We often think about high-level marketing concepts like email marketing and say, “Yes, yes, important. Something I will definitely focus on— right after [insert any other mundane task you can possibly think of to avoid focusing on a topic that seems monumental].”
We get it. Email marketing can seriously make an impact on your school marketing efforts, but it’s a big topic.
So let’s break it down in an actionable way, without the overwhelm. Let’s focus on quick tips and simple steps so that you can begin implementing big ideas, little by little.
If it seems like a focus on email marketing is making a comeback it’s because — well, it never really went away. It’s one of the oldest form of permission marketing (marketing that people actually want and ask for), and it’s a great way to build audience and community. Plus, it’s a direct line of communication with your audience, one that’s not at the mercy of changing algorithms (ahem, social media), which has amped up its importance over the past few years.
So without revamping your entire email marketing strategy, what are some things that you can do today to improve your school’s emails?
Having a little box on your school website that asks people for their emails with a button that says “subscribe!” is just not enough. Because what does that mean? Subscribe for what? What is a newsletter, anyway? What value will someone be getting in exchange for access to their personal email inbox?
Revising your subscribe ask is a quick way to make joining your email list more enticing.
Just like no one wants to sign up for a “newsletter”, no one wants to open an email with the subject line “April News”.
Make your email subjects short, interesting and actionable. Always keep the recipient in mind. What in your email content is the most meaningful for that person? What do they NEED to know? Use that information to craft your subject.
While including lots of fabulous imagery may make you feel like your email content is more interesting, having too many images can cause your email to head straight for the Spam folder.
Instead of loading up your email with photos, focus on the quality of your content. Keep your design simple and easy to read on both desktop and mobile screens by using clear typography, short sentences, headers and bullets (just as you would for a blog or website page), and perhaps include 1-2 images — tops.
The next time you open an email from a business or brand and think to yourself This is a great email, save it. Create a “swipe file” on your computer for emails that were compelling, and review those to get additional ideas on how to improve your own emails.
You’ll quickly create a bank of great email subject lines, intriguing stories, cleanly designed templates, and strong calls-to-action. There’s no shame in using the content of others for inspiration — learn from the best, and make it your own!
Try making just one of these changes, and see what happens. Do your open rates improve? Are you getting more click-throughs? More subscribers? When you start seeing little wins, you may be inspired to take a deeper look at the value of your emails — a small way to take on a big marketing strategy.
Captivating your audience– regardless of the medium– starts with having a strong school story to tell. Not sure how to tell yours? Learn more about working with us.