More schools are choosing to utilize marketing strategies, and they are experiencing the benefits of implementing their marketing tactics. Independent schools need marketing to ensure their admissions pipeline is filled as well as set themselves apart from the competition. And we all know how much competition is out there.
According to the Campaign Monitor Email Marketing Benchmarks Report, the email open rate for the Education Industry in 2022 is 28.5%, the highest open rate among all industries, which means it is an outstanding way to reach prospective and current parents, staff and alumni.
While social media channels are a great platform for connecting with millennial parents, parents of all ages still trust email and formal letters from schools. Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach your subscriber lists in a place most people visit every day – their email inbox.
Email marketing services are designed to make the process of email marketing easier. They have features to enhance and streamline emails to help you identify quality inquiries, nurture those inquiries and enroll more students.
Many of these email marketing services offer support and may even integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) program. But with so many email service tools available today, how do you know which one is the best one for your school?
Today’s article will explore 12 top email services available today, one of which you might choose for your school.
Hubspot Email Marketing Software
Hubspot Email Marketing Software is known for its automation features and integration with their CRM.
It’s a great tool because it allows you to easily design, personalize, and optimize your emails. One of the best features of the Hubspot email service is the automated workflows. Plus, the handy mapping tool gives you a visual layout to make it easier to see where and when different emails will be deployed.
Of course, one of the best things about Hubspot is how seamlessly it integrates with other tools like Marketing Hub and their CRM.
It also has attractive pre-made templates to make it easier to design an email that is aesthetically pleasing and fits with the branding of your school. You can also personalize your emails for your different subscriber segment groups and even for individuals.
Hubspot also offers a wide range of features designed to optimize the performance of your emails, such as A/B testing and reports. The A/B testing tool is top-notch. It helps you track and analyze your metrics to see which performed better – and why. This can help you improve your future email campaigns by adjusting your subject lines, content, calls-to-action, landing pages and inquiry forms.
Hubspot offers a free version as well as an upgraded version. One advantage of using the free version is there is no limit to subscribers, making it an efficient place to store subscriber information.
Personally, I use and wholeheartedly recommend Hubspot software, including their email marketing service.
ConvertKit is known for customizable opt-in forms and landing pages.
ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform that is easy to use and incredibly powerful. The service allows you to easily offer downloadable content and incentives on their email opt-in forms. You can also send drip campaigns with auto-responders.
With ConvertKit, you can easily segment your audience so you can personalize your messages. They offer powerful features such as A/B testing, beautiful email templates, landing page builder, smart workflows, and more.
ConvertKit offers email customer support and has a knowledge base.
ConvertKit is my recommended tool to create lead nurturing campaigns for your school. It is the service I use for my email list.
ConvertKit offers a 14-day free trial, and after that their pricing starts at $29 per month.
Constant Contact is known for creating email drip campaigns and easy-to-use templates.
Constant Contact is one of the largest email marketing services in the world. It is easy to use and beginner-friendly. You can easily manage your contacts, email lists, templates and marketing calendar.
Features include unlimited emails, built-in social media sharing tools, list segmentation, easy tracking and reporting, Facebook Ads integration and a free image library. Furthermore, Constant Contact offers unparalleled customer service through live chat, phone calls, email, training, live seminars, community support and an in-depth knowledge base.
Constant Contact offers a free 60-day trial, and after the 60 days pricing, starts at $9.99.
SendinBlue is known for sending automated nurturing and text message campaigns.
SendinBlue is an email marketing and SMS service tool. SendinBlue is one of the fastest growing email marketing platforms, for good reason.
SendinBlue is an easy to use platform with excellent tools to design beautiful emails. They offer an intuitive drag and drop editor so even beginners can set up their first campaign. They also offer easy-to-use automation tools that make it easy to create workflows for automated emails and segment users.
SendinBlue offers a free email marketing plan with unlimited contacts. The free version allows up to 300 emails per day, but the emails will include their branding. The paid versions start at $25 per month.
Moosend is known for ease of creating automations, sending multimedia, and interactive emails.
Moosend is an affordable email marketing service that comes with a suite of powerful email list building tools, automation features, landing pages, and more.
It’s easy to quickly design email newsletters and customize the email templates to fit with your branding within minutes.
One nice feature of Moosend is they include automation features even in their free tool, which is not typical. You can use their automation workflow designer to make it easy to set up your email series.
Moosend also gives you detailed analytic reports to show you how well your email campaigns have performed. All plans include optimization tools like A/B testing, countdown timers, email heatmap analytics, pop-up forms, floating bars, newsletter subscription forms and more.
Moosend offers a free plan for up to 1,000 email subscribers and unlimited number of emails. After that, pricing starts at $8 per month.
Omnisend is known for creating custom workflows.
It is an easy-to-use platform that offers automation workflows for every stage in the enrollment journey.
Omnisend offers omni-channel functionalities which make it easier to control how and when you connect with your audience. One great feature is the ability to use email, push notifications, SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and more into automation workflows.
