Geotargeting Essentials for Email Marketing in Higher Education
Higher education marketing can be a bit tricky sometimes. You want every high school student in your neighborhood to be fully aware of your programs and consider your institution as their first choice—you can do this offline with postal mail.
However, at the same time, you want to reach as many high school students as possible, which is not feasible offline. You’re considering email marketing but are wondering if it allows you to do both. Well, geo-targeting email marketing offers you a package that combines the best of both worlds.
Why Use Geo-targeted Email Marketing?
When you buy or rent an email marketing list, geotargeting involves using zip codes and other demographic details to target your list. Geo-targeted email marketing combines two strong marketing elements: email marketing and specificity.
Must-Note in Geotargeting for Email Marketing
Email Marketing is Highly Important.
If you intend to reach high school students and you’re yet to incorporate email campaigns into your marketing strategy, you’re doing yourself more harm than good. Modern high school students are digital natives who spend an average of 8-9 hours a day on their digital devices. Reports also show that a significant percentage of students (98%) use email at least once a week. More so, email remains the preferred means of student-college communication for prospective higher education students.
So, yes, social media is on the move. Nonetheless, email marketing remains as crucial as it was and is even more so now.
Other than mobile phones being more portable and mobile than other digital devices, they also seem to attract more attention. Consider this: some students will take a break from reading or working on their laptops to view a notification on their phone. You’ve probably done something similar yourself.
Use a Content Management System (CMS) that supports mobile responsiveness. So, your email campaign can be read well on every device, mobile phone inclusive. Otherwise, you might significantly cut down on your conversions. After all, information that was never obtained cannot be acted upon.
Maintain Brand Consistency
Branding is an essential ingredient whose effect cuts across all marketing strategies. Brand consistency is especially important in higher education marketing. Day in and day out, students are exposed to various institutions and colleges.
Strong brands are known to have as much visual recognition as the company name itself. Thus, when designing email marketing campaigns for higher education marketing, see to it that your campaign showcases your brand identity and image.
Your emails should reflect your school’s branding. Maintain consistency in:
- Brand voice and tone
- Design elements
- Tagline and logos across all engagement platforms.
Use Images and Videos.
“A picture is worth a thousand words”. This saying is true not only in photography but also in Higher Ed email marketing. