College Smart Advising

My Thoughts on College Applications

May 2020

Tips for Effective Email Communication with Colleges

Since many college information sessions, meetings, tours, and events are taking place online, you might find your inbox more full than usual. In the absence of on-campus visits, some of the best ways to learn more about those schools is through webinars, virtual tours, and student panels. Thus, I recommend that students subscribe to the prospective student email lists for all of the colleges they are considering. However, between the increased volume of online events and the unsolicited college-related SPAM, students are often overwhelmed with their overflowing inboxes. To help you navigate this new form of communication, here are a few tips to help manage increased inbox volume while establishing a professional relationship with the colleges.


Incoming Mail:
·      Create folders to sort your emails by college, major, program, or topic (maybe things like testing, interviews, scholarships)
·      Set up filters to automatically route emails into assigned folders
·      Unsubscribe from email lists that are cluttering your inbox
·      Pin emails that are a priority and need to be addressed in the next 24 hours and flag emails you need to circle back to at a later time
·      Remember to respond to your emails promptly (within 24 to 48 hours) and over-communicate rather under-communicate.
Outgoing Mail:
·      Keep it professional by using a greeting such as “Dear ___,” or “Hello ____,” and include a sign off like “Thank you,” or “Sincerely,” 
·      When emailing someone new, use “Dear first and last name,” or “Coach first and last name,”
·      Be clear and concise with your message and what you need 
·      It is OK to follow up with people who have not responded to your email. You can send a follow-up email after a week. If still no response, you can send another in a few days  
·      Check for excess exclamation points. If you have more than two or three, remove some 
·      Do not use emojis or slang in formal correspondence
·      Craft an email signature and include your contact information and LinkedIn URL
·      Consider adding an appropriate photo of you to your email account so people can more easily recall who you are.
Happy emailing!