Monthly Archives

August 2020

NEW: Email Templates for Schools and Universities

By Mail Designer 365 Blog

Summer is drawing to a close and for many, this signals the return to school or university. Especially in the education sector, strong communication is important the whole year round.

To help you build up an effective email strategy for your institution, we've added four brand new Design Ideas for education to the Design Chooser. Start editing them today!

Mail Designer 365 email templates for education Read More

How to optimize your back to school communication

How to Use Email to Optimize Your Back to School Communication During the Coronavirus

By Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy

Back to School season is upon us again and many of you will be working through your last minute preparation. With the outbreak of the COVID-19, schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions around the world are facing even more challenges this year.

Whether you plan to fully or partially reopen in September, or to remain closed, you'll need to share the message with your students. Email is a great tool for you to quickly and easily communicate important information to students, staff, parents, school board members, and any other interested parties.

Below, you'll find useful tips on best practice for communicating an urgent message, what to include in your back to school emails, and how to build and send your email announcement to your email list.

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Sending Back to School Emails during the Coronavirus

Use familiar branding elements

During times of uncertainty and while making an important announcement, it is always good for your recipient to have a sense of familiarity when they open your email.

Although it may seem easier to write a quick plain text email, sending a HTML email allows you to incorporate familiar branding elements such as your institution's logo or badge, your font choice, color scheme and other important formatting aspects.

This makes your email message much more powerful and allows it to resonate more with the reader.

Plain text email announcement for schools and universities HTML email announcement for schools and universities

Format text sensibly

Many schools and universities that are opening their doors again will have introduced a range of new safety measures. Your email is the best place to communicate these to students, staff or parents.

Opt for a list layout to present the most important changes to readers. This way, you can be certain that nothing important gets overlooked by people skim reading the text.

Using a list layout in a back to school email

A list layout is a good way to clearly present large amounts of information.

Tip: Mail Designer 365 offers you various list styles that you can use in your designs to highlight key information.

Choosing appropriate styling options for your text is also essential in ensuring it is clear and easy to follow. After choosing a sensible font, you can also format the size, weight, line height and spacing of your text to optimize the reading experience.

For example, italicising or making certain words or phrases bold can be an effective way to emphasise their importance:

Using text formatting in an email design for back to school announcements

The bold and underlined emphasis on these headlines make them clearer and more effective in the email.

Link out to further information and resources

Rather than allowing your email to become too saturated with information, it's much more effective to link out to extra resources.

You've introduced a new set of rules for your sports teams? Instead of listing them alongside your core guidelines, you can link out to them on a separate page or document so that they don't take up too much space in your email and distract from the core message.

Doing this makes your email much easier to read and allows recipients to actively click on the story or news they want to know more about.

How to link out:

As well as regular text links, Mail Designer 365 also allows you to create stylish buttons and eye-catchers. You can use these to signpost further information in your emails:

Creating a button in an email design for schools and universities

A button linking to further resources looks much better in your design than masses of information.

All you need to do is select a shape from the contents library, apply a color of your choice and use text objects to point readers in the right direction. When you are done, apply a link to the entire image area to your preferred landing page.

Learn more about creating buttons and eye-catchers.

Optimize your design for mobile

It's a well known fact that many of us regularly use our phones to check emails on the go. The same goes for your students, staff and other recipients.

In order to ensure your email is also clear and effective on smartphones and tablets, we recommended that you optimize your design for mobile.

Mail Designer 365 automatically creates a mobile version of your design which you can then adapt to make more suitable for smaller screens. This includes creating separate text styles for mobile and using mobile blocks to create exclusive, mobile-only content like app download links:

Creating a mobile optimized back to school email

Optimizing your emails for mobile devices allows you to also create exclusive mobile-only content.

Create Back to School Emails in Mail Designer 365

We hope these tips will help you when putting together an email announcement for your school, college or university this fall.

If you're considering building up an email strategy for your institution this year, Mail Designer 365 has all the resources you need to get started, including dedicated email templates for education:

Mail Designer 365 email templates for education

Don't have a Mail Designer 365 plan yet? Download the app free today to discover the email templates as well as a wide range of design tools to help you get started with email for education.

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Email marketing for schools and universities

Best Practices for Email Marketing for Schools and Universities

By Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy

Email is a flexible communication channel with a huge range of possibilities, including for schools and universities. Getting started with email marketing is a guaranteed way to help your institution connect with your chosen audience.

Sending out internal updates, contacting recent graduates and promoting your institution to new recruits are just a few of the ways you can use email to your advantage.

In this guide, we're taking you through all the ins and outs of successfully creating an email strategy for your educational institution.

Why use email marketing for education?

As well as having the potential to save your institution thousands on printing costs each year, email is a modern and easy to implement way to optimize your communication strategy.

