Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Take Your Blue Email Notifications to the Next Level

389 views

Published on

Email is the primary and most effective way to communicate with your students and faculty. A properly designed email can improve your response rate, increase transparency and improve faculty satisfaction. At Virginia Commonwealth University we combined our past experience of online evaluations with functionality available in Blue to craft awesome emails.

Published in: Marketing
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Take Your Blue Email Notifications to the Next Level

  1. 1. Take Your Blue Email Notifications to the Next Level Gaurav Gupta Virginia Commonwealth University
  2. 2. About Virginia Commonwealth University Urban university with two campuses 13 schools and one college 31,000 students 17,500 courses per year 6% short courses
  3. 3. History of course evaluation at VCU Paper and pencil evaluations until 2009 Switched to Online evaluations in 2009 Switched to Blue in 2013
  4. 4. Course evaluation by the numbers 225,000 evaluations per year 200,000 emails per year
  5. 5. We have learned a lot in last 6 years
  6. 6. Goals of our communication strategy
  7. 7. Goal 1 Increase response rate
  8. 8. Goal 2 Get quality feedback
  9. 9. Goal 3 Increase transparency, reduce confusion and improve satisfaction
  10. 10. Goal 4 Reduce the need for troubleshooting
  11. 11. Lessons we have learned…
  12. 12. 1. We are salespeople
  13. 13. 2. Email is our best marketing tool
  14. 14. E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media – nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.” - McKinsey & Company Source: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/marketing_sales/why_marketers_should_keep_sending_you_emails “
  15. 15. After trying for a few semesters we stopped using posters, postcards, Twitter, Facebook, campus TV and raffle prizes
  16. 16. 3. Content is king
  17. 17. Content we include in our emails
  18. 18. Emails to students include Introduction List of open evaluations and their due dates Link to evaluation forms Importance of their feedback and how it will be used Confidentiality Contact information Unsubscribe link
  19. 19. Emails to faculty include Introduction List of evaluations Start and end dates, report availability Link to check response rates How to improve response rate and get better feedback Contact information Unsubscribe link
  20. 20. A/B testing
  21. 21. A/B testing basics Create two versions of an email Divide email recipients into two groups Send different versions of email to each group Measure completion rate
  22. 22. Subject line: It’s Time to Give Feedback to Your Instructors Subject line: It’s Time to Evaluate Your Instructors A B ✓ 13% more responses
  23. 23. Subject line: Reminder: Please Evaluate Your Courses and Your Instructors Subject line: Need a Study Break? Take a Few Minutes to Evaluate Your Professors A B ✓30% more responses
  24. 24. Faculty testimonials
  25. 25. With testimonial Without testimonial A B No significant difference
  26. 26. A B ✓ 6% more responses
  27. 27. Subject line: Your Course Evaluations are Still Pending Subject line: Reminder: Your Course Evaluations are Still Pending A B ✓12% more responses
  28. 28. Subject line: Only 3 Days Left to Evaluate Your Professors! Subject line: Your Course Evaluations are Due in 3 Days A B No significant difference
  29. 29. Dear eXplorance, Can you please bring A/B testing to Blue
  30. 30. Tips for writing great content
  31. 31. Pay attention to subject line A well designed subject line can make big impact
  32. 32. Put yourself in their shoes If you were a student or instructor, what information would be helpful to you
  33. 33. Are they asking you the same questions repeatedly? Consider including this information in the email
  34. 34. Be conversational Keep it to-the-point Avoid being clever, using puns
  35. 35. Sound official, authoritative Don’t beg, make them care instead Create a sense of urgency
  36. 36. instead of “please complete your evaluations” say “evaluations are due in 2 days”
  37. 37. Divide up content into small sections Use headings
  38. 38. Without headings
  39. 39. With headings
  40. 40. 4. Personalize to the right extent
  41. 41. Two banks Two very different emails
  42. 42. Which email would you rather receive?
  43. 43. 0   200   400   600   800   1000   04/21/2011  00   04/22/2011  00   04/23/2011  00   04/24/2011  00   04/25/2011  00   04/26/2011  00   04/27/2011  00   04/28/2011  00   04/29/2011  00   04/30/2011  00   05/01/2011  00   05/02/2011  00   05/03/2011  00   05/04/2011  00   Evals  Completed/Hour   Generic  email   Personalized  email   Personalized email improved our response rate (Spring 2011)
  44. 44. Personalized data used at VCU Name List of courses Instructor names Due dates
  45. 45. Personalized subject line
  46. 46. Almost any data can be included
  47. 47. 5. Formatting the email
  48. 48. Unformatted
  49. 49. Formatted
  50. 50. Find a web designer
  51. 51. Tips for your web designer Use call to action buttons instead of links Minimize use of images Use inline CSS Responsive design
  52. 52. Resources for your web designer Responsive email tutorial http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/creating-a-simple-responsive-html-email--webdesign-12978 BeeFree https://beefree.io/ Zurb CSS Inliner http://zurb.com/ink/inliner.php
  53. 53. 6. Getting the timing right
  54. 54. Typical course evaluation cycle (14 days) Course duration ExamsEvals Reports
  55. 55. Typical communication cycle ExamsEvals Reports Email to students Email to instructors
  56. 56. We analyzed data from last four semesters
  57. 57. Evaluations completed/hour – Fall 2013 0   200   400   600   800   Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed   Thu   Fri   Sat   Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed   Thu   Fri   Sat   Emails sent
  58. 58. Evaluations completed/hour – Spring 2014 0   200   400   600   800   1000   Thu   Fri   Sat   Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed   Thu   Fri   Sat   Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed   Emails sent
  59. 59. Evaluations completed/hour – Fall 2014 0   200   400   600   800   1000   1200   Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed   Thu   Fri   Sat   Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed   Thu   Fri   Sat   Emails sent
  60. 60. Evaluations completed/hour – Spring 2015 0   200   400   600   800   1000   Thu   Fri   Sat   Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed   Thu   Fri   Sat   Sun   Mon   Tue   Wed   Emails sent
  61. 61. Best days to send emails Monday – Thursday First and last day of evals > Friday – Sunday > Thanksgiving / long weekends
  62. 62. Evaluations completed/hour in a single day – Spring 2015 0   150   300   450   12  AM   3  AM   6  AM   9  AM   12  PM   3  PM   6  PM   9  PM   Tue   Wed   Mon  
  63. 63. Best time to send emails 10am time required to send all emails (3-6 hours for us) minus
  64. 64. 7. Testing
  65. 65. Testing process Create a test project with 4-6 courses Add yourself and student and instructor to each course Compose email and send it Test after every edit, even if it is a minor one
  66. 66. Another feature request: Easier way to send test emails
  67. 67. Thanks! I would love to hear from you guptag@vcu.edu @FrshBakedPixels

×