Whether you’ve sent email newsletters to your families for years or were inspired by Kinderlime’s new drag and drop interface, following best practices helps you connect with parents. These email guidelines will keep your newsletters out of the spam folder and encourage parents to engage!
1. Design for Busy Parents
Email is a great tool for reaching busy parents, because you’re sending your message right to a place moms and dads already spend a lot of time: their email inboxes. However, just because a parent saw your email, they’re not necessarily reading everything you have to say.
Make sure you’re getting your message across with emails designed specifically for busy parents. There are lots of ways to make it easy for on-the-go parents to skim your emails and take the right “next step,” whether it’s updating a form or signing up for the holiday party.
Design for busy families using these email best practices:
- Include an emoji in the subject line.
- Put important details at the top.
- Split information into sections with straightforward headlines.
- Add images.
- Use easy-to-click buttons.
2. Avoid Looking Spammy
Everyone hates getting spam emails, including your clients. If your email ends up in the spam folder, it’s probably not going to be read. There are three easy ways to make sure your newsletters are delivered to parents’ inboxes:
- Ditch spammy words. Avoid using words that trigger spam filters, such as “free,” “sale,” and “miracle.” You also don’t want to use completely capitalized words or lots of punctuation.
- Send on a regular basis. You don’t want to annoy parents with excessive emails. Did you know that sending too few emails can also cause people to unsubscribe? When a set of email addresses gets “stale,” meaning you haven’t sent them an email in a while, lots of emails to inactive addresses or unsubscribes could make it look like you’re trying to send emails to people who don’t want them.
- Comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. The US Federal Trade Commission protects consumers from spam email with the CAN-SPAM Act. Other countries have similar laws, like Canada’s Anti-Spam Law. All you need to do to create CAN-SPAM compliant emails is include your center’s physical address and an unsubscribe button at the bottom of your emails.
3. Build Separate Email Lists
There are lots of different types of parents you may want to send emails to. There are parents who signed up for a tour but never became clients. What about past families whose kids are now school aged? Of course, you also have parents with kids currently enrolled, who can be divided by age or classroom.
When parents know you only send them emails that are relevant to their kids, they’re more likely to open, read and engage with them. For example, you wouldn’t want to advertise your school-age summer camp to families who only have an infant. Parents with a fourth grader don’t need to know you have openings in your toddler room, although your waiting list would love to know that information!
4. Send a Welcome Email
When a new family joins your center, you probably have a welcome packet with all sorts of forms and information. Consider creating an email that points parents to these important details, along with links to your monthly menu, online payment center and social media profiles. That way, parents can know exactly where to find a copy of your handbook or medication form whether they’re at work or home.
5. Incorporate Your Center’s Brand
You want parents (especially ones who aren’t clients yet) to be able to tell what your center is all about in a single email. Including the visual elements of your center’s brand, like your logo and colors, helps parents recognize who the email is from. No matter what your center’s “personality” is, let it shine through in the way you write about upcoming events, daily updates, weekly lesson plans, etc.
6. Include Links to Your Social Media
If your center is active on Facebook, Instagram or another social media channel, point parents there! Let moms and dads know what they’ll find on your social media, whether it’s daily updates or event reminders. It doesn’t hurt to ask current families for reviews either!
7. Test Your Emails
Before sending emails to parents, test them by sending a copy to yourself and other staff members. Taking the time to test emails helps you avoid obvious mistakes and makes your center look more professional.
Take a look at how your subject line, images, headlines and buttons appear on different screen sizes, especially a desktop computer and smartphone. Always check for typos and have someone double check your writing. Click on any links within the email to make sure they take parents to the right place.
8. Look at the Results
One of the best things about email is how much data is available after you send it. Looking at how many people opened your email or clicked on a specific button helps you figure out what subject lines, calls to action (CTAs) and send times work best for your clients.
ParentSeek is a team of parents, former daycare owners, marketers and designers built to help childcare centers find new families. Using our personal and professional experiences, we help centers show parents what they’re all about.