You write a lot of emails as a K12 communicator, but are you effectively reaching your audience with all that need-to-know information?

Most people don’t get into K12 education thinking that they need to have expertise in email marketing. However, email is one of your best tools for sharing important information on school policies, events, and updates, so you must have a few tools in your back pocket to make your emails as engaging — and as likely to get read — as possible.

To help you out, we’ve compiled nine of our very best tips that will help any K12 email marketing strategy. Keep reading to learn all of the basics of what you need to know to send emails that serve their purpose every time.

1. Keep Subject Lines Simple and Concise

If you want someone to read your email, you need them to open it first. And for that, you need an effective email subject line.

Your subject line should accurately describe the content within your email. It should also be short and sweet, with limited punctuation, since too much could make it look like spam (though feel free to use emojis when appropriate).

2. Establish Relevance from the Get-Go

Most K12 email communications are going out to a very narrowly defined audience, but it’s still key that you make it clear right away why this information should matter to your reader. Get to the point in the first paragraph, then delve into more specific details below. To ensure that your message reaches its audience, you need to take the necessary steps to guarantee email security. In this stage, set up a DMARC policy to avoid phishing and spamming

3. Don’t be Overly Wordy

The content of your email should be brief and actionable.

Write with the assumption that your readers are busy and might be skimming your email to gather the salient points as quickly as they can. If you have a lot of in-depth information to share, post it on your site and link to it in your email instead of trying to fit it all in there.

4. Play Around with Format

It’s totally fine to go simple when it comes to the design of your emails, but you still want to have some visual excitement going on. 

Your format — which includes everything from how you arrange your content to the color and image choices you make — should be appealing without being too busy. It should also serve to direct attention where you want it to go, especially if you need your readers to take some sort of specific action.

5. Include a Call-to-Action

Speaking of action, a call to action (CTA) button is an impactful way to direct your readers to exactly what you want them to do — whether that’s clicking through for more information, signing a permission slip, or donating to a school fundraiser.

Make sure it’s clear as day what action you want your readers to take, and make your CTA button obvious on the page through the creative use of color, size, and placement.

6. Add in Images

A well-placed image (or images) can make your email a lot more engaging. For them to be most effective, though, images should be relevant to what the content is about and be high-resolution, so they won’t appear grainy on the screen. Images should also be sized appropriately so that they fit in well with the rest of your format without completely taking over all of your readers’ attention.

7. Make use of Whitespace

Sometimes it’s what your emails don’t include that really makes all the difference.

Whitespace (a.k.a. the blank spaces between text, images, and content blocks) serves as a visual marker for how you want your audience to read your email. It also keeps the page from looking overly crowded, which can make it a lot more palatable for readers to get through.

8. Optimize Emails for Mobile 

If your K12 school is struggling to go digital, this tip may seem a bit lofty to implement. However, being mobile-optimized is crucial if you want to see more engagement and interaction from your subscribers. Many of your readers are likely going to be opening your email on a mobile device. As such, you’ll want to make sure that your emails are mobile-friendly in addition to desktop-friendly — a feature that you can achieve quite easily with your marketing automation platform.

9. A/B Test Main Features

A/B testing is another benefit that comes with most marketing automation tools that can help to improve your email marketing efforts. 

Also referred to as split testing, A/B testing compares the performance outcomes of two different design or content decisions: decision A and decision B. Use it to test out what sorts of subject lines and CTAs get you the best results, making sure to only test one difference per email so that you can be sure you know what’s responsible for your better or worse outcome.

Remember: you don’t need a marketing degree in order to send effective K12 communications. But you should follow the tips above, all of which are cornerstones of sending out emails that get opened, get read, and get the results you’re looking for.