Corporate Communications

Email best practice

The following guidelines can help you to deliver effective email communications which receive good engagement and can help you to achieve your objectives.

Good emails

  • Subject line is key. Make sure it is engaging, while being clear and relevant. Test your subject lines by either asking a colleague or student. You can also test your subject lines by experimenting with different subject lines and tracking links within the email. 
  • Keep it short and simple. Be ruthless when identifying what’s relevant.
  • Important information at the top. If you wanted students to learn one thing from this email what would it be? Include that key piece of information at the top. This is likely to be a call-to-action. Make sure what you want the audience to do is clear.
  • Make it scannable. Use bullet points, sub-headings, short paragraphs and short sentences.
  • Shorten urls. Don’t include long web links in your emails. You can shorten your links in
  • Send plain text or simply formatted emails. Unfortunately we cannot send html emails via our all student mailing list.
  • Sign off with contact information.
  • Don’t send the same email twice. Students have complained that they’ve received the same email from multiple sources. If a colleague asks you to send an email on their behalf please check beforehand that it hasn’t already been sent to another mailing list.

A good example

Subject line: Have you applied for student finance yet? Deadline 28 July

Dear student,

If you’re returning to a full-time course at university and haven’t applied for your student loan yet…

Apply now:

The deadline for Student Finance applications is 28 July 2013.

Student Finance Team
01227 82 4242


Before you start

Before you start any communications there are four key questions you need to answer:

  • Who am I trying to communicate with?
  • Does my audience need this information? Does it add
    any value?
  • What is the call-to-action?
  • How do I expect my audience to respond?


Corporate Communications - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ. T: +44 1227 764000

Last Updated: 02/08/2018