Best-practices

Best Practices


Website

Your website will help increase awareness and generate interest. But to do that it must first be clean, clear, and concise. The design of your website has a huge impact on how students will interact with it.

  • Don’t get over-complicated: Too much navigation or really complicated navigation can hide valuable content and confuse visitors.
  • Be concise: Long paragraphs of information are not always the most efficient way to display information because your visitors likely will not read them. People read keywords, skim bulleted lists, and look for cues like graphics.
  • Create clear calls-to-action: If you want your visitors to do something on your site, make it clear and visible. Don’t hide your primary call to action at the bottom of a copy-filled page.

How does this all relate to OrgSync? We’d recommend having information about OrgSync and the location of where students can log-in prominently displayed on your website - especially early in your campus’ implementation. Create a single landing page dedicated to OrgSync that describes the platform and its benefits. You can even add some helpful tips, creative uses on campus, and feature spotlights. Make sure your content and description of the platform is clear and easy to read. As student organizations begin to build their own websites through OrgSync, these same concepts will apply to their events and web pages.

Here are a couple of examples for some inspiration:

  • The University of Wisconsin - Stout has not only created a dedicated OrgSync landing page, but they have use the platform’s website feature to build an online student handbook.
  • Saint Paul College has created a dedicated OrgSync landing page. The page details OrgSync, its benefits, and quick instructions for logging in.

Here are a couple of examples for some inspiration:

  • Mashable
  • Smashing

Email Marketing

The subject line is your first chance to grab students’ attention. You have to give them some reason to open the email, but don’t go overboard with it. Keep the length under 50 characters. Subject lines with less than 50 characters average higher open rates. You should also avoid words that can easily get your email marked as SPAM (ex. free, click, open, and subscribe), overuse of capitalization, and exclamation points.

As you write your subject lines try to generate a sense of urgency while keeping in mind some of these pitfalls. Here are a couple of examples to help you get started:

Subject Line Is it effective?
Open this email for a FREE student guide to surviving finals!! This is an ineffective subject line.
  • SPAM-triggering keywords like free and open are used.
  • FREE is completely capitalized and the subject line ends with two exclamation points. This technique makes your email look like spam.
5 techniques to surviving finals This is an effective subject line.
  • It is concise, yet clearly articulates the email’s purpose without sounding like you’re trying to sell something.
  • Numbers when describing percentages, lists, or monetary values can be an effective tool to capture attention.
  • Brackets with keywords can sometimes be an effective way to draw interest and describe what your reader will be receiving when opening the email. You can do this with a variety of downloads like videos, infographics, white papers, and more.

Like your subject line, your headline also needs to be concise and state your purpose for the email. This will be the first thing that students looks at in the email, so make sure it is an applicable and meaningful message.

Finally, when creating your email, ask yourself, “what do I want students to do with this email?” Do you want them to login to OrgSync or do you want them to register for an event? Sometimes you may just want to generate awareness and not have students click away from it. Either way, you just need to have a purpose. Unless you are writing a newsletter, make sure you limit yourself to one clear call to action. People spend on average 15-20 seconds looking at an email, so if you want them to do something, you need to make that clear.

When emailing about OrgSync, we’d recommend:

  • Adding information about and links to OrgSync into your department or campus newsletter.
  • Email students and administrators early in your implementation, pushing them to login to the platform.
  • Send out monthly OrgSync best practices or tips and tricks to student leaders.
  • Targeted emails to student organizations with low OrgSync usage.

If you don’t have an email client you can use, you can instead use OrgSync to send these messages

For more email marketing best practices, check out these resources:

  • Exacttarget
  • Marketing_profs
  • Mailchimp

Social Media

Social media allows you to reach out to students where they are, but it is important to have a plan to get the most out of your social media efforts, and we recommend you use it very intentionally. Here are some best practices to keep you on track:

  • Actively communicate on social media channels several times a week.
  • Set a goal for a certain number of posts per week and per month to help you stay on track.
  • Create posts that are relevant, clear, concise.
  • Post what your audience wants to learn, read about.
  • Make sure that you are posting quality posts and not just posting for the quantity.
  • Use social media to increase awareness of events around campus.
  • Create conversations with your students via social media.

For more social media best practices, check out these resources:

  • Exacttarget
  • Mashable
  • Salesforce
  • Mediabistro

Print Media

When building your print pieces try to keep these three things in mind:

  1. Try to keep your content concise. Too much content on the page can detract from your overall message.
  2. Make sure your images are powerful and relevant. Color in your flyers can be a powerful tool to help you catch attention. While stock photography is a great tool, you should try to use photography that is relevant to your audience and matches your message. You should also make sure your images are high enough quality. Fuzzy images can ruin a beautifully designed resource.
  3. Always, always include contact information and a call to action. You can spend a lot of time, money, and resources on an exquisitely designed flyer - but without a call to action, it won’t get you any closer to your goals. Look back at your overall campaign goals and incorporate that thought process into your content development.

Need some help getting started? Check out some of the print resources created by our other campus partners.


Promotional Events

Promotional events are a unique opportunity for you to speak directly to your users. You can share the benefits of the platform as they relate specifically to them. And, don’t forget, about following up after your event. This is where your digital strategy can help support your efforts. Thank users for attending your presentation and don’t forget to include your most important call-to-action - logging into OrgSync.

Here are a few OrgSync events we've seen on other campuses:

  • Student organizational fairs that incorporate OrgSync
  • 6 Weeks of OrgSync
  • OrgSync discussions at student organization meetings
  • Swipe for Swag
  • OrgSync how-to orientation sessions
  • Weekly, monthly, or semesterly OrgSync webinars

PR

When crafting your press releases, write content for a person, not all people. Try narrowing your message to your target audience because they are the ones who are going to care about your announcement.

Headline. The very first content piece will be your headline. It is very important to craft an eye-catching headline because this will set up your press release for success. The headline can be drafted at anytime. It may be beneficial for you to first write your release and then build your headline based on your body copy. Brainstorm a few options to see what is most effective and what resonates with your audience.

Body. In the first paragraph of your release, make sure you mention the who, what, where, and why. This is what most people will read. As you develop your content, include a valuable quote that can give readers an idea of how your news affects the your campus, target audience, and landscape. If you can, including some keywords and buzzwords as you’re drafting content. That way if you put it up on your website, it will be another SEO tool to organically bring people to your website.

Close. Finally, include a referenceable boilerplate (that paragraph at the bottom about your campus). Make sure the boilerplate adequately summarizes what your campus offers so readers don’t have to Google you.

For more PR tips and best practices, check out these resources:

  • Vocus
  • Ringcentral

More Design Tips

For more design tips and tricks, check out these OrgSync resources: