How Can Universities Use Email for Currently-Enrolled Student Engagement?
In past posts, we’ve discussed how colleges and universities can acquire new students through email marketing. Once these students arrive on campus, how can you keep them engaged and, more importantly, how can you keep them continuously enrolled? Through, email marketing universities can maximize student engagement and promote continued enrollment in a number of different ways.
Fortunately, for colleges and universities, building an email list is not an issue. You already have email addresses for each student on campus. The primary challenge associated with email marketing for higher education: getting enrolled students to read your email blasts.
Keep Student Engagement Content Useful and Relevant
Breaking through a cluttered email inbox to grab readers’ attention can be a challenge, especially for colleges and universities. Make sure your content is relevant to the interests of your target audience. Segmenting your lists will help to ensure that your marketing messages are targeted at the right people. For example, art students may not be interested in an event featuring a speaker on economics.
Start by considering what type of content students at your college or university value. They may be intrigued by discounts to on-campus dining facilities or information about an upcoming event. Always lead off your email messages with content that your student population will find interesting.
Test Which Content Works Best
We’re often asked a variety of questions about how to perfect an email marketing campaign. What’s the best time to send an email? What’s the best subject line? The best way to experiment and find out what works best is through A/B testing. Most email marketing platforms have functionality that allows for A/B testing to improve your campaigns.
For your next email blast, create two separate drafts of the email. Change up the subject line, body copy and images to see which one works best. Send one draft to one random segment of your list and send the other to the remainder of your list. Through this method, you can see which tactics do the best job of grab readers’ attention. In the future, use content, subject lines and images from the email that performed the best.
Quality Over Quantity
Typical web users, especially students, are inundated with email content on a daily basis. In 2012, prospective students received an average of 18 email blasts for colleges and universities before getting to campus.
There isn’t a golden rule for email frequency as it typically depends on what type of content you’re sending out. A general rule of thumb for promotional email blasts is a least once per month, but no more than one a week. In order to capture the attention of busy students that have a lot on their minds, you may want to experiment with email frequency.