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Our strongest brand is the Notre Dame brand. So having a tool like Emma has allowed us to streamline and centralize that functionality of our branding from an email perspective,” Fahey said. “From both a templating perspective and an analytics perspective, [Emma] has been useful to us to help us achieve our goals.


Any higher education professional knows the importance of staying on-brand. From your university’s logo and colors all the way to your mascot, maintaining the brand across all departments is essential. Because when it comes to communication, you always strive to keep a cohesive message across the board. But with so many different types of messages coming from a variety of departments, cohesive communication isn’t exactly an “easy A.”

Schools like the University of Notre Dame are maintaining a united brand message with tools like Emma and our HQ package. The Emma HQ tiered-account structure features critical tools, like an approvals dashboard and template locking, which help maintain consistent email marketing across all divisions. With Emma HQ, different departments within the university can apply email marketing in their own ways, while still maintaining the power of the Notre Dame brand.

Across the university, there are a total of 69 units, including Notre Dame Research department and the College of Arts and Letters, that currently use Emma. Each department looks to its own strategy as its guiding light, all while staying linked as one with the use of email marketing and a cohesive brand message.

Notre Dame Research uses Emma to help streamline communications internally and externally.

Notre Dame Research shares the important research coming out of its 25 different research areas, from cancer and environmental change to computer science and more. Using Emma templates to create consistency, the organization can externally share their success stories, events, and any updates or job openings. Notre Dame Research finds that by sharing these stories via email, they can continue to grow and enhance their reputation as a top research university and showcase newsworthy developments within the research community.

ND Research also takes advantage of internal newsletters to keep their employees informed and connected with one another.

“The internal newsletter has created a new digital space where disparate team members can come together and share things, like wedding anniversaries or baby announcements, that they wouldn’t have had as an outlet otherwise. This helps make Notre Dame Research a great place to work and a spirited community to be a part of,” said Joanne D. Fahey, Director of Communications at Notre Dame Research.

The College of Arts and Letters uses email to tell the success stories of liberal arts students and alumni.

The College of Arts and Letters communication team is focused on creating and sharing success stories that showcase current students and alumni. Their goal is to keep their audience engaged by highlighting the limitless career possibilities that come from studying the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The communications team develops and distributes a monthly Arts and Letters newsletter, as well as annual newsletters created on behalf of 23 different departments across the college.

“We wanted as many students and alumni as possible seeing these stories about why students are studying what they love and how they are using that education to find success in the world. Sending these stories directly to their email inboxes has proved the most effective way for our audiences to see these stories, interact with them, and internalize the message,” said Josh Weinhold, Associate Director of Communications in the College of Arts and Letters.

With so much success to share, it’s the mission of the communications team to tell these stories, but most importantly, to make sure these stories are actually heard. Weinhold finds that while other digital marketing platforms serve a unique purpose, email is the key to a calculated delivery and measured engagement.

“Social media is important, but there’s nothing to assure you that your audience is seeing what you put out there. We found that direct email is the best way to make sure that our key audiences are seeing the messages that we want them to see. We get more clicks on a story in a newsletter than we do on social media. Even our most popular posts on social don’t always get great click-through rates. Email is really the best way to get the most attention on a story.”

Emma helps a female-focused organization put its mission into action.

THRIVE!, a Notre Dame employee resource group,is focused on increasing opportunities for women to be recruited, retained, and advanced as leaders at the university. The organization leans on Emma as its main tool to connect women across many different campus units and to share mentoring, professional development, and networking opportunities with its more than 1,000 members.

Being able to reach everyone through our e-newsletters to share key messages, engage members, and send helpful resources has been crucial in maintaining our mission,” said Kate Garry, Director of Communications in the College of Arts and Letters and President of THRIVE!.

Analytics, a clean design, and cohesive messaging is key across all departments.

When asked about Emma’s impact on email marketing, Fahey, Weinhold, and Garry spoke directly to the ability to create a cohesive and professional email and track their progress along the way.

Weinhold said that with his team, the Emma analytics tool was a huge driver in expanding their email newsletter strategy throughout the last few years. Although their open rates and click-through rates were strong, the team realized they were overloading their audience with an influx of stories to choose from—and spending a lot of time developing those lengthy newsletters in the process.

Analytics helped them see that while many of the stories were receiving clicks, there were plenty of stories that weren’t getting much attention at all.

Using Emma templates, they quickly changed the look of their newsletters to compliment their less-is-more content theory. From there, analytics tracking helped prove their theory that a cleaner design focused their audience’s attention on their most important messages. By spending less time developing stories that weren’t getting attention, they were able to devote more resources to producing newsletters.

Garry also finds value in the Emma analytics tools and adds that sending out messages with a professional look and feel helps build on the importance of the organization’s overall mission. Plus, an organized platform helps her team keep all the information they need tucked away in an easily-accessible place.

“I really like that we’re able to easily track analytics and use those insights to provide more of the types of content that our members engage with most ,” Garry said. “We can also create emails that look professional and keep our membership and email communication all in one platform.”

When it comes to centralized and cohesive branding, Fahey says it’s absolutely crucial.

“Our strongest brand is the Notre Dame brand. So having a tool like Emma has allowed us to streamline and centralize that functionality of our branding from an email perspective,” Fahey said. “From both a templating perspective and an analytics perspective, [Emma] has been useful to us to help us achieve our goals.”

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