Let us begin with an insightful fact!
As per Statista, there are 4 billion daily email users, and this number is expected to climb to 4.6 billion by 2025. This demonstrates the vast audience base that your email marketing can reach.
Email marketing can be a strong education marketing strategy to connect with and engage alumni, current students, and potential students. It enables you to promote your courses and establish connections with prospective students. Emails can also help keep your current students informed about events, deadlines, and other important information. This will keep students interested in the university and support the development of a sense of community.
Email communication when used in the right way can help your institute reach a wider audience, however, there are certain do’s and don’ts that you need to keep in mind for maximum output.
Every month, over 50 million marketing emails are sent through ExtraaEdge’s education CRM. In a sense, we have a bird’s-eye view of how e-mails perform for higher education marketers.
Based on our experiences and observations, we’ve created a list of the best and worst email marketing campaign strategies for the upcoming year. Following these recommendations will enable you to get real results in the form of opens, clicks, and responses.
Do’s for Email Marketing in 2023 for education institutions
Below are some best email marketing practices that can definitely help you plan a successful email marketing campaign.
1. Segment your email lists
According to a recent Hubspot study, subscriber segmentation is one of the most successful email marketing techniques, according to 78% of marketers.
In email marketing, segmentation is the process of breaking up your email list into smaller groups based on traits or behaviours that they share.
It’s a fact that each of your prospects has a different course interest and could be at a different stage of enrollment compared to the others. So sending every prospective student the same mail doesn’t make sense. For a great communication experience, it is wise that you segment prospects and emails into different groups.
According to Emarketer, “39% of email marketers who segment their email lists see better open rates, 28% better email deliverability, and more revenue.”
There are many ways you can segment your audience for email marketing. Some examples include:
- By program or major: You can segment your prospects based on the programs or majors that students want to e enrol in. This can allow you to send targeted messages that are relevant to specific groups of students, such as information about specific courses or opportunities for research.
- By year or level of study: You can also segment the audience based on the year or level of study of your students. For example, you might want to send different messages to first-year students than you would to seniors or graduate students.
- By location: You can segment the audience based on location, such as by sending different messages to students who do not reside in the city.
- By interests or activities: Audience segmentation can also be done based on the interests or activities of your students. For example, you can send different messages to students who are involved in extracurricular activities or clubs than those who are not.
- By alumni status: You can segment your audience based on alumni status, sending different messages to current students, alumni, and prospective students.
Making use of powerful and customised CRM automation software can definitely help you make this process easier. With a CRM solution in place, you won’t have to make segments manually for certain tasks. For example, whenever a prospective student takes the next step in the enrollment process, your marketing team can update the information, which will help them re-segment according to the next stage they are in.
2. Powerful subject line
Do you know that 47% of email recipients decide whether to open an email based on the subject line?
From the above-mentioned fact, you now know the significance of the subject line in your email campaigns. The goal of every email is to give value to its audience. Your prospect receives a bunch of emails in their inbox on a daily basis. In order to make sure you do not get lost in that chaos, it is important that you have a solid subject line.
Here are a few tips that can help you write powerful subject lines for your email campaigns:
- Keep it short and sweet: Subject lines should be short and to the point, ideally no more than 50 characters. This will ensure that the entire subject line is visible to most email clients and that it is easy for readers to quickly scan and understand.
- Be specific: Subject lines that are specific and informative are more likely to pique the interest of readers. For example, instead of a subject line like “Important news,” a more specific subject line like “New scholarship opportunities now available” might be more effective at catching the attention of students.
- Personalize: Personalized subject lines that include the recipient’s name or other personal information can be more effective at capturing attention and encouraging readers to open the email.
- Use action words: Subject lines that include action words, such as “Sign up,” “Download,” or “Register,” can be more effective at capturing attention and encouraging readers to take action.
- Test and optimize: It can be helpful to test different subject lines to see which ones are most effective at generating opens and clicks. You can use tools like A/B testing to compare the performance of different subject lines and identify the most effective ones.
3. Responsive Email Templates
As per Mailchimp, responsive email templates can boost clicks by up to 15%.
A responsive email template is a design that is optimized to look good and function properly on a variety of different devices, including desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. Responsive email templates are designed to automatically adjust their layout and design based on the size and resolution of the device they are being viewed on, ensuring that your emails are optimised for all devices and reach a wider audience.
There are a few different ways that universities can create responsive email templates:
- Use a tool or platform: Many email marketing platforms offer templates that are already optimised for responsive design, so you can simply choose a template and customize it to your needs. Alternatively, you can use a design tool like Adobe Creative Cloud or Canva to create your own responsive templates from scratch.
