Reaching out to students through email marketing can not be of help if you do not reach out to the right applicant. Imagine selling a blender to a kid and a playstation to a chef. Now, communication can be made right by getting in touch with the right person with the right information. Now to do this without having to keep track of each student, one has to practice the art of Automation of emails. Automated email messages have around 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than the usual marketing messages, claims a study done by Epsilon Email Institute.
Many email marketing platforms already have automation features built in.
The top benefits of Automated emails are:
- Auto-send when certain actions have been completed by a user or at a designated point in time (like when a user hasn’t made a purchase in 30 days)
- Makes the email messages more relevant.
- Frees up staff time(around 34%) which allows multiple workflows to run at the same time. Think of all other objectives you can accomplish at the same time.
Despite this, the perception of the eﬀectiveness of email automation is rather weak as less than half use email automation frequently. This calls for awareness and appreciation for the beneﬁts of email automation among colleges. Email automation can not only help convert your student database into applicants, but also encourage activity and entice the aspirants to join your college.
Set up a workflow
Now different marketing software providers have different features but the base concept remains the same.
Choose Your Trigger – You can set up a workflow that triggers based on an action you select. Following are a few possible triggers.
Trigger- Download of prospectus/ Web surfing – When a site visitor downloads the prospectus of your college, it can trigger the marketing automation workflow within which you can have multiple materials that can cover the interests of MBA aspirants. The first email in your workflow might point to a webinar recording of the facilities in your campus and the second email might promote some content on topics related to MBA scenario in India.
If the visitor reads both emails, they can be given a deeper insight as they can now be ‘tagged’ as being interested. This new status might then also be used to personalize their experience of your website, with content being tailored to their needs and things a student looks fro while applying. Finally you can trigger an invitation to fill out an application at your college or get them in touch with one of your counselors.
Trigger: Inactivity of leads
Build up your database of aspirants that previously showed a high level of interest in your college, but haven’t been in touch for a certain period of time. Entice them with scholarships and fee waivers like Early Bird registration discount to these leads to re-engage them. This not only restores inactive students, but also helps clear your subscription lists for better email deliverability.
Trigger: Post application
Establish an ongoing positive relation with the student by being continuously providing them post-application support. This might include links to helpful training material and opinions of alumni, as well as assistance and future upgrades.
Trigger: Event registration
Whether it is a live, one-to-one or an online event, your communication with the student prior to and following the event has to be the same. Delays and inaccuracies can be avoided by leveraging marketing automation.
Use the initial email to ask your current customers to register for the conference. As the event approaches, send aspirants additional information, nearby accommodation and transportation. Provide further arguments to those who are yet to register for why they should attend. You can even offer a last minute discount for registration. After the event, thank the attendees, take their feedback and offer them the links to recorded sessions.
Schedule Your Timing
Once your the series of emails is ready, comes the stage when you map out the sending time. Messages need to be spaced out on a relevant timetable.
It is recommended that you test different send times to see which pattern is the most effective for students.
Don’t Forget Transactional Emails
It is necessary to acknowledge the student after he/she completes and action else they will take the process as a fluke. Remain professional but endearing.
Tools for automation
Now comes the execution, what email platforms should be used. Here are a few options few options–of many, many more you can look into as well.
Campaign Monitor has loads of mobile-friendly templates, as well as other helpful resources. The built-in metrics and multiple integrations can make email marketing as easy as possible.
Using MailChimp, you can take full advantage of A/B testing, automation, and more. Create custom templates or use their free options to build and send customized emails. Here you’ll find lots of teaching resources, helpful integrations, mobile-friendly designs, and advanced metrics for studying the success of your campaigns.
The above platforms can be put to use only when you have the student database. If you don’t, then Admito is the best platform to get in touch with the students interested in your B-School. It allows you to automate and personalize the marketing emails. Admito does not share student email id and phone number until the students agree to it. If interested, you can drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The beneﬁts of email automation in terms of time and eﬃciency need to be underscored. If most colleges do not leverage efficient practices and tools like this then there is nothing but upside for those who do. Follow personalization tactics ( covered in the previous article of this series), segment your lists, and put automated and triggered emails to work. By leveraging these practices, colleges can gain a competitive advantage by increasing their application count, faster.