- General Best Practices
- Higher Education
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Email marketing is hard. From weekly newsletters and special events, to fundraising campaigns and content marketing, these schools make it look way too easy — and will leave you thinking, "why didn't I think of that."
#1 TASIS Switzerland's monthly newsletters
TASIS Switzerland sets the gold standard for all email communications. Each month, TASIS Switzerland sends out a beautiful, organized email newsletter — implementing numerous best practices.
These best practices include:
- Panel design
- Textual hierarchy
- High quality visual images
- Consistent branding
- CTAs to learn more, rather than filling the email with text
In addition, the school also sends out similar emails to promote their events and campus store to reel in registrations and purchases. One of their best? This email for their 60th Anniversary Celebration, which had a GIF at the top of old photos from the school. Brilliant!
The Ultimate Guide to Better Email Marketing
#2 St. Anne's-Belfield School's video teasers
Want to increase click-through rates? Take a note from St. Anne's-Belfield, who loves using videos in emails. Why? The research is simple: Putting the word "video" in the subject line of an email increases open rates by 19 percent, increases click-through rates by 65 percent, and decreases unsubscribes by 26 percent.
In case you were wondering what the video was:
#3 Holy Child Rye's Wellness Wednesday campaign
Content marketing is proven to be one of the most effective (and affordable) ways to improve brand engagement — and it's easier than you think! This Wellness Wednesday campaign from Holy Child Rye is great because it offers simple, helpful tips to all members of the community on a subject matter that is extremely timely. And with an average of a 70% open rate, it is clearly something the community enjoys.
This type of content is critical to engagement because each time the school communicates with their constituent base they're not asking for something. Rather, they're providing them with something helpful. So, when they do finally ask for something in return — like a donation — they're more likely to receive it.
#4 Oregon Episcopal School's Aardvark News
Weekly newsletters are most likely the hardest piece of email content to send. You have to find a way to bring together everything happening on campus into one, streamlined message and template.
OES's weekly newsletter is awesome for a few key reasons:
- The subject line is "Your Aardvark News." Keyword here being "your," which adds a personal touch!
- The newsletter itself has its own brand and logo, differentiating it from the rest of the school's email marketing
- The color contrast between left and right panels makes it easy-to-read
- Because it is sent weekly, instead of monthly, the amount of content isn't overwhelming
#5 Stuart Country Day School's Weekly Wisdom
The first thing I noticed about Stuart Country Day School's emails wasn't actually their content — but their open rates. And its is because their email subject lines are awesome.
Rather than following the same old "Weekly Newsletter" subject line, SCDS brings in the top headline from their news to get the attention of subscribers each week. For example, this newsletter's subject line was: "Weekly Wisdom: 6 Stuart girls recognized in National Merit Program Stats."
This is a strategy we've A/B tested here at Finalsite, too! Our Blog Digests that have the first blog title as the subject line, rather than "Weekly Blog Digest" perform exponentially better.
With a 65% open rate and 42% click-through rate, this strategy seems to be working very well for them, too!
Some other great qualities about their email:
- The branded header
- The clear visual hierarchy between the featured news story, and the rest of the news
- The "keep reading" buttons that link back to the website
#6 Lower Canada College's Open House Invitation Emails
The whole goal of marketing is to get prospective students to your campus, right? Well LCC is trying to do just that with targeted emails to families to promote their open houses. The fun header is visually appealing; the message is targeted; and the call-to-action links to a (very short!) form to sign up.
#7 Archer School for Girls' Admissions Acceptance Emails
Once acceptance letters go out, some of your most important communications begin. Archer School for Girls sent out this awesome email last spring to all accepted students with personalization tokens, a welcome video, and log-in information for their accepted student portal.
Short, sweet, and to-the-point, the email was the perfect "first touch" with this targeted group of individuals.
#8 Hawai'i Preparatory Academy's Boarding Report
While most schools target parents in a parents newsletter, HPA specifically targets parents of boarding students in their monthly HPA Boarding Report newsletter. Since HPA attracts families from all over the world, this newsletter, specifically, is extremely visual-dependent.
Complete with its own branding, and tons of beautiful images, HPA hits a home-run each month, reminding families of the value HPA brings.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Finalsite's Content Marketing Manager, Mia plans and executes a variety of inbound marketing and digital content strategies. As a former TV and news reporter, freelance cinematographer and certified inbound marketer, Mia specializes in helping schools find new ways to share their stories online through web design, social media, copywriting, photography and videography. She is the author of numerous blogs, and Finalsite's popular eBook, The Website Redesign Playbook.
- Email Marketing