University communications isn’t easy—many higher ed communications managers will attest to that. However, the right tool can help you effectively reach your audience and engage better across the board. Learn why so many universities use ContactMonkey to communicate with their stakeholders.

University communications is inherently complex and difficult to manage. Between the numerous stakeholders and year-round events, there’s so much information to convey.

Modern communications channels facilitate better higher education communications. The unexpected shift to online learning in 2020 has made digital transformation more essential than ever.

Did you know that more than “50% of students don’t always read the emails from their institution or academic department?” While email is the preferred mode of communication in universities, it’s not always optimized. In a survey of 1,000 Australian university students, almost two out of every five said university communications could be better.

An all-in-one internal communications tool like ContactMonkey can help you cut through the noise and save hours of your time each week. Book a free demo to learn why so many higher education institutions rely on ContactMonkey.

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Enjoy Gmail and Outlook? ContactMonkey Works With Both

With more than 2,000 colleges and universities using Google for email, and thousands of schools and colleges in 86 countries using Microsoft, it’s safe to say that Google and Outlook are the leading players in email. ContactMonkey works with both.

Unlike other email marketing tools out there, ContactMonkey functions as an Outlook Add-In or Gmail Chrome Extension. You don’t have to worry about uploading your email lists to an external platform because ContactMonkey works with your existing distribution lists:

In 2018, Widener University was looking for a scalable email tool that would integrate with Outlook. “We wanted a service like what you have, an add-on to Outlook,” said Jessica Reyes, Widener University’s assistant director of communications. “We were looking to use the address lists we already have in Outlook to send right from there.”

Widener University didn’t want to upload lists to an external system because they already had internal lists managed by IT and HR. ContactMonkey was the solution.

“We see ContactMonkey as a tool that a lot of departments on campus can use to ensure the newsletters they send out are branded and reflect the image we want to present for the University.”

According to Jessica, ContactMonkey was also able to help the university maintain brand alignment and consistency across different departments’ emails: “We see ContactMonkey as a tool that a lot of departments on campus can use to ensure the newsletters they send out are branded and reflect the image we want to present for the University.”

Since implementing ContactMonkey, Widener University’s newsletter distribution frequency had doubled.

Tailor University Communications for Students, Faculty, or Staff

As someone handling communications in higher education, you’re probably used to sending out mass emails to multiple audiences: students, faculty, and staff.

A recent study showed that larger email campaigns had lower engagement rates in the education market. Decreasing the size of the campaign resulted in higher open rates and engagement across the board. On the flip side, personalized emails increased open rates by 244% and click rates by 310%.

By targeting communications towards audiences that will find it relevant, you’ll likely increase engagement.

“The process is so much easier with ContactMonkey versus the way we were doing it previously. It’s just much smoother, and it’s shaved three hours off of the time that it took me to get each newsletter ready.”

ContactMonkey helped streamline internal communications at the University of North Texas. “The process is so much easier with ContactMonkey versus the way we were doing it previously,” said Amy Armstrong, Senior Communications Strategist at the University of North Texas. “It’s just much smoother, and it’s shaved three hours off of the time that it took me to get each newsletter ready.”

With ContactMonkey’s “Merge Tags” feature, you can personalize subject lines, as well as email body copy.

ContactMonkey's Merge Tags

ContactMonkey also makes it possible to view segment email stats (e.g., students, staff, faculty, or alumni) and compare campaigns side by side to determine what works for different recipient groups.

With the recent switch to remote learning, this type of insight is necessary to improve university communications and assess engagement. Learn how you can use ContactMonkey to optimize your internal communications by booking a free demo:

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Gather Feedback Easily

In universities, professors often value student feedback on their courses. Constructive input helps professors evaluate their teaching methodologies and improve their courses.

Remote learning has made it even more essential to gauge students’ engagement levels. It’s difficult to determine whether students are invested in the course when you can’t see them in person.

When collecting student feedback, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Students are more likely to be honest if you allow anonymous feedback.
  • Inform students about how you will use the feedback to improve their course experience.
  • Acknowledge the feedback and encourage discussion about the input.
  • Based on the feedback, implement changes that improve the course, student experience, or institution.

ContactMonkey’s survey feature makes it easy to collect feedback right from your emails. Gather real-time feedback from students, faculty, or staff with pulse surveys, emoji reactions, and employer Net Promoter Scores (eNPS):

enps survey results

Emojis are gaining popularity in education: It’s a succinct way to express feelings in the classroom. With six billion sent every day, emojis are commonly used to communicate, especially among millennials. Emoji survey responses are user-friendly, quick, and relatable to younger audiences.

Manage University Events and Meetings

Due to COVID-19, there has been a sudden shift to online learning, and many university events have gone virtual. The University of British Columbia (as well as many other universities) hosted 11, 000 students in its first-ever virtual graduation ceremony.

Graduation ceremonies aren’t the only university events to go virtual since the pandemic began. The University of Montevallo moved its student life experience online, from orientation week to sorority and fraternity recruitments.

ContactMonkey’s event management feature lets you easily schedule and manage your events online—virtual and (eventually) in-person.

event management

Embed your invites for events—faculty meetings, town halls, you name it—directly into your email, and manage RSVPs with ContactMonkey.

Try an All-In-One Tool for University Communications

An all-in-one university communications tool like ContactMonkey can save hours of your time and help make communications branded and consistent across departments. Gather feedback, schedule and manage events (virtual or otherwise), analyze engagement, and more. Keep a strong connection with all university stakeholders while they’re remote—and thereafter.

Schedule a free demo and learn how our software can help you improve university communications across the board.

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