- Use a framework: There are also a number of frameworks available that can help you to create responsive email templates more easily. These frameworks provide a set of predefined styles and layout options that you can use to create your templates, and they are designed to work well on a variety of different devices.
- Use online resources: There are also a number of online resources available that can help you to create responsive email templates, such as templates that are available for download or tutorials that provide step-by-step instructions.
Creating responsive email templates can be done in a number of ways, and the best one for you will depend on your unique requirements and available resources.
Use responsive email templates to make sure that every recipient can access and read your emails without difficulty, regardless of the device they are using. This can help improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns and increase the chances of your emails being opened and read
4. Personalise mail templates
As per Evergage, 86% of marketers have seen a measurable lift in business results from their personalisation campaigns.
Also as per Hubspot’s recent report, personalised calls to action convert 202% better than default or standard calls to action
Personalizing email templates is a great way to boost engagement, make your emails more relevant and credible, and make your email marketing campaigns more successful.
There are several ways you can personalize your emails to make them more engaging and effective:
- Use the prospect’s name: Personalizing emails by using the recipient’s name can help to make them feel more personal and engaging. This can be especially effective when combined with a subject line that includes the prospect’s name.
- Tailor the content to the prospect’s interests or needs: You can personalize your emails by including content that is tailored to the specific interests or needs of different groups of recipients. For example, you can send different emails to students who are interested in different programs or majors.
- Use segmentation: Segmenting the email list based on shared characteristics or behaviours helps to send more targeted and relevant messages to your prospective students. This can increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns and improve their chances of success.
- Use dynamic content: Dynamic content is customized to the individual recipient based on their past behaviour or other data. You can use dynamic content to personalise the emails and increase their relevance to your prospects.
- Use action-based CTAs: One more important thing to keep in mind is to write action-based content which has important CTAs. Prospects should take some action after they have gone through your email.
5. Track the email performance
Tracking the performance of your email campaigns is an important aspect of email marketing, as it can help you to understand what is working, improve your targeting, identify opportunities for growth, and demonstrate the ROI of your efforts. You can evaluate your email marketing efforts by gathering data on metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
There are several ways that universities can track the performance of their email campaigns:
- Use email marketing software: Many email marketing platforms come with built-in analytics and reporting tools that allow you to track the performance of your emails. These tools can provide data on metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, as well as provide insights into the behaviour of your audience.
- Use tracking links: You can also use tracking links in emails to track the performance of the campaigns. These links can be set up to track clicks and conversions, and the data can be used to understand how well the email campaign is performing.
- Use Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that can be used to track the performance of your email campaigns. You can set up goals in Google Analytics to track conversions, such as sign-ups or downloads.
- Use A/B testing: You can also use A/B testing to compare the performance of different versions of your emails and identify which ones are most effective. This can help in optimizing email marketing efforts and improve the chances of conversions.
Few don’ts of email marketing for education institutions
- Don’t send emails too frequently: Sending too many emails can irritate your prospects and lead to unsubscriptions. Make sure to strike the right balance between staying in touch with your prospects and avoiding overloading their inboxes.
- Don’t use spammy subject lines: Using spammy or misleading subject lines can lead to low open rates and damage your reputation. Make sure to use clear and informative subject lines that accurately reflect the content of your emails.
- Don’t ignore unsubscribes: If someone unsubscribes from your email list, it is important to respect their wishes and remove them from your list. Ignoring unsubscribes can lead to complaints and damage your reputation.
- Don’t use poor design: Poorly designed emails can be difficult to read and may not look good on all devices. Make sure to use a clean and professional design that is easy to read and looks good on all devices.
- Don’t neglect the subject line: The subject line is an important part of your email, as it is what will determine whether or not your email gets opened. Make sure to spend time crafting a compelling and informative subject line that will encourage readers to open your email.
With the aid of email marketing, you can increase enrollments, engagement levels, the reputation of your institution, productivity, and ROI. By keeping the dos and don’ts in mind, the common pitfalls can be avoided, and your email marketing efforts can be more successful. Additionally, here is a list of benchmark data for email marketing campaigns in the education industry to help you better understand these important metrics.
- Average open rate: 23.42%
- Average click rate: 2.90%
However, there are other key mediums to engage with your prospects that emerged strongly during the pandemic and continue to rule the marketing in the education industry. It is always wise to use the combination of several marketing strategies to master the major step of prospect engagement in your conversion funnel.