Email marketing to students: 12 ways to get better results

If getting more international students is becoming a top priority for your school, you must know how to talk to them best. Email is a meaningful way to get in touch with potential students. At Studyportals, we speak to students via email every day. Based on what we've learned, we'd like to give you 12 tips to improve how you market to students via email:

1. Know what you want to achieve. You should know what your main goals are before you start writing an email. This allows you to determine the best audience and content for the purpose you have in mind, whether it is to inform students about an upcoming open day, remind them of an upcoming application deadline, or encourage them to apply for a specific study program.

2. Know who you're talking to. Nothing is worse than getting an email with nothing to do with you. Think about who your message is for to make it more exciting and compelling. By dividing your audience into different groups, you can reach each group more effectively by sending them personalized content that is only relevant to them.

3. Mobile plan. As many as half of our students use their phones to look at our portals. Because of this, students can read emails on mobile devices. Mobile has become a meaningful way to stay in touch, and many of your students will check their email on their phones. So, it's essential that your content (text, pictures, and other visuals) works on all types of screens so that text doesn't get lost.

4. Come up with an interesting subject line. Make a subject line that is short and interesting. When students open their email, they will first see the subject line. Students should be able to tell from the subject line what the email is about. So, make sure the subject line stands out, is short (less than seven words), personalized, and, most importantly, fits with the rest of the email. In the subject line, you should put the name of your program/university, city, and country.

5. Be consistent. Always ensure your message is consistent throughout the email, from the subject line to the image in the body to the text and the "Call to Action.". In the education industry, it's best to have direct and explicit messages that explain the email's purpose without taking too much attention away from the content.

6. When to post your content. Focus on topics that students will find exciting and help them with their search, and talk about them at the right time. For example, a description of the discipline, program, or course is essential for students starting to think about what they want to study. At the same time, the application process or entry requirements are better for students who have already shown interest in your programs. Anything that can help students choose what they want to study and give them real value.

7. Be consistent. When students open the email, they should be able to tell at a glance which sent it. So, it's essential to ensure the email style fits your brand. For universities, students are most interested in seeing pictures of real students from that university.

8. Learn how to get people to act. The best way to get as many conversions as possible is to have a single, clear call to action. The call to action should go with the main point you want to make in your email and be the first thing people see when they open it. It's best to only have one "call to action" button since having more than one can take away from the main point of the email.

9. A/B test your options. You should always try out different versions of the email you will send to your students before sending it to a larger group. This will help you find out which one works best. You can test how well it works by changing the subject line, the call-to-action button, the images you use, or when you send the email.

10. Putting a link to the landing page. When you add a link to your website or a relevant page, it's essential only to add relevant landing pages and give the student what they were promised. When you add the right and most relevant landing pages, students will be more likely to keep looking around your site and think positively when they get more emails from you.

11. Think about how you sound. Using the right tone to get your point across is essential when talking to students. Most of the time, it's best to use easy, friendly language. If the email has less text, students are less likely to read it, which means they might put it off later or not read it at all. It may be helpful to know the needs of your pupils and use the same language you would if they were present in your classroom. Also, remember that many students interested in studying abroad do not speak English as their first language. This means that the language used should be simple and easy to understand.

12. Make it visual. To make the email more attractive to students, it's essential to include enough visual content that fits with the overall message and style of the email. But students will only sometimes be able to load the whole email. Because of this, you should always have an alternative text, or "alt text," for every image you add. Even if the picture doesn't load, the person who gets the message can still figure out what it's about.

The best way to talk to students is to keep it simple and put only a little text in the email. Ensure your email is specific, to the point, and essential. If you need more clarification, ask a student.