Preparing a back-to-school email marketing campaign? Then naturally, you’ll want your emails to showcase your school in the best possible light. Because if your emails give subscribers a bad first impression, they might decide to skip applying to your school altogether. And that’s not great for your enrollment numbers.
In this guide, we’ll share eight tactics for creating back-to-school emails from teachers and schools that get subscribers interested in your school programs—and more than eager to apply. Get ready to add these tactics to your back-to-school email marketing strategy!
1. Design an attractive email template
As you prepare the copy for your emails, don’t overlook back-to-school newsletter templates.
You can have the most compelling copy in the world, but subscribers might not want to read your email if it looks unappealing. So take the time to create an attractive-looking newsletter template for your emails that you can use over and over again.
We like this one by Summit Public Schools:
The school has used an attractive newsletter color scheme that’s in line with its brand colors. The newsletter is also laid out in clean, easy-to-read fonts. All these contribute to a pleasant reading experience.
Not a pro email designer? No worries! We offer a large collection of back-to-school email templates:
Shortlist your favorite marketing email templates, then use our Email Maker to customize them for your school emails.
2. Address your recipients personally
Saying “Dear Prospective Student” in your emails is impersonal. To create a stronger connection with your recipient, it helps to address them by name in your emails.
Email platforms generally have a feature for adding a first name placeholder to emails. If you’ve used it, the platform will automatically insert the recipient’s first name into your emails while sending them. Your emails will then say “Dear Charlie,” “Dear Melissa,” and so on.
Even if you don’t have a record of your subscribers’ first names, you can still collectively address your subscribers to foster a sense of community.
For an example, take a look at this email from the School of the Osage:
It addresses subscribers as “School of the Osage Students, Families, and Community.”
As subscribers read this, they might feel like they’re part of a greater community. They might also feel goodwill that nudges them to check out the school’s programs in more detail!
3. Share reasons why students should enroll
When shortlisting schools, students want to know why a particular school program is a good fit for their educational and career goals.
Accordingly, your emails shouldn’t just state your available programs. Go one step further and share what makes these programs such amazing opportunities! The University of Nicosia has done exactly this in an email for prospective students:
Things worth highlighting as you pitch programs to students include:
- Who will be conducting the school program, especially if they are experienced faculty and renowned academics
- Key knowledge and concepts that the program will cover
- Soft skills that students can pick up from attending the program
- Career-expanding opportunities such as internships and work attachments
- Achievements that alumni have attained
- The availability of discounts for early enrollment
4. Publicize important application deadlines
A student may be interested in applying to your school, but missed the application deadline because this information wasn’t communicated to them clearly.
The result is that the disappointed student has to apply elsewhere, while you lose a student. It’s a lose-lose situation.
To prevent this from happening, clarify your application deadlines in your emails. In its email newsletter, for example, Lake Mary High School included information on its summer school’s registration deadline:
Also, give subscribers an early heads-up about the deadline so they have enough time to prepare their applications.
Depending on the complexity of the application process, such advance notice could be two weeks, one month, or even a few months long.
5. Use strong calls to action
Want your email subscribers to take certain actions after reading your email? As you’re setting up nice email links and buttons, use strong calls to action that will incentivize your subscribers to actually click them!
This means not using anything generic like “Click here.” At the very least, your call to action should include the specific action that you want subscribers to take.
For example, do you want them to:
- Read your admission criteria in more detail? Then use “Read” or “Learn more” in your call to action.
- Apply to your school? Then use calls to action like “Apply” or “Submit your application.”
You can also think out of the box and come up with especially creative calls to action.
We love these from the UCAM Catholic University of Murcia, which say “I want to study a bachelor’s degree in Spain” and “I want to study a master’s degree in Spain” respectively.
6. Link to your social media pages
While it’s great to have prospective students on your email list, try to get them to follow you on as many social media platforms as possible.
Doing so helps you stay in touch with them more regularly, so they’ll think of you as they’re looking for schools to apply to.
In your emails, add a row of social media icons to help subscribers conveniently browse (and follow) your social media pages. Here’s an email from the Bellevue School District that illustrates this:
Don’t be shy about linking to all your social pages. The more the merrier! This way, even if a subscriber doesn’t have an account on one social media platform, they may still be able to follow you on another.
Your challenge will then be to actively post on your social media accounts—and we’ve got a guide to creating quality social media faster to help you out with that.
7. Optimize your emails for mobile devices
Many people check their email from their phones instead of from their computers, so you’ll need to make your emails mobile-friendly. In other words, your emails should be easy to read and interact with from even a smaller mobile phone screen.
For instance, use large buttons that readers can easily tap with their thumbs. Just like this registration button in the Renaissance School’s admissions newsletter:
You may also need to optimize your emails’ layout for smaller screens.
On a desktop, for example, you’ll see that the Renaissance School’s newsletter displays two faculty photos in the same row:
But on a mobile phone, the newsletter displays one photo at a time to avoid cramming too many photos into the limited available space.
P.S. PosterMyWall’s Email Marketing Platform allows you to preview emails on desktop, tablet, and mobile screens. With it, you can ensure your emails are optimized for different device types before you hit send!
8. Be consistent with your email send schedule
You can execute all the above tactics well, but still have a disappointing back-to-school email marketing campaign if you’re sending emails irregularly. And by “irregularly,” we mean following infrequent send schedules like:
- Sending emails once a week for three weeks, and then
- Not sending any more emails until three months later.
By the time you send that next email three months later, your subscribers might have already applied to a different school. They might even forget that they’d signed up to your email list in the first place, and unsubscribe.
You don’t have to send emails every day. In fact, you might annoy your subscribers if you do that. But you’ll want to pick a relatively frequent send schedule and stick to it.
As you can see from Darwin Middle School’s newsletter archives, the school sends emails at a reasonable frequency of once a week:
Launch your back-to-school email marketing campaign with PosterMyWall
As your school gears up to welcome students for the new school year, apply these tactics to craft emails that have students falling in love with your school. And after sending your emails, don’t forget to review key email metrics such as your open rates and click rates!
Using such data, you’ll be able to measure the success of your back-to-school email marketing campaign and refine it for greater effectiveness. With PosterMyWall’s email marketing platform, you can create your email campaign using polished back-to-school email designs, then send and track your emails all in one place. Head over to the Gradient blog to learn how PosterMyWall can help you send emails that give your enrollment numbers the boost you seek.
Senior editor at PosterMyWall.