There are many arguments about whether email is "dying" and if it still serves as an effective marketing medium for recruiting students. Until anything else replace it, our response is a resounding yes. Despite the yammering, though, it has yet to occur. It depends on where and how you utilize this channel to influence students' choices. Knowing when and where to use email is crucial, as is taking a strategic approach.
We know that your first contact should be via something other than email marketing lists.
We use nurturing campaigns to move current leads through your recruiting funnel rather than "first contact" marketing techniques like list purchases and email blasts. Once created, a well-designed and automated email nurturing campaign may advance prospects toward the application stage without adding more work to your admissions staff. They have enough to do already, right?
Let's start by discussing how to put an efficient email marketing plan for student recruiting into practice.
Analyze Your Content
Do you have a solid call to action?
Give your potential students a straightforward and unambiguous next step, and they'll be more likely to keep interacting with your material and go closer to the conversion you're going for. Although body text links are fantastic, you will have a better opportunity of getting a click-through if you provide a clear, concise, and eye-catching CTA.
For your potential international students, an adequately defined button will make the process straightforward and approachable, regardless of whether your CTA is a webinar registration, a link to a program description, a PDF download, or any other alternative.
A quick tip: Cut off any extra connections. To guide your audience through the funnel, you should provide a clear route to the most relevant content. Refrain from overloading them with too many links; it will only serve to divert them. Your greatest bet for enticing a potential student and demonstrating that your material is effective is often a single call to action. (Do you remember all the crap we used to speak about tracking? Please do it.
Are the photographs exciting and timely?
Do your emails include pictures? Do these represent genuine students or stock photos? Can you choose credible images from stock photography if you're utilizing them? Your overseas students will immediately recognize the staged "business," "classroom," or "campus" stock photographs as fakes with perfect lighting, details, and smiles. The individuals we're referring to are known to you.
A fantastic way to help potential students see themselves on campus is by using photos in your communications. Can you collect some images that capture the essence of your institution?
A quick tip: Can you throw a casual pizza party for the campus's international students' group and take pictures during lunch? Prospective students like discovering how genuine, authentic, and accurate your school and community are. You may expand your picture possibilities by entering contests for student campus photo entries. Authenticity is more vital than perfect lighting and positions.
Who uses an email signature?
If you always sign your emails with "the admissions team" or a similar impersonal group name, it's time to consider whether you can be more personable. Making your school appear more human by sending messages from the key decision-makers at each step of the admissions process through email is a terrific idea.
Can you sign emails as coming from a specific admissions officer at the top of the funnel and include a headshot and their contact details? Putting a face on the admissions staff helps your school become more authentic and approachable. You are developing a connection with a genuine person on both ends of the chat. When people are sure that the person on the other end is a natural person who is eager, excited, and ready to speak, they may be more inclined to seek out.
At the bottom of the funnel, you could think about signing emails from the president, dean, or another high-ranking official at your university. Please throw in a little video! I'm not talking about a flawlessly produced video. I'm talking about 30-second footage of your dean or president interacting directly with potential students on campus. Make your organization look accessible, authentic, and human.
Simple advice: Skype and WhatsApp contact details in the email signature. Utilizing these technologies could be more efficient than relying on conventional email and phone. Make sure you are prepared to answer as soon as possible. I like a couple of hours. It's crucial to act within 24 hours. Wait periods that are longer might be harmful.
Take time into account
You send emails at what time? Have you thought about your audience's time zones? Even while you may not be able to make everyone's time ideal, the fewer individuals who get your emails in the middle of the night, the better.
Review the potential students' countries of origin in your processes as a quick recommendation. The vast bulk located in China? India? Can we change the scheduling so that these students get the email at a suitable time?
Check, Check, and Recheck
Simply a guide, this. Your school's specific qualities and potential students' audience will determine if the preceding advice is successful. You could discover that emails sent at odd hours have more impact on one program. For example, emails sent in the morning are more successful. Your MBA students may find more profound, more sophisticated topics interesting than your engineering students. Maybe the opposite.
Keep an eye on your statistics to discover what works.
Where are you seeing a lot of opens? That speaks well of your subject line and first paragraph.
After the opening, there were few clicks. Your writing needs to strike a chord. Can you use the above ideas to simplify the information and reduce distractions? Did your incorrect digital marketing campaign initially grab the wrong audience?
It would help if you tried it. Observe the outcome. We're here to assist, so keep that in mind.