Omnisend is great for segmenting your audience, making it easier to send the right message to the right person, at the right time.
Omnisend offers a free version with limited features. Their pro plans are customizable so you can try out different features and select which ones fit the needs of your school.
SendX is known for visual email marketing performance data.
SendX is an affordable, intuitive email platform. SendX offers many features such as automation and audience segmentation. You can send unlimited emails to subscribers. You are charged according to the number of subscribers you have, not how many emails you send, tags or segments like some services.
The service also includes opt-in forms, pop-ups and pre-build email templates with an easy drop and drag editor.
The tool also features a heatmap report you can use to determine which calls-to-action are working and which links people are clicking.
SendX offers a 14-day free trial. After that, plans start at $7.49 per month (for the annual subscription).
Campaign Monitor is known for building personalized emails.
Campaign Monitor is a simple to use email marketing tool that makes it easy to personalize. The drag-and-drop email editor is intuitive and easy for beginners to learn.
Personalization is key with this platform. It uses data to improve performance and inform your list segmentation.
The aesthetics of the email templates are beautiful and there is a visual marketing automation tool so you can create your marketing automation campaigns easily. Furthermore, Campaign Monitor offers a comprehensive knowledge base to help you become an email marketing pro.
Campaign Monitor offers three pricing plans ranging from $9 to $149 per month.
iContact is known for its customer service and support.
iContact has been a popular email marketing platform since 2003. They offer an easy-to-use tool that makes it easy to see results quickly.
iContact doesn’t necessarily stand out from other email marketing services but they do offer top-notch customer support. Customers are offered a strategic advisor to help guide them through the process of setting up your campaigns and automated workflows.
Another unique service offered by iContact offers is Social+ consultants to help boost your entire online presence through social posts.
iContact offers a free plan for up to 500 contacts, and upgraded plans starting at $20 per month.
ActiveCampaign is known for segmentation and live chat options.
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing service that offers a full array of marketing features, a CRM service as well as live chat for customer support.
ActiveCampaign includes a CRM as a part of their platform, making it easy for your team to follow up on inquiries. The service also allows you to segment different groups of subscribers so you can provide different messages to each segment.
ActiveCampaign offers four plans starting at $9 per month. The plans are based on the number of contacts you have and there is a free trial so you can test the service out.
Ontraport is known for creating detailed email marketing campaigns.
Ontraport offers a full toolkit of marketing automation and CRM tools. It is easy to use once you understand the concept and process flow. Ontraport offers many similar features as other email marketing services, but they offer deep functionality within each feature so that when you create an email campaign you have all the customization options you need.
Ontraport gives you unlimited customization so you can tailor your pages, campaigns and automation to fit your exact needs. It also offers insights into detailed reports so you can refine your future campaigns.
Ontraport offers four plans that range in price between $79 and $497 per month.
Mailchimp is known for actionable data insights to improve your email marketing strategy.
Mailchimp is a widely popular email marketing service with millions of customers in over 175 countries. The benefit of this large customer base is the data they collect and use to improve your email strategy. It can be used by a large organization but is simple enough for small marketing teams.
Mailchimp also offers over 300 integrations to help you customize the tool to your school. These integrations help you personalize your marketing.
Mailchimp offers four plans that range in price from free to $299 per month.
Bonus: Increase Your Subscriber List with OptinMonster
Once you’ve chosen your email marketing service, you will want to start getting more subscribers. I use and recommend OptinMonster, a powerful opt-in tool.
OptinMonster is a conversion optimization tool to help you increase the number of people who subscribe to your email list. It integrates with all the best email marketing services listed above. It allows you to create different types of opt-in campaigns, such as:
- Floating bars
- Full-screen welcome mats
- Slide-in scroll boxes
- Gated content lockers
- Sidebar widgets
- Spin-to-win wheels
- Exit intent technology
- On-site retargeting
- MonsterLinks that open on a button or link
- Access to more than 50 pre-designed templates
- Drag-and-drop builder
- A/B testing
OptinMonster also offers actionable insights to help you make smarter marketing decisions by giving you access to insights that show how people are responding to your campaigns.
OptinMonster starts at $9 per month and offers upgrades up to $49 per month.
There are literally thousands of email marketing services on the market today. The services listed today are my top choices based on the services that offer the best features for the best price.
In addition to an email marketing strategy, I encourage you to consider using web push notifications on your website. This is a powerful way to connect with your visitors after they leave your site. A push notification service you might consider is PushEngage.
I hope this article gave you a good overview of the email service providers for your school. Other email resources include What Are the 12 Types of Marketing Emails for Schools and 8 Reasons Parents Aren’t Reading Your Emails and What To Do About It.
What email service provider are you using for your school marketing? How well is the service working for you? What service do you think should be added to this list? Please comment below…
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for some of these resources which means that, at no additional cost to you, I make a commission if you purchase using the link above.