Tips for Creating and Managing Email Campaigns in OU Campus
by Rich Paul on January 07, 2015
Whether it’s open on your desktop or launched on a mobile device while standing in line at the store, email has become an integral part of everyday life. For any business, including higher education institutions, it is important to utilize email communication as part of a complete outbound marketing strategy. Email is not only extremely accessible, but it builds relationships, is cost-effective, and you can easily measure its effectiveness. So, what’s the best way to create and manage email campaigns?
How about integrated in your web content management system (CMS)? We hear from a lot of colleges and universities that say they struggle to effectively implement their email marketing because marketers have to learn and use multiple non-integrated systems and are not provided with the analytics necessary to adequately illustrate success or failure.
With the Email Campaign Manager module in OmniUpdate's OU Campus™ CMS, your users are empowered to easily create, send, and monitor emails directly within the context of the landing pages and other web-managed content. And, your users will love the integration of these powerful tools.
Learn to Love Snippets
Email Campaign Manager comes with a custom responsive template that adapts to any screen size or device, plus a library of ready-to-use snippets. These snippets are different editable sections that you simply drag and drop from the Snippets Gadget directly into the WYSIWYG Editor to create the body of your email.
Some snippets that are included with implementation are a standard panel (a color-filled region that fills the entire width of the email), two columns with a flexible layout, panel with two columns, and full width button. Once you learn what each snippet does, putting together an email is quick and easy. Need something different? Build your own custom snippets or we can build them for you.
Next, fill your page with all the great content you want to share, including images and text, and then publish. It’s that simple to create a responsive email that works across all browsers.
Make the Most of Your Space
Use the preview button in OU Campus to see what the finished product looks like in full-width or mobile view. Make sure to break up your content by using images and/or videos, shorter paragraphs, or incorporating bullet points.
Got several links that are too close together? Make the links you really want subscribers to take action on into graphical buttons. If you set up workflow, users can be guided to submit the email for approval. Or, test it using the email preview tool in Email Campaign Manager to see how your email looks in 30+ different email clients. This function is similar to OU Campus’ Multi-Browser Preview, but designed for email clients.
Give It a Theme
We’ve built themes into the templates so you can easily change the look and feel of any email campaign. Themes define the header and footer colors, as well as the text headings of each email and the panel and button colors—of course these can also be changed manually in the WYSIWYG Editor. Simply select the desired color and logo to match, and voila! You have an email template just for the Admissions department, important campus announcements, newsletters, or any marketing campaign.
Test, Test, Then Test Some More
Within Email Campaign Manager, after you’ve set up your email and defined its recipients, you’ll be able to test to your heart’s content. This is the most important step in my opinion. You’ll want to send test emails to yourself and colleagues for feedback. Email Campaign Manager even has a complete spam filter test.
A/B testing can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your email campaigns. With Email Campaign Manager, you are able to create two versions of one email. You can choose to test two different subject lines (experiment with personalization), two different senders (change who the email is coming from), or two versions of your email content (try different images, buttons, or calls to action).
Then select the size of your test group, set a length of time to run the test, and decide how the “winner” of your A/B test is chosen. You can monitor the emails throughout the test, just like any other email you send. If you see that there is a clear winner, you can go ahead and send it off to your remaining recipients or wait until the test is done and it will be sent automatically based on the winning criteria.
See How It’s Performing
You have access to a comprehensive set of reports and analytics to see how well a campaign is doing. You can collect and track statistics on who’s opening the email, where they are from, what device and email clients are being used, and which links are being clicked.
Within Email Campaign Manager, you can create and maintain your subscriber lists. You can drag and drop a file of subscribers, or you can use LDP Forms in OU Campus to pull in subscribers automatically. After you create a new subscription signup form as an asset, you can place the asset where appropriate on your website. Any time someone completes that form to subscribe to your email newsletter, their information is automatically sent to the corresponding list in Email Campaign Manager.
A Great New Module
With OU Campus and Email Campaign Manager, every institution now has the tools needed to create effective, responsive, mobile-friendly emails in minutes. This only scratches the surface of the email marketing potential in OU Campus, but I hope these tips have given you a place to start.