College students have great spending potential and email marketing is a highly effective approach to promoting a product or service while increasing brand awareness and traffic to your website. Based on 2018 data, email is the most effective marketing channel ranking over social media, content marketing, PPC and affiliate marketing. It’s important to stay up to date on the best practices. Here are four tips for email marketing to college students.
1. Develop and Leverage Student Personas
Buyer personas describe what your ideal consumer looks like by understanding everything about them including their characteristics, needs, wants, behaviors, challenges they face and much more.
This technique can improve click rates by 16% so be sure to take the time to complete research, collecting qualitative and quantitative data to build your student personas. This information will help inform your marketing strategy and you will have the knowledge to properly target specific consumers with more personalized and compelling messaging.
2. Maximize Open Rates and Click Rates with Seasonal Marketing
Millennials and Generation Z spend a lot of time connected to the digital world. They’ve learned how to filter out advertising noise over the years and are very good at it. Think about how your product or service can help college students in a time and place that is most relevant to them and when their interest is at its peak.
Get to know the themes in the calendar school year and what activities students are participating in throughout college. For example, airlines target students for Spring Break and hotels target college parents during Family Weekend. If you are a coffee company, then a giveaway on campus during midterms or finals week would resonate well with students. Create a compelling call to action when it matters most.
3. Improve Email Campaign Performance With A/B Testing
Find ways to continually improve your campaign performance. A/B testing is a great way to analyze data by manipulating a variable in your email. Perform testing on your subject lines to measure the success of open rates or test your email copy to improve click rates.
Many email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp allow you to send two different variations of your campaign. In real time, you can learn which variation is getting better results and once enough data is collected, it will automatically send the winning variation to the rest of your subscribers. This is a great strategy for real-time campaign optimization.
4. Perfect Your Landing Page
Before your campaign launch, make sure that you are sending college students to an optimized landing page. Here are some useful tips:
* The call-to-action in your email should reflect the message on your landing page. Gen Z and Millennials appreciate authenticity and misleading them can cause distrust with your brand.
* The user should be clear of your intention and what you want them to do, whether that is to download their app or sign-up for a newsletter, make it purposeful and obvious.
* Have a clean and organized design that guides the user. Minimalism is key. Implement lots of white pace, simple imagery and concise copy.
* Build credibility by placing consumer testimonials, brand endorsements, influencers or publications you have been featured in at the bottom of your landing page (make sure this section does not distract from the main message).
* Entice college students with some kind of incentive or promotional offer to increase conversions.
* Keep any sign up forms short and don’t ask for too much information. Students are busy!
Need Email Marketing Advice?
At College Marketing Group, we’ve launched thousands of email marketing campaigns for our clients. We guide them through the strategy and process for messaging, college targeting, student profiling, media selection and finalizing student email lists.
Our process yields results. How do we do it? We can target students and their parents by zip code, school, age, major, interests and more! The more targeted you become, the more relevancy you achieve.
Get a free consultation and learn how we can help you with your email marketing campaigns.