4 Ways Successful Universities Get Email Signups

In the early stages of an email marketing campaign, building a large email list can be a daunting task. If you’re just starting out an inbound campaign for your college or university, take into account these 4 ways successful universities get email signups.

1. They Offer Premium Content

Today, email subscribers are looking for more of incentive than great content delivered right to their inbox. Successful universities that get email signups typically offer some form of premium content to encourage signups. This can include anything from ebooks, podcasts, study guides for standardized tests or any thing else that contains tons of knowledge that typically isn’t “free.” By putting out valuable content, universities get email signups while positioning themselves as though-leaders in their niche.

Fabulosity of eBooks

Offer a free ebook to draw attention to your email newsletter.

2. They Take Advantage of Social Proof

Visitors to your website will typical react positively if they see a large number of satisfied people subscribed to your email list. If you have a group of happy readers, encourage them to spread the word. Here are just a few ways you can grow your subscriber list by taking advantage of social proof:

[custom_list type=”dot”]

  • Display testimonials on the sign up page – If readers need a little push to get them to fill out your sign up form, testimonials are an excellent way convince the undecided. Don’t keep these hidden away on a testimonials page. Put them right next to your sign up form.
  • Connect with Social Media – Ask your existing to readers to share their positive experiences with your newsletter on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Stress exclusivity – Urge users that they’ll get exclusive access to information. By joining they’ll be part of this group of people getting access to all kinds of helpful information about higher education.


Take advantage of group mentality to encourage email signups.

Take advantage of group mentality to encourage email signups.

3. They Seek Out New Audience Members Through Multiple Channels

In our previous post about optimizing your applicant funnel, we talked about generating awareness through multiple online channels. These techniques directly translate to building your email list. Don’t just focus on one medium to market your email newsletter or ebook. Align your marketing efforts to include social media, PR, SEO, pay-per-click and offline advertising.

4. They Have Effective Calls to Action

When it comes to building your email list, it’s better to tell than it is to ask. Direct calls-to-action do a much better job of grabbing attention than indirect, soft pleas for email subscriptions. While you don’t want to be obnoxious, try to tell your readers what you want them to do as directly as possible.
[one_half][custom_list type=”x”]

  • Bad: If you subscribe to our email newsletter you get a free ebook.

[one_half_last][custom_list type=”check”]

  • Good: Enter your email and download your free ebook now!


In this example, we tell our subscribers exactly what to do. Using direct messaging positions the call to action as a command instead of an option. To make your call to actions even more powerful, try installing a pop-up form plug-in to your website or blog.