Either you are professionally related with an educational institution or you just felt curious of how email marketing can be applied in this field, we can assure you this was the most enjoyable article to write. Every industry hides its own secrets that makes it unique but education is totally one of a kind. In this article, we will not focus on how to reach the highest open rates or how to drive users to conversions but mostly on how email marketing can actually support an educational institution’s operations. But, to do that, we must firstly understand, who could potentially get such an email in his inbox.
First come the potential customers
The first thing to discuss is which are those people that may be interested in getting your emails. The answer is probably simple. First comes the current students, then the alumni, the staff and all those people that desire or search an educational program like the one you are already offering.
You probably have an updated database with current students’, alumni’s, staff’s email addresses. But what about the potential students / customers?
Right after you manage to bring a potential student into your website, getting his email will be a very easy task. Not only because educational institutions are trustful to provide data to, but also because we could together think of a hundred incentives to provide to the potential subscriber. A simple form right next to each educational program’s landing page is technically enough for you to start collecting emails.
But, commercially speaking, the potential student will need a small push. This could be the promise of:
– A report on the city’s cost of living
– Information on how to find the right accommodation
– Supportive content on how to apply
– Educational introductory content around the topic he/she is interested in studying
– Tourist guides
The list could be a lot bigger but the point is to promise content by which the student will feel familiarity, warmness and excitement about what he will experience while studying in your institution no matter if this will be about the things he will learn, the people he will meet or even the fun he will have. The promise of such content is way more powerful than giving economic incentives and surely enough to persuade a potential student give you his email address.
What to do with all these emails
After establishing an email collection strategy, the discussion has to be about what to do with them. Supposingly, you have a big list of email addresses combined by current students, potential ones, alumni and staff, so let’s elaborate on some ideas to take full advantage of them:
There is a bunch of ideas on how to take advantage of your current students emails. Any kind of email communication has the potential of actually improving your students’ life. Here are a few that you can promote:
– Job openings
– Educational material
– Extracurricular activities and organizations
Potential students are also potential revenues, so email communication should be careful and strategic here. Here are some tips you should give attention to:
– Responsiveness is really important for the educational industry. Besides this report which shows that more than 40% of emails are opened by mobile devices, we would not be surprised if this number was a lot bigger in this specific category.
– A typical personalization would make the difference even if it’s limited by name, educational area of interest and maybe some localization. Keep in mind that average open and click rates are around 20-25% and 2-4% accordingly.
– Interesting and shareable content about the organization, the student life and the future professional prospects etc.
– Strong and effective CTAs that promote further engagement may prove to convert more easily and less costly than your average new student acquisition cost.
Alumni and staff
Alumni and staff are different segments but ones of similar interests and approach. Having a community around your educational organization is between the most important decision making factors of potential students. Investing on keeping all those people close with activities, constant communication and engagement can be actually monetised. Here is some food for thought:
– Night Outs and fun activities
– Engagement as mentors, consultants or even employers of prospective graduates
Feel free to share your thoughts: How could an educational institution increase its outreach and promote itself? Any more ideas?