There are various ways that your university can leave a lasting first impression on incoming students. A great example is orientation day/week. This event typically starts a few weeks before the academic year begins. It is an effective way to get students to meet their classmates and teachers, tour the campus, and experience a small glimpse of the next four years. Undoubtedly, this is an important step in getting students excited and engaged. But what if there was a way to emulate this excitement far before orientation?
The onboarding process for a student is crucial in how they will feel coming into your university. How you handle the onboarding process determines how safe and secure a student feels about their decision and their willingness to engage in university activities such as clubs, volunteering, and even their classes.
Most universities miss that student onboarding begins the moment they decide to attend their institution. So, how can you create a student onboarding experience that gets them excited from Decision Day and beyond?
Student Onboarding Emails
An affordable and effective way to create an impactful student onboarding experience is through emails.
An impactful onboarding email is a great way to welcome students to college and communicate important information that prepares them for success and excites them about the journey ahead. Frequent and resourceful communication allows students to feel sure about their decision, which supports student retention and engagement rates.
Beefree makes creating on-brand email sequences easier for higher education marketers by providing optimized and mobile-friendly email templates.
But, before digging into your email’s design, let’s discuss the best way to get started with a student onboarding college newsletter.
Before designing, establish your goal.
The first step to creating email communication is to identify who the audience is and what information they need. Next, consider your goals for communication in the example of a college student onboarding email. When thinking about goals, also think about the types of content that would help you achieve them.
- Student Orientation - provide helpful campus information like facility hours, building policies, and available student resources.
- Engagement - build community by sharing information about upcoming activities or social events.
- Retention - ensure students have a great start to the year by sharing tips for success in the classroom and how to make new connections.
What goals does your email marketing team have? Strategizing them and listing them out can keep everyone on track for building a successful student onboarding college newsletter.
Let’s get to design.
Start from scratch or use an email template.
Beefree makes email communications a breeze for higher education email marketers.
Choose an existing template or create a new one from scratch. There are pros to both!
Beefree templates are professionally designed with your audience in mind and optimized for conversion. By starting with an existing template, you don’t have to worry about identifying which sections your audience needs, which layout, or where to add images and personalization. Simply drag and drop your unique content into the template and change style guidelines to ensure you stay cohesive with your university’s brand identity.
If you’re going the template route, start here: Higher Education Template Collection.
By “starting from scratch,” the possibilities are endless. Beefree gives you the unlimited design freedom to create fully customized email experiences by adding brand images, campaign videos, gifs, and more.
Email Design Best Practices for Using Beefree
Beefree allows anyone to design emails with ease, regardless of experience. Our intuitive builder is easy-to-use and requires minimal time to get the hang of it. Here are a few features that will allow you to get the most out of Beefree.
- Style settings - Whether you’re starting from scratch or using a template, start by setting your style guidelines into Beefree. Add your universities color palette, font systems, buttons, icons, and even select your desired width for emails and pages to get an easy start to design.
- Image library: Upload and keep your universities campus, faculty, and event images in one place so that everyone can access them easily when creating future emails or landing pages.
- Saved rows: Once you’ve built your repetitive content blocks, such as footers and headers, save them and reuse them for next time!
- Synced rows: Great for saved rows that need to be regularly updated, such as menu bars, social links, and terms and conditions. All changes made to a “synced row” will auto-populate in all other templates where that row lives, saving you time and minimizing errors.
Double Check Everything on Mobile Design Mode
Okay! So you’ve customized your email or template to your liking and saved your rows for next time. Now it’s time to test it on mobile.
85% of people open emails using their smartphones; therefore, it’s crucial that all emails are built with mobile in mind.
Beefree offers Mobile Design Mode to help you visualize exactly how your content will be shown on mobile.
A PRO tip is to toggle between desktop and mobile while designing to save time and make changes as you go
With Beefree, any changes to the below elements will only be applied to mobile mode for an optimized mobile experience:
- Button widths
- Spacer heights
- Text sizes
- Reconfiguring of elements
- Hiding elements
The best part about using Beefree for designing mobile-friendly emails is that there is absolutely no coding required.
Collaborate with your team.
You’ve completed your email. Now it’s time to get feedback from your team. Simply begin the review process using our “Request for Approval” feature. The flow will then guide you and your team toward a fully on-brand and approved student onboarding newsletter.
This feature is available for Enterprise customers only, but Free and Team plans can still enjoy seamless collaboration by:
- Using “Send Test” to send your email designs to team members and request feedback.
- Provide comments within the email builder.
- Customize user and permission settings to let team members edit content (or not).
Engaging your whole marketing team to create a memorable student onboarding experience has never been easier.
From an Email to a Landing Page, Easy.
Once you have your email designs done and approved, it’s time to create additional assets that allow you to create a cohesive onboarding experience. Landing pages are a great way to expand the information included in your emails and further create an impactful onboarding experience for incoming students.
With Beefree, you can convert any email into a one-page landing page with just one click. From there, you can easily adjust the layout, content, and CTAs.
Start Designing Your Student Onboarding Emails With Beefree
The best part? It's free to get started.Create student onboarding email sequences, orientation day invitations, course reminders, and so much more. Sign up now!