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New findings on high school students opening e-mails from colleges

Stephanie Geyer

August 8, 2012

This data shows that high school juniors and seniors say they use e-mail at a high rate, with most students using e-mail at least every week.
Click on the image to enlarge.

For years, many of us have heard that “e-mail is dead”—that high school students have abandoned it in favor of communicating by text or social media. However, when it comes to e-recruitment, e-mail appears to be alive and doing quite well.

The 2012 E-Expectations study surveyed nearly 2,000 college-bound high school students about their behaviors and expectations regarding college Web sites and e-communications. The e-mail results highlighted in the graphic above show that not only do students continue to use e-mail regularly, but that they also open college e-mails at a high rate.

Nearly all students (93 percent) gave campuses an e-mail address when asked, with 95 percent providing a personal e-mail account they check regularly. More importantly, 97 percent said they opened e-mails from colleges they were interested in attending. Nearly 70 percent said they would open an e-mail from a campus even if the student had not heard of that institution—with the number jumping to 76 percent for juniors.

While it is important to maintain a mix of e-communication methods and to take advantage of the myriad ways we have to connect with students, e-mail should remain a key ingredient in your e-communications strategies. Provide ample opportunities for students to give you an e-mail address and be sure to test different e-mail messages to find those that work best for your campus.

You can read the complete findings in the 2012 E-Expectations Report. And if you are looking for strategies for creating an effective e-mail campaign, send me a message and I’ll gladly share  suggestions with you.


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