6 Email Marketing Tips for Colleges & Universities

higher ed email marketingFor colleges, effective communication is key for trying to get prospective students to come visit and ultimately apply to your school.

With the help of technology, such as email marketing, you’re able to reach a wider audience. Additionally, you can stay in touch with students that are currently going to college and alumni after they graduate for latest updates, upcoming events, donating, and more.

What is Email Marketing for Colleges?

Email marketing is a popular strategy to communicate with a targeted audience through email campaigns. For more schools, it involves sending personalized emails to possible students to build relationships.

By knowing your goal of emailing, you can develop a quality email list to target the audience you’re wanting. After you compile the list, you can send personalized content and analyze the results for any future campaigns or decisions.

When we think of email marketing, there are three types of emails you can send out which include:

  • Informational emails – These emails are to provide students with any information regarding your college such as upcoming events, specific information regarding degrees, news about professors, and more. There is a breakdown even further into announcements and newsletters.
  • Promotional emails – Promotional emails are meant to bring attention to your college, covering various details such as the admission details or process, community surrounding the campus, extracurricular activities, and more. These emails are ones that you’d want to send to any prospective students, to showcase the college and hope that they apply!
  • Touch-base emails – These emails are so that you can reestablish a relationship or connection between the college and this audience. In this case, it could be someone who toured recently or requested additional information.

By incorporating email marketing into your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to see the best results.

How Colleges Can Utilize Email Marketing

If you are a college in search of different ways to reach your ideal target market, be sure to follow these email marketing tips:

1. Email List Segmentation is Key

It’s important to organize your contacts into different groups based on their unique attributes. Since a college has a variety of people in their contacts such as alumni, prospective and current students, you want to be sure they are receiving content curated to them.

2. Take the Student Journey into Account

There are a variety of stages that a person goes through when going to college such as the research stage, filling out applications and finally enrolling. Students will need different messaging at each stage so it’s vital to have campaigns targeting students at each stage of the process.

3. Ensure Campaigns are Web and Mobile-Friendly

When creating an email marketing campaign, there needs to be a focus on creating user-friendly content. This involves optimizing emails so that whichever device you are opening it on, people are able to easily view and interact with it. If they aren’t able to, there could be possible consequences such as losing a possible applicant.

4. Include Student Stats

Students like to know that the college they are considering is worth the investment, so you may want to include some data that showcases your college. Some possible ideas include post-grad career opportunities, graduation statistics, personal stories from former students, and more.

5. Consistent Branding in Marketing Materials

In marketing for higher ed institutions, a key piece is using the same branding consistently. This means consistency in messaging, branding images, logos, etc.

6. Incorporate Interactive Elements

With tons of emails flooding your inbox, they tend to get lost. It’s with interactive elements and catchy subject lines, that allow your email campaign to stand out and entice users to open it. Some of the ways you can add interactive elements include adding CTA buttons that pop, carousel images or embedding personalized GIFs.

FAQs for Email Marketing Within Colleges

In What Ways Can You Measure the Success of Email Marketing?

You’ll want to measure results of your marketing campaign so that you can have the best strategy. Some metrics you’ll want to keep an eye on is open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, A/B testing, and more. After viewing results, you can work off what is working the best and eliminate what doesn’t. Paying attention to what days you send out emails, and at what times, can be helpful as well to seeing what works best.

How Frequent Should we be Sending Emails?

While it may vary for each campaign, sending one to two emails a week can be the ideal amount. You don’t want to send too many emails as that’s a huge reason people will unsubscribe.

How Can I Build an Email List?

Building an email list is one of the first things you’ll need to get started for your email marketing campaign. Some ways you can create an email list is by offering downloadable brochures, display popups and embed opt-in forms.

What Are Some Benefits of Email Marketing for Colleges?

Email marketing offers a variety of benefits to colleges looking for a new marketing tactic. It not only is cost-effective, but also offers a high ROI. The possibility of high ROI is due to the fact that universities have power in email marketing. They see data and can make decisions moving forward based on those results. The last benefit is increasing student enrollment and retention!

Are There Other Marketing Tactics I Should Add onto Email Marketing?

Yes! By combining email marketing with other tactics can help maximize your strategy and create an impactful campaign. At Sixth City Marketing, we are proud to offer a variety of services that you can utilize in tandem with your email marketing and see great results for your college. These services include:

We are here to help your college differentiate and stand out from the others, getting you the results you desire. Contact our team today using the form or even through the LiveChat to learn more about what we offer.

Ally Hosler

About the Author

Ally Hosler

Ally Hosler is an Account Manager at Sixth City Marketing. Her role includes a mix of writing content, account management, and updating websites for some of our ecommerce, tech, law firm and landscaping clients.

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