In a world where students (and many teachers!) are constantly checking their smartphones and tablets, email provides a direct channel straight to them which you can utilise to share important messages and news.

What can I do with email for my school, college or university?

When we think of email marketing, it's easy to automatically think of flashy sales and e-commerce emails. In reality, email has the potential to be a highly effective way of providing your target audience (e.g. teaching staff, current students, alumni or new recruits) with essential information.

Here are just some great ideas of how you can use email to promote your institution and improve both internal and external communication.


Most schools and colleges are already familiar with the concept of sending out a regular newsletter or magazine to staff, students, parents, governors, etc.

Switching your institution over to email newsletters allows you to continue sharing all your latest news and updates, whilst saving money on printing costs and helping out the environment.

Email newsletter for schools or universitiesStudent orientation

Whether it's the start of the school year, or you're welcoming a new cohort of exchange students, your student body needs to feel at home right away.

Greet new students with an information-packed orientation email. This way, they'll be able to find everything they need in one place.

Student orientation email for colleges and universities

Feedback emails

Valuable feedback is an important asset for any educational institution. Getting feedback from students gives you an insight into how they're feeling about their course and what you can do to improve things.

Say goodbye to printed out feedback slips and create a quick and anonymous email questionnaire by linking a Google Form or similar online survey inside your email design. This is an effective way to quickly find out more about your students.

Feedback email for teachers and lecturers.Promotional emails

As well as keeping current students informed on the latest news, you can use email as a way to attract prospective new students to your school or university.

Use email to advertise an upcoming open day, present course options, or showcase your latest research findings. These are all great ways to make your institution stand out against competitors.

Open day email invitation for universities and collegesAlumni outreach

Many schools and universities run successful alumni programs to keep in touch with former students. This is a great way to improve your school's image through testimonials and success stories.

Although some institutions opt to send out letters, this is not a reliable form of contact, especially as young graduates tend to move around a lot. Checking in on former students via a friendly email is the best way to maintain a connection and share your message.

Alumni outreach email for universities and schools

Creating emails for education: Best practice

With a drag & drop email editor like Mail Designer 365, you can build professional email templates for your school or university in minutes. Start with a blank canvas or choose a Design Idea from our selection of email templates for education.

Here are a few key things you should consider along the way...


Every email you send on behalf of your institution should conform to your brand guidelines. Not only does this make it easier for recipients to recognise that the email has come from you, it also helps you to protect your reputation.

Start by inserting the logo or crest for your school in a prominent place in your design. Usually, this would be the email header. You should also keep other aspects such as the font family and color scheme consistent at all times.

Tip: In Mail Designer 365, you can save your logo header under "My saved blocks" to reuse in all future email designs.

University logo in an email designLayout

Especially when you are presenting large amounts of information to your readers, it's important to opt for a clear layout. There's nothing worse than trying to navigate your way through a cramped email to locate what you're looking for.

Be sure to use a healthy balance of text and images and use spacers and headlines to separate different sections of your email.

Tip: Mail Designer 365 offers you a wide range of layout options, including mobile-responsive table layouts, which you can use to clearly present important information.

Email with table layout for universities and collegesTone & Style

When putting together your emails, it's also best practice to consider your target group. This will help you determine the tone you use in your email copy, as well as other important style elements, such as graphics and eye-catchers.

If you are creating email content for a younger audience (i.e. high-schoolers or college students) it's generally fine to use a more relaxed tone and even shake things up visually, e.g. with GIFs, memes, emojis, etc.

On the other hand, if the email is intended for a different audience (i.e. parents, governors, etc.), or you are sharing important information, it's best to keep the tone more formal and to refrain from any style elements which may distract from your key message.

Fun email newsletter for studentsCall to action

Including a call to action (CTA) in your email helps point the recipient towards their next steps. This does not have to be sales-related! Here are a few examples of CTA links you can include in your institution's emails:

  • Sign up for a class/activity/field trip/extra tuition
  • Get tickets for an event/football game/prom
  • Download an eBook/guide/worksheet/timetable
  • Watch a video lecture/webinar
  • Share your class feedback
  • Follow us on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/etc...

Whatever you opt for, you should ensure your CTA stands out well against the rest of your email and that the text is clear and concise.

Call to action button in a university emailGet started with email marketing

We hope you’ve found this email guide for schools and universities useful and will consider applying some of these tips to your own email strategy. Getting started with email marketing for your institution is easy and affordable:

  1. Open the Mail Designer 365 app (Don’t have a Mail Designer 365 plan yet? Get your free trial here!)
  2. Use one of our dedicated email templates for education, or create your own design from scratch.
  3. Send finished designs directly via the app from your institution's email account, or export to your ESP to send to a larger list

Until next time,

Your Mail Designer 365 Team

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