Jennifer Davidson — UX Writer / Designer based in San Francisco, CA

ux writing: enews subject headlines / industry: education

ux writing

PROJECT: Increase open rates and click-through rates on education-based eNewsletter headlines.

REQUIREMENTS: Engage with readers of weekly electronic newsletter through irresistible headlines and deks. Use weekly theme and taxonomy focus of the week whenever possible, as established by board of directors, in agreement with upper management.

CHALLENGES: Weekly theme shifts, hours or minutes before the news cycle begins, due to change in direction from board or upper management, in response to world or local events, audience data, or great idea too juicy to pass up.

APPROACH: Review Google Analytics, Taxonomy reports, seek advice from heads of each major related team which may include video, web, enews, digital resources, and print, and synthesize into a concise, interesting, relevant, data-driven headine.

RESULTS: Achieved 30% open rate on 139k subscriptions, with 6-11% clickthrough rates on authored subject lines. See more detail in each image caption.

Foredutopia, the george lucas educational foundation Roleauthor, editorial project manager

TAXONOMY: Social & Emotional Learning.
THEME: Engagement.
APPROACH: This headline was a collaboration with the Director of Programming and Innovation, an experienced education professional. I proposed making it a question, for increased engagement with a curious audience, and it really landed.
FEEDBACK: CTR reached 11% – the highest of any headline during my contract.

TAXONOMY: Technology Integration.
THEME: Apps for learning.
APPROACH: Catchy, repeatable, earworm.
FEEDBACK: While people do enjoy saying it, they don’t click on it – fairly low CTR, in the 1.6% range. I take full responsibility for this headline.

TAXONOMY: Integrated Studies.
THEME: Student Engagement.
APPROACH: Use meta-thought to engage, compounded with a numerical list.
FEEDBACK: Fairly successful. A collaboration with the Director of Programming and Innovation. It was my idea to add a numerical list value.

TAXONOMY: Social & Emotional Learning.
THEME: Poetry is for everyone.
APPROACH: Broad appeal.
FEEDBACK: This did not do the job, one of the lowest CTRs during my contract, under 1%. A Collaboration with the Director of Programming and Innovation. What we learned: TOO broad of an appeal isn’t appealing. Be more specific.

TAXONOMY: Technology Integration.
THEME: Technology in the Classroom
APPROACH: Draw interest with specific brand-name suggestions. Ultimately it was decided NOT to list brand names in subject line, but to include in the body of the article.

TAXONOMY: Social & Emotional Learning.
THEME: Grit, Resilience.
APPROACH: Use of industry buzzwords to catch and hold reader attention.

TAXONOMY: Assessment.
THEME: Strategies for Learning.
APPROACH: Core values appeal within a broad area of niche audience.

TAXONOMY: Social & Emotional Learning.
THEME: Reading.
APPROACH: Strike on core values that inspire.

TAXONOMY: Project-Based Learning.
THEME: Beat the budget blues.
APPROACH: Variation on a tried-and-true topic.

TAXONOMY: Project-Based Learning.
THEME: Earth Day activities.
APPROACH: Make it fresh.