With social media taking over as the main method of communication online, it’s no wonder that negative sentiments over email marketing exist. Nearing it’s 50 year mark, email communication has been around for as long as our modern interpretation of computers has existed. With college students spending most of their time online on social networking sites, is college email advertising still an effective way of engaging with students?
It’s weird to think about marketing to college students using a technology that is almost half a century old. Especially when this group is most likely to be an early adopter of new technologies. Email marketing remains a strong medium for advertising.
First of all, all college students have an email. Although most if not all of them engage with social media, people have different preferences over what type of social networking site they prefer to use. Some might prefer Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or a different combination of each, or even none at all. But they are guaranteed to have an email. Even if they don’t have a personal one, they are provided one by their college the moment they enroll.
According to a study by Bowling Green State, 85% of students check their emails at least once a day, with 58% of them checking their emails multiple times per day. This means that there will be at least one possible engagement a per day with most college students. If your campaign requires casting as wide a net as possible, then email marketing is the most effective means possible.
Tips to improve
As effective as college email advertising can be, there are ways to improve click through rates as well as engagement.
Focus on the timing of the semester. Take note of important dates in academic calendars, such as move in week, orientation, finals week or graduation. Selling or advertising a product or service at the right or wrong time could make or break your campaign. For example, students are more likely to buy your stationery at the beginning of the semester when they are preparing for classes rather than in the middle of the semester while they study for midterms.
Take time to nail the content and formatting of the email. College students are notorious for having short attention spans. If you can’t engage your reader within your subject line, they will not be opening your email. To increase your email opening rate, make sure to use action words and to keep it short and simple.
College students as a whole probably spend more time on their phones than any other age group. This is why your message should be mobile friendly. In fact, studies show that more than 70% of people read their emails on their mobile devices. Take the time to optimize your images and text so that it shows up nicely on a mobile screen. There’s nothing more off putting than text that is off center, images that only display error codes, or text that is simply not legible in a 5 inch screen.