One of the biggest refrains I hear from international student advisors and support staff is that “students don’t read emails.” Sometimes I even sense a sign of resignation.
It might be true students don’t read their emails, but you don’t read all your emails either. You pick and choose which ones to read. Think about it, what makes you open the emails that you decide to read?
Students go through these same processes too.
First things first!
The first thing you need to do is change your perspective from “Students don’t read emails” to “How can I get students to read my emails?”
By shifting your outlook, you will see an instant transformation in how you approach it. Changing your perspective allows you to have fun with it and challenge yourself. Salespeople know this all too well.
So how do you get students to read your email? Here are three things that you can try today.
We all know that students can be lazy in reading emails unless it has to do with their grades.
First, there must be an enticing reason for students to read and see your email as necessary. Most times, this is not clear, so it gets piled in with everything unimportant.
Secondly, many students do not read the long emails that pack anything and everything they need to know in a single big blurb. This can be overwhelming, even if they open it.
You should engage international students in ways that they are currently consuming information. Outside of the classroom, students consume content through video and other multimedia. Video is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal.
Okay, here we go! Three ways to get your students more engaged and get them to read the emails you send.
Add Video To Your Emails
A great way to get your message across is to send a video message instead of the traditional boring email. You will get a lot more information across in a shorter time by sending a video message instead of an email.
In fact, just adding the word “Video” to your subject line can increase opens by 19%.
To add videos to your email outreach, I recommend a tool called Vidyard. Vidyard is a video tool that allows you to record and send videos through email, and more importantly, will enable you to track them.
With Vidyard, you can see who opened your video, and how much of it they watched, and a host of other metrics. When you send your emails, you can record a short video (have fun with it) message for students containing the relevant information, and then send it as you normally would any other email.
Additionally, you can include the written text below or add it as an attachment.
As a bonus, based on who’s watched your videos, you can follow up with another message targeted at different audiences. For example, you can track students who read or haven’t opened your emails, the students who watched or haven’t watched your video. You can keep track of and possibly categorize students’ engagement levels.
Case studies have shown that video gets more engagement than a text email, regardless of demographic.
The use of video messages and tracking will help you reach a lot more students.
Generate Interest With Your Subject Lines
You can pique your students’ interest by getting creative with subject lines. Subject lines are a big part of why we all open the emails we open.
We need to stop sending the same boring subject lines that we have always sent, even decades ago when getting an email was an exciting event in itself. Students receive dozens of random emails daily, especially if they subscribe to random things on the internet; your emails need to stand out and scream, “Read Me!”
As I noted above, if you are sending a video, try including the word “VIDEO” in your subject line.
How many times do you delete an email or don’t bother reading it just because the subject line doesn’t grab your attention?
You can’t ignore this approach with students.
Incentivize Students With Hidden Gems
Lastly, and I will keep this short, you can use gifts, prizes, and hidden gems in your emails to get students to read it. You can tempt them by hiding a code in your email that they need to claim some gift card or physical prize.
You can put a fun little code in or at the end of your video that they have to listen for to redeem a prize.
There you have it, three ways to reach more international students and get them to read the emails you send.
Reach out if you have any questions or if you want to talk to us about getting your international students engaged.