timely manner. But likely, students simply ignore them or delete them.

While most college and university administrators rely on email to communicate with colleagues and even to govern their day-to-day schedules, most students do not. Rather than checking email several times per day and responding to emails quickly, most students rely on text messages and social media as their primary methods of communication. Still, in some cases, email is the best way to communicate financial information to students.

Before sending an email, consider these four items to increase the chance that students will read it and take necessary action:


How many emails has the student received from your office this week? This month? If it’s more than a few, and particularly if the student has not responded to those emails, consider contacting him or her in a different way.


Is the email more than two or three paragraphs? If so, it’s probably too long. Students are accustomed to communicating in 140-character tweets, so brevity is important. If they may need further information, include several methods of contacting your office.


Make sure you are sending emails only to those who need to receive those particular messages. Use the subject line to draw attention and communicate what’s important about the message. Keywords such as “financial aid,” “scholarship,” and “your financial account” may help build greater open rates.


Try to make sure each email is focused on just one topic rather than addressing several ideas — those who aren’t interested in the information at the beginning won’t keep reading to get the information at the end, which may be pertinent to them. Get to the point quickly.


Learn more about how to craft emails students will read and how to better communicate with students about financial issues in the newly posted eBook, Communicating Financial Information on Campus:Eight Best Practices to Build More Financially Literate, Money-Wise Students.

Free eBook - Eight Best Practices to Build More Financially Literate, Money-Wise Students.

8 best practices TMS eBookLearn about eight best practices that are allowing colleges and universities to successfully communicate with students to help them stay in school, manage their debt and finances while on campus, and leave college financially literate and prepared to manage their money well.


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