3 Tips for Improving Email Marketing for Educational Institutions

woman working on email marketing

Educational institutions have taken a lot of their marketing efforts to social media platforms, but is there still a place for email marketing? Not only is email an effective way to communicate with students, prospective students, parents and faculty, it’s also a useful medium to promote various initiatives, events, and much more. These 3 helpful tips will allow educational institutions to cut through the inbox clutter by creating engaging emails. 

#1 – Call to Action 

Engagement starts with a click. When best practices tells us to make emails “engaging,” it must include a component that earns that follow-through. A catchy subject line, teasing copy and intriguing incentives that produce a reliable click takes your audience to the next phase of your goal. All of those elements should be driven by a clear and worthy call to action (CTA). Whether you’re asking students to participate in a contest or parents to learn more about a fundraiser, this conversion needs to be accessible and concise. With that in mind, consider who exactly is receiving the email. Be mindful of sending an email with a tailored CTA to a general audience who may be discouraged by the lack of relatability. 

#2 – Short, Sweet and Personal 

Inboxes are flooded with email hour-by-hour, and your email will likely be in the mix. The first line barrier of entry is the subject line. It should be short and to the point. Tools such as CoSchedule, a personal favorite, test your subject lines for clickability and provide helpful modification suggestions. Consider alluding to the result of your call to action, such as, “Students are LOVING this new look” When I open that email, I see an eye-catching image of a t-shirt sporting the school’s mascot and it reads, “Spring Sale, 25% Off!” accompanied by a “SHOP” button. The receiver can then find the details about the fresh school swag and additional offerings as they scroll down on the email. This scenario is tailored to a particular audience, encourages them to open the email, and provides a direct way to accomplish the intended result of selling branded gear. 

In general, it’s not recommended to add the receiver’s name in the subject line because it comes across as too promotional. Instead, address the recipient by first name at the very beginning and throughout the email. This will keep the reader scrolling as they spot their name while scanning the text, which is typically how emails are read. A word with that familiarity will pop from any paragraph and hopefully pique their curiosity.

#3 – Catch Those Eyes

Visually appealing emails are more than pretty graphics and the right words. It’s essential that the format is optimized for mobile and desktop. Mobile usage for reading emails is very high, but that is especially true for younger people, such as students. With that in mind, consider the fact that they may receive notifications on their phone that previews the email. Stop them from dismissing it by being aware of the text that populates in pop-up notifications. Once the email is open, the colors should be appealing and not too jarring at first glance. If a receiver were to open this email on their phone with a bright screen, would it be a pleasant experience? Let’s ensure that it will be by including gentle yet engaging images and colors, plus well-formatted text that encourages that desired click. Elevate your visuals by including professional-quality animations, which are sure to grab attention, but also sets a standard for your premium work or products. 

When an educational institution markets to students, prospective students, parents, or faculty through email, it’s important to focus on the user experience. Inboxes are saturated with everything from vital information to pure junk. These helpful tips will keep your email out of the trash bin or left on read.

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