Email marketing is alive and well. It’s one of the most successful marketing strategies in the school marketing toolkit. According to Litmus, email generates $42 for every $1 spent, an amazing 4,200 percent return on investment (ROI).
Whether you are just developing your email marketing or you already have a mature email channel, school marketers are always looking for new ways to improve their strategy.
This blog post reviews the different types of marketing emails you can send. This information should help you make an informed decision about which types are best for your school.
Most Common Types of Marketing Emails
The initial contact email is sent in response to an inquiry form or contact through your school’s website. Usually, it is the marketing department’s responsibility to respond to these messages by highlighting your school’s offerings and unique value proposition (UVP). The good news is you don’t need to reply to each person separately. Use automation to send messages triggered by inquiries.
Be sure to thank new subscribers to your email list. New subscribers may or may not be parents of newly enrolled students. Your thank-you email should, of course, thank them for subscribing and let them know what they can expect from you. A few days later you can follow up with another email inviting them to connect with you on social media, watch a video about your school or attend an open house or school tour.
Parents tend to get confused and overwhelmed when talking about finances. Help them out by sending out an email series discussing your processes, deadlines and offering assistance.
Invitation to visit your school
Be sure to offer prospective parents the opportunity to visit your campus, meet with a faculty member or leader, and attend an upcoming school event, such as a game, theater performance or concert. This will help them get a feel for the opportunities their child may enjoy at your school.
Invitation to join parent and/or student ambassador program
Does your school have a parent ambassador and/or student ambassador program? School ambassadors help recruit and support prospective parents and students as they go through the admissions process. The idea is to provide a peer community to families in a way faculty and administrators can’t. If you provide an ambassador program, be sure to invite parents and/or students to join.
Preparation for their interview
Prospective parents and students may (understandably) be nervous about their interviews. Ensure they are prepared on their interview day by sharing a series of helpful tips and reminders.
Send out a survey asking parents about their enrollment process. This will help you gain insight into their experience from the parent’s perspective. You can send this out to parents whether they enrolled a student or not.
Make newly- enrolled and returning families feel right at home by sending them an email to get them excited about the school year ahead. Share important information about annual orientation, teacher meet-and-greets, COVID-19 restrictions (if applicable), annual calendar, and other things they should know before the first day of school.
Your weekly newsletter should include school announcements and updates. Parents also appreciate images of school life. You can also consider including a paragraph about your weekly blog post and linking to it. (You ARE writing a weekly blog – right?)
Be sure to set up an editorial calendar to help you stay on track with your weekly emails.
Current school events
This type of email can be sent on an as-needed basis or on a regular schedule, such as included in your weekly newsletter. You can also promote events as separate campaigns or one-time invitations, especially if you want to run a contest for tickets or other prizes.
Emails should promote events because they build community and strengthen school spirit, such as athletic events, dances, gatherings, fundraisers, concerts, theater, dance, visual art shows, speakers, etc.
End-of-the-year parent survey
Send a survey out to parents at the end of the year asking for insights on their experience. Keep the survey short and simple in order to receive a higher return rate.
Alumni relationship building
Consider running a short campaign requesting personal contact details before graduation. Most new alumni will not use their school email address so you need to update your subscriber list.
Alumni have an essential role in a school’s networking, promotional, and official partnership efforts. One of your most important jobs as a school marketer is to keep relationships with your alumni alive and well.
While fundraising is an important part of your school’s relationship with alumni, it’s not the whole story. Your long-term strategy needs to be to build a strong foundation keeping former students invested in what happens to their alma mater.
Alumni should be on a segmented or separate subscriber email list. Be sure to keep alumni updated about what’s happening at your school, including information about current and former staff and faculty. Be sure to encourage alumni to attend their reunions as well as invite them to get involved through mentoring or providing internship opportunities to existing students.
When it comes to school marketing, many types of marketing emails are a powerful way to connect with parents. Reach out to them early and often for the best success. Parents are usually more than happy to receive emails from your school because it helps them stay informed. Most people, including parents, check their emails often so it’s a great way to reach prospective and currently enrolled families.
Take the time to layout an email strategy for the year integrating the types of email marketing listed above and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your engagement and enrollment goals for the year.
What type of marketing emails does your school send out that aren’t on the above list? Please share with the rest of the school marketing community by leaving a comment below.