Enhancing Email Management in Higher Education: Discover SocketLabs’ Solutions
Higher education institutions have lots of responsibilities. Though email communication maybe isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when people think higher education, it is an absolutely integral part of the operation of colleges and universities. In fact, an overall of 51% of students reported email was a primary path to enrollment.
Email has multiple uses: campus news, teacher-to-student communication, fundraising from alumni, and marketing mail to attract new students. After all, while they are preparing students to enter the job market, they’re a business themselves. Without a reliable email sending platform giving them the control they need to keep their operation running smoothly, they’re at major risk of their success fizzling out.
Higher Education Means Higher Email Complexity
Email programs for higher education institutions are nowhere near as simple as a single sender with one or two mail streams for marketing and transactional. In fact, their use case is quite complex with lots of moving parts and opportunities to go very well…or very wrong.
They might even have an entire stream dedicated to recruitment, from applications, acceptance letters, enrollment communications, and everything must-know to make sure they arrive on campus ready to learn.
Let’s explore the pain points higher education senders face within a multi-faceted email environment and how you can avoid or alleviate these stressors for more success without more work.
Challenge 1: Few Out-of-the-Box Solutions
There are lots of email service providers (ESPs) out there. Some are huge omnichannel providers and some are smaller, but with limited functionality. When you’re looking for an email solution, the omnichannel options can be overwhelming and pricey, while still requiring you to build key tools for the infrastructure to reliably send and deliver mail.
It’s like buying a bike and having them hand you a box full of parts.
If your organization wasn’t expecting this and isn’t equipped to build and manage those tools, you’re at a major disadvantage fraught with risks and challenges zapping productivity and resources that shouldn’t be tied up in email.
SocketLabs has a fully built, codeless email platform with all the components you need for the various departments across your organization to reliably connect with students, teachers, faculty, alumni and beyond.
We’ve experienced these issues first-hand, so we built a real out-of-the-box email solution allowing users to ride their email bike right out of the store and start riding…or, sending.
It makes a big difference.
Challenge 2: Multiple Types of Mail Create a Multitude of Challenges
Surely, a small college might have a smaller set-up than a large university with a household name. Regardless of size, higher education email programs are not as simple as just splitting up a couple of mail streams. They need to manage multiple subaccounts, IPs, and IP pools without slogging through a platform looking around for the right subaccount and its performance.
These are just some of the ways mail could be split:
- Transactional: Students will have a school-assigned email address. If they need a receipt for a class enrollment, confirmation of an application received or similar, there needs to be a way to protect that stream’s reputation.
- Marketing: Alumni relations, student recruitment, even on- or off-campus events and activities are all topics of email flying around higher education institutions. While some might bucket all of these into one subaccount, many would instead prefer to use topic-specific subaccounts which can add complexity quickly. Plus, these emails are critical: They’re key to reaching business goals.
- Colleges or departments: Smaller schools or colleges could need to operate independently as well. The Liberal Arts college needs to be able to contact their students without any negative interference from other subaccounts.
With such complexity, it can be hard to have an easy-to-use way to split them out and monitor performance successfully.
With SocketLabs’ StreamMonitor, end users can send email and understand their performance while email administrators can view both overall account-wide performance and subaccount-level activity all within a single dashboard.
As an admin, you can identify any problematic subaccount with poor sender reputations or other anomalies, then use just a few clicks to get right into the problem by using Guided Insights.
Guided Insights, an extension of StreamMonitor, can tell you the exact problem, such as a high bounce rate at Gmail but not at Yahoo, and give you actionable details enabling you to fix what ails you.
Don’t want to let the email manager for marketing emails to accidentally disrupt mail in a different mail stream? You can segment end users and their access with just a few clicks.
Even without full access to the entire account, end users can see all the data related to their own sending practices in StreamScore Pro. As the data informing StreamMonitor and Guided Insights, not only does it provide common success signals like those available from other ESPs, like opens, clicks, and bounces, it helps you understand your performance with one, easy-to-understand number. Plus, you’ll see where things could be improved and get tips for how to fix it and why it may need fixing to begin with.
