If you have a good mailing list and you need to get your message out, email marketing is a cheap, effective way to go. It includes analytics that allow you to track your responses exactly. The disadvantage: Your email has to be instantly compelling or it’ll go direct to the spam folder.
Here’s how to create an email that people will actually read:
- Choose your weapon. Pick an email marketing tool with powerful drag and drop design features and easy-to-use analytics. A number of campus units use MailChimp or Constant Contact.
- Focus. Reduce the randomness of your email newsletter by keeping it to one very specific topic.
- Cut to the chase. Make your message balanced, with 90% information and 10% promotion. Stick to what, when, where, how and (briefly) why. Skip the flowery language about how great your event or initiative will be.
- Come up with a creative subject line. Make it a clever call to action.
- Edit for brevity. Organize your content before you begin to build your newsletter. Set up a headline and information hierarchy. Choose a template that fits your content.
- Less is more. The minimalist approach goes for design, too. Choose a simple template with that in mind.
- Use arresting photos. Many campus-specific shots are downloadable at gallery.berkeley.edu. Stock photos are another excellent option.
- You don’t have the right image? You can still create a killer email newsletter using one of the recommended marketing tool templates. Without images, great copy and good design become even more critical.
- Make it accessible. Put alt tags on all images and use A.D.A. approved brand colors*. University policy states that all web applications should be accessible to people with disabilities, including email newsletters.
- Fly the Berkeley brand flag. Make sure the Berkeley logo has a prominent place on your email. Check out the banners on this page for inspiration, and contact us if you need advice or help putting together your banner image.
*Use text color options as directed on brand.berkeley.edu.