Step 1: Set Goals
What do you want to achieve by sending out this email? What is its overall purpose? What are your specific, measurable goals? What does success look like?
Here are some typical goals for higher-education emails:
- Influence/improve perceptions of your university/school/dept. Demonstrate the value of the school.
- Raise awareness about a current effort, change, or issue that requires action on the part of the reader or may affect public perceptions.
- Increase alumni memberships and interaction.
- Increase corporate investment and partnerships.
- Increase commercialization of research discoveries.
- Increase donations.
- Increase event registrations.
Step 2: How to Measure Success
Your goal-setting process is not complete until you determine what success looks like for your email. That means setting benchmarks for your goals. For example, if you want to use the email to help increase event registrations, what percentage increase would be considered a success? You can also choose to use the analytics of the email that can be found in the response section of Emma as a way to determine the success of your email. What was the open rate or unique click rate?
Step 3: Determine Your Audience
What is the scope of your audience? Is it narrowly focused on a particular segment, such as engineer alums? Or does it address a wide range of readers, such as donors, alumni, faculty, and students?
Step 4: Determine the Frequency
How often do you plan to send out your email or e-newsletter? Here are the factors to consider when making your decision:
- Timeliness: Will your content be news-driven and/or deadline- driven (registration deadlines, etc.)? If your news has a longer shelf-life, emails less often should be considered.
- Other communications this audience is already receiving: Are there other ways you are contacting this same audience? Are they getting other emails over the course of the month or year from other constituents on campus, such as the university, the Alumni Association, etc?
- Resources: Before you commit to a frequency, whether it’s daily or biannually, make sure you have enough time and people to keep your promise. Consistency of contact helps you earn the trust of your readers.
Step 5: Choose the Email Distributor you are Using
If your email will primarily go to an external audience, Marketing and Communications strongly encourages those sending emails from campus to use Emma. Getting as many departments as possible to use the same e-mail marketing and distribution system will save the LMU money, and doing so will provide benefits to the departments themselves: namely, its proven ability to deliver large volumes of e-mail efficiently and successfully and provide useful performance data.
Please contact us if you need training and/or access to Emma.
Step 6: Schedule Your Email
Please take a look at the campus’ master email calendar in Outlook to see what days are available around the time you would like to send your email. When you choose your date, please add your email to the master calendar so others can see when you are mailing. The purpose of this calendar is to avoid bombarding our audiences with emails which could then lead to them unsubscribing from any emails from the university. In the calendar, add a note indicating which audiences you are sending to, and do not send emails to the same audiences around the same date, if possible. No emails can be blasted on the same day that LMU(update) is scheduled to go out. Please contact us for help accessing the master calendar if you don’t already have access.
If you are mailing to recipients in the Advance Database, please note that you must request recipients from Data Services at least 10 days before your mailing date. You can access the request form here.
Step 1: Select the Email Template
There are a number of email and newsletter templates already available for use in Emma. Template customizations are available, but may take extra time and would possibly need to be created at the cost of your office. If you are in need of a custom template, please contact us.
Step 2: Gather the Email Contents
The contents will include an email header, copy, images and possibly a registration page if the email is an event invitation. Along with the contents needed to create the email, you will also need to create the web pages that the links of your email will point to if they do not already exist. If you do not already have an email header to use, please contact us so we can create one for you. Make sure all images are sized to the correct sizes before uploading them to be used in the email.
Step 3: Create the Email
We suggest using the custom LMU templates already populated in Emma.
Once you have begin your mailing, add the assets you have collected to your email and link to all the proper web pages or registration pages.
Please note that all emails should be coming from an lmu.edu email address. If the email is an invitation to an event on campus, make sure the directions instruct the visitors to enter campus from LMU Drive off of Lincoln Blvd and not using the Loyola gate.
Step 4: Review the Email
Preview the email. Make sure you view the email in multiple email clients to ensure proper formatting. Check and double check all of the included links of your email to make sure they are directed to the proper pages.
Once you have made any requested edits, make sure to run the email through a thorough review another time.
Step 5: Schedule the Email
Decide the proper timing for your email to go out and schedule it for that time. Blast off!
Measure Email Success
Step 1: Review the Email Analytics
The response tab in Emma gives you the capabilities to track the analytics of the emails that you send out. These numbers are an important tool that you can use to see just how effective your email communications are.
The following is a quick definition of terms and what they can tell you about your campaign.
- Dates/Times – Emma keeps records of all email messages that are sent, and you can analyze when and what time they were sent and the resulting success of the email.
- Sent – The number of contacts your email is sent to. Used to calculate the percentage of recipients who opened the email.
- Bounces – The number of emails that were not successfully delivered and an indicator of the health of your subscriber list. Soft bounces occur when an email address is valid, but the message was not delivered (servers down, recipient inbox full, etc.). Hard bounces occur when an address is non-existent or invalid. Too many bounces can damage sender reputation, and unusually high numbers should be addressed immediately.
- Unsubscribes– The number of people who choose to not receive any further communication from your department; they “opt out” of the email list. If your opt-out number becomes a significant percentage of your list, you may need to re-evaluate your campaign in terms of content and frequency. For larger audiences, opt outs should be less than 1 percent.
- Opens – A measure of how many people open or view a particular email campaign. In higher education, a good open rate by industry standards is anywhere between 19 and 24 percent.
- Clicks – The number of people who click on links you include in your email communication. The higher the number of clicks, the more engaged people are in the content you are offering them.
- Unique clicks – A unique click is a click from a single computer. If your clicks are the same number as your unique clicks, then there was only one click from each person that viewed your email.
- Forwards – The number of times that recipients are forwarding your email to someone else using the ‘official’ Forward button (in other words, hitting “Fwd” in Outlook does not count). Indicates a high level of engagement and the desire to share your communication with others who they believe will also value the message.
Step 2: Review the Email Analytics
Did your email meet your previously set goals or definition of success? If yes, wonderful. If not, where did the email fall short? What are some reasons you think may have effected the success rate of the email?
It is good to track the analytics of your emails so you can look back and see if there are any trends that may be causing the successes or failures of your emails, such as content, audience, timing, calls to action and more. What can be done the same or different in future emails so you can get the most out of your efforts?