All colleges and universities need to attract students in order to survive. That’s why such institutions often embrace social media marketing. While this can be effective, it’s important not to overlook how important email marketing for colleges can be. In Fall 2016 alone, the top 10 colleges with the most applicants each received over 57,000 applications. Make sure you’re reaching this growing applicant pool the right way through university email marketing.
Not all prospective students will have social media accounts. However, virtually all of them will have email. In fact, according to recently released data, Millennials often have more than one. Once you’ve acquired their address and use an email verification software to weed out bounce emails, you can begin your university email outreach on the right foot.
University emails work because they reach a vast number of potential applicants that all share a similar feature: they are about enrol in a college. To ensure your higher education email marketing is a success, keep the following points in mind.
How to Implement an Effective University Email Marketing Strategy
Understanding the Process
The final goal of any higher education email marketing campaign is simple: get a person to enroll in a particular institution.
The process of reaching that goal, though, typically involves several steps. Breaking the process down into these steps makes it easier to send the right emails at the right time.
For instance, perhaps a high school student has contacted the university to request information about an academic program. At this stage, you simply want to entice the student to set up an interview or complete their application. Send emails from the university explaining how they can do so.
Once they set up the interview, send emails to help them prepare. Once a student has applied, there will be a lull period as they await to learn whether they’ve been accepted. During this stage, if you send emails, they should consist of updates, letting a student know their application is still under review.
If an application is accepted, your university email campaign content should not only point out the many benefits your institution has to offer; it should also offer practical advice on the enrollment process.
The Importance of CTAs
Every university email you send a prospective applicant should move them closer toward a step in the enrollment process. That’s why calls-to-action are especially important in regards to email marketing for colleges.
A CTA, usually included toward the end of an email, encourages a reader to take a specific action. For higher education email marketing campaigns, CTAs might urge readers to schedule a visit/interview, complete their application or finish the enrollment process.
Your emails shouldn’t merely serve to highlight the types of experiences students have at your university; they should also prompt some sort of action. Don’t send any emails until you’ve determined what type of action you would want a reader to take, and what CTA you’ll include to ensure they do so. In fact, it may be smart to draft your CTA first, then develop the rest of the email’s content.
Maintain Your Brand
A brand is your university’s personality and identity. Having a strong brand identity also makes your emails feel more genuine. When your image is consistent, it makes your university emails feel more familiar to prospective applicants. They begin to associate certain emotional experiences with your messages. Over time, they may develop a genuine connection with your brand that makes them more likely to apply to your university.
Elements of a brand include the tone of your emails (enthusiastic/compassionate/friendly/etc.), the types of images you incorporate, and the types of benefits and experiences your emails highlight. When planning out your university email marketing strategy, develop ideas for how you will both communicate and maintain your brand. Remember, remaining consistent is essential.
Again, while social media can be helpful, email marketing for colleges remains one of the most effective ways to reach a large number of potential students. Plan your campaign wisely, and you’ll make your institution look much more attractive to them.