Challenge 3: Resolving Issues Takes Too Long
We all know things go wrong. However, if you’re not working with a dedicated email team with some knowledge of code, higher education email managers may find themselves needing help from other teams.
Here’s an internal scenario: Since the email team might not have the technical knowledge to hard code changes to IP assignment or aren’t even authorized to change it themselves, they need to rely on IT or Product teams. They’re busy doing their own thing, too. This can take too long.
If internal resources are available to help, you’ll need to contact your ESP for assistance. Using a big-box ESP? You need to ask someone there to do the work for you, too. If they can’t respond in a timely manner, the problem will get worse and collateral damage could be significant.
With our management platform, after your IT folks set you up and let you get in there to send, users and end users won’t need to know code. At all.
The power is in your hands to do whatever it is you need independently.
Since we built the platform to not require code, we created Rule Engine to do some of the heavy lifting for you. You’ll just need to create some rules to automate action.
For instance, if one subaccount’s StreamScore drops below a threshold of your choice, you can set a rule that adjusts mail routing to quickly mitigate risks to sender reputation by moving the offending subaccount to a different IP pool with either less critical mail or similarly scored senders.
So, you’ll spend less time looking for problems, less time solving problems, and more time optimizing performance without feeling under immense pressure.
Challenge 4: Subpar Support from ESPs When Problems Arise
Unfortunately, many of the largest, most popular ESPs from years ago are now part of omnichannel marketing shops where personalized email support can be hard to come by or prohibitively expensive.
When faced with a complex issue, higher education professionals without years of technical email experience tend to find themselves without the guidance or resources they need to be successful. They’re managing so many technologies, not everyone can be an email expert.
How do you solve a major problem when you’re not sure what to do and your support tickets go unanswered for days or even weeks?
And we know that save for some mega schools, higher education budgets aren’t endless. Dedicated support is typically out of the question, leaving you with…well, no support at all.
It feels really bad when you know something is wrong, you ask for help and don’t get it. Even worse when people are asking you for answers when you simply don’t have them. It’s not acceptable for ESPs to leave you in this position, but it’s become all too common.
At SocketLabs, we get the struggle. When an issue arises, you need help right away.
First, migrating ESPs can be overwhelming and intimidating from day one. With SocketLabs, we actually dedicate time and personnel to assist you through your onboarding and warmup strategy to get you sending confidently and successfully.
Plus, not only do we provide upfront support, our response times are significantly faster than our competitors, and every enterprise sender gets a dedicated support contact who will know your name, understand your needs, and be there to support you from application to enrollment, orientation and beyond.
Challenge 5: Limited Flexibility with Large ESPs
Not everyone’s needs are the same. For some organizations, they want single year contracts to keep themselves somewhat so they can avoid getting stuck in a contract if they find themselves unhappy. That’s fair! We offer that.
However, we’ve worked with higher education clients who have a BEAST of a procurement process. Plus…it needs to be done every single year. Even if they plan to keep the same ESP, any time a contract is up for renewal they need to go through the entire process again. Plus, public universities need to file all this work for public access, so anyone can see how the school is evaluating and spending their budgets year over year. Who has time (or interest) for that?
They didn’t. You might not. So, we meet you where you need to be. We offer multi-year contracts to those who don’t want to stress every year or those who just want to do the migration and rest easy knowing they don’t even have to consider migration for a handful of years.
You Don’t Deserve to Fail
Higher education is about learning, growing, and building skills you need to succeed. Your email programs are no different. Without progress, growth stagnates. For other ESPs, that’s where they decided they didn’t need to grow anymore. They aren’t graduating to the next level of innovation.
SocketLabs is and we’re happy to show the difference it can make for you.
There’s no admissions process requiring a three-page essay or extracurriculars. Just take a look at all you’ll get or schedule a demo and we’ll enroll you when you’re ready!