In today’s digital age, education marketing has evolved significantly. In particular, email marketing and marketing automation have become crucial tools for acquiring and retaining students. This blog post will explore strategies and opportunities to help universities and schools succeed in recruitment campaigns. Let’s delve into marketing automation, email marketing, and how to leverage them effectively in the education sector without losing the personal touch.
What is the benefit of using marketing automation for acquisition and retention?
Marketing automation simplifies and streamlines marketing efforts. It can manage student journeys, track interactions, and personalise content.
Here are some key marketing automation opportunities for universities and schools:
- Lead generation and nurturing: Use marketing automation tools to capture leads from various sources, such as your website, social media, and events. Then, nurture these leads through targeted email campaigns, personalised content, and automated follow-ups to move them through the enrollment funnel.
- Personalisation: Tailor your communication to individual students or prospects. Marketing automation allows you to segment your audience and send personalised messages, increasing engagement and conversion rates.
- Email marketing: Automate your email marketing campaigns to send timely, relevant content to prospective students, current students, and alumni. This includes sending welcome emails, newsletters, event invitations, and reminders for important dates.
- Social media management: Schedule and automate social media posts to maintain an active online presence. Use tools to track social media engagement and sentiment to adjust your content strategy accordingly.
- Content distribution: Automate the distribution of blog posts, videos, webinars, and other content to reach a wider audience. You can also use automated content recommendations to keep students engaged with relevant material.
- Event promotion: Promote campus events, webinars, open houses, and other activities through automated email campaigns and social media posts. You can also automate event registration and follow-up communications.
- Analytics and reporting: Marketing automation tools provide insights into campaign performance, allowing you to adjust your strategy based on real-time data. This helps in optimising your marketing efforts and measuring ROI.
- Admissions and enrollment: Use automation to manage the admissions process, from sending application reminders to collecting and processing applications. Automation can also assist in enrollment management by tracking acceptances, deposits, and other important steps.
- Student engagement and retention: Implement automated systems to track student engagement, identify at-risk students, and send timely interventions, such as academic support resources or counseling services.
- Alumni relations: Automate alumni communications to maintain a strong connection with former students. This includes newsletters, event invitations, and fundraising campaigns.
- Integration with CRM: Integrate marketing automation tools with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to ensure a seamless flow of information between departments, improving efficiency and ensuring a unified approach to student engagement.
- Personalised web experiences: Use automation to customise website content for visitors based on their interests and preferences. This enhances the user experience and increases the likelihood of conversion.
- Chatbots and virtual assistants: Implement chatbots or virtual assistants on your website and social media channels to provide instant responses to common inquiries and guide users through various processes.
- Prospect scoring: Develop lead scoring models to prioritise prospects based on their engagement and readiness for enrollment. This allows your admissions team to focus their efforts on high-potential students.
- Feedback and surveys: Automate the collection of feedback and surveys from students, alumni, and prospects to gain valuable insights for improving your programs and marketing strategies.
By leveraging marketing automation in these ways, universities and schools can enhance their marketing efforts, improve engagement with students and prospects, and ultimately increase enrolment and retention rates while reducing administrative overhead.
Audit email effectiveness
Before diving into the email marketing and automation world, it’s essential to evaluate your current strategies. We’ll guide you through an audit process to assess your email marketing effectiveness, pinpointing areas for improvement including:
Setting targets for email marketing
- Goal setting for email – To succeed, universities and schools need clear and achievable goals for their email marketing campaigns. We’ll discuss setting measurable objectives and aligning them with your broader university or school marketing strategy.
- Review techniques to grow and improve email subscription lists – A well-crafted email list is the cornerstone of successful email marketing. We’ll provide techniques for growing your list organically and optimising it for better engagement.
- Benchmarking email performance – Measuring success requires benchmarks. We’ll explore key performance indicators and how to benchmark your email campaigns against industry standards.
Improving your use of email and SMS marketing
- Review your use of different email types – Each type of email serves a unique purpose, from promotional emails to event updates and newsletters. We’ll help you evaluate the most relevant types for your university or school marketing strategy.
- Essential email design elements – The design of your emails plays a critical role in engagement. We’ll discuss essential design elements that can enhance the impact of your messages.
- Improve email copywriting – Effective copywriting is an art. We’ll provide tips and techniques for crafting compelling email content that resonates with your audience.
- Create an effective e-newsletter – E-newsletters are valuable for keeping your audience informed. We’ll guide you through creating an engaging and informative newsletter.
- Test and optimise subject line effectiveness – The subject line is your email’s first impression. Learn how to test and optimise subject lines to increase open rates.
- Define data capture and profiling – Understanding your audience is critical. We’ll explore data capture and profiling techniques to tailor your content to specific segments.
- Review and improve mobile email effectiveness – With a mobile-first approach, we’ll help you enhance the effectiveness of your emails on mobile devices.
- Integrated SMS marketing – SMS is a powerful tool to complement your email marketing efforts. We’ll discuss how to integrate SMS effectively into your campaigns.
Segmentation and targeting for email
- Segmentation and targeting – Personalisation is the cornerstone of effective marketing. We’ll delve into segmentation and targeting strategies to reach students with the right message.
- RFM analysis – Recency, frequency, and monetary analysis are valuable techniques for segmenting your audience effectively.
- Understand the principles of machine learning and AI – Machine learning and artificial intelligence can take your targeting strategies to the next level. We’ll introduce you to the basics of these technologies and their application in university or school marketing.
Email frequency and contact strategy
- Review email lifecycle automation options – Automating your email lifecycle can save time and enhance the student journey. We’ll explore automation options that suit the academic sector.
- Create an email contact strategy – A well-defined contact strategy ensures you’re engaging your audience without overwhelming them. We’ll guide you in creating a strategy that aligns with your goals.
- Lead scoring and grading – Prioritising your prospects is vital. We’ll discuss lead scoring and grading to identify the most promising students.
Improve email governance
- Privacy law requirements for digital communications – Australia has strict privacy laws. We’ll help you navigate these requirements and ensure your digital communications comply.
- Select an email supplier – Choosing the right email service provider is crucial. We’ll guide you through the selection process to find the best suits your university or school needs.
- Auditing and improving email deliverability – High deliverability rates are essential. We’ll explore strategies to audit and improve your email deliverability, ensuring your messages reach your intended recipients.
In the competitive university and school marketing landscape, email marketing and automation can be the differentiating factors that lead to success. Universities and schools can achieve remarkable results by reviewing opportunities, setting clear goals, improving strategies, and mastering segmentation.
Elevate your university marketing with email automation and lead your institution to success in the digital age.