Long story short: they don't want to send 400+ emails a year any more.
While the executives and IT professionals named in the piece deserve attention and praise, it's interesting and perhaps telling that not a single email marketer or content strategist or customer service analyst was quoted in the piece.
Because any marketer reading this piece will think: "Well, yeah. Duh. Stop doing that. We've been saying that for years."
Some nearly universal truths about the way colleges' email current studentsSpend enough time at conferences with higher ed marketers, and you quickly learn that most institutions' email strategies for current students (and staff! and faculty!) are a hot mess. (On a synonymic side note, dumpster fire is now in the Oxford Dictionary.)
- Colleges send too much email.
- They don't have clear CTAs in their emails because ...
- They usually haven't identified measurable goals for their emails, which means ...
- They don't build tracking into their emails, so ...
- They can't learn lessons from their emails.
- They send bad emails: too long, not relevant, wrong tone, bad formatting, not related to overall goals (usually retention and graduation).
- They don't think about ADA or mobile responsiveness. (I'm looking at you, senior administrator who sends a camera phone JPG of a printed PDF as the entire body of the email. Please. Stop. Delete your Outlook.)
- They don't centralize distribution.
- Or reporting.
- They don't let students opt in.
- Or out.
- And then they say "students don't want to read email," which is untrue. Students just don't want to read the horribly unhelpful emails they get from the college.