You have an emailing platform and you’re ready to start sending mass emails to help grow your student enrollment — but not sure how to write the message? Start with these five tips to help get you on your way.

Create a catchy subject line.

Want to make sure your message is opened? Create a sense of urgency, get your reader excited, and keep it simple — the less words, the better! According to Yes Lifecycle Marketing, subject lines with less than 21 characters generated a 31% higher-than-average email open rate.

Build your list of opted-in subscribers.

You can build your list from families who have filled out an information request or application on your website.

You never want to send an email to anyone who hasn’t given permission to do so in the first place. If you do it will:

  • Harm the credibility of your school’s sender domain (i.e.,
  • Reduce your chances of recruiting that family.
  • Hurt your server’s reputation, meaning your emails could be automatically directed into junk folders, instead of interested families seeing your messages in their inbox.
  • Violate the government’s CAN-SPAM Act and open your school up to large fines.

Where’s your call-to-action?

Finding the perfect spot to insert the call-to-action (CTA) in your email can be pretty crucial to getting higher email open rates.

You want the CTA to be at immediate eye level view once the email is opened and easily visible if the recipient is viewing the email on a mobile phone. Label the CTA with excitement to get them to click and act now (i.e., “Find out more!”). Communicate the sense of urgency to take action before even scrolling through the rest of the email (i.e., “Don’t lose your spot”).

Depending on the length of your content, it may be a good idea to place a second CTA towards the end of the message as well. That way, the viewer won’t have to scroll back to the top to click.

Personalization is key.

If it’s possible to customize the subject line to a segmented group, then do so! The same goes for in the body of the message: add merge fields to personalize the greeting, add content that pertains to their interests, and explain why your school is the best choice they can make for their future! Make them feel like you already know who they are and keep them interested.

On a side note, keep the branding consistent within each mass email that is sent. There may be a chance that the same prospective family will receive a few different email messages, depending on how they are segmented. Keep colors, fonts, logos, etc., all consistent so the institution is easily recognizable and familiar.

Test! Test! Test!

ALWAYS test emails before they go out!

  • Make sure the email is formatted correctly on all devices — either by using an email testing platform like Email on Acid, Litmus, or manually sending a test to your Gmail and Outlook accounts, and checking how it looks on your phone, tablet, and desktop.
  • Check for spelling errors and make sure merge fields work correctly.
  • Each audience is different, so it’s best to test and see what works best for your email recipients. Create two versions of the email with different subject lines or move the call-to-action around to see which version has better click rates. You can even try reducing the amount of images or text in the body of the email. Compare the click rates of both emails and see which one worked better for your end goal numbers. These A/B tests can offer valuable data to help you refine your email marketing strategy.

Email marketing is growing more each day. Try these best practices tips to get started and rock your recruitment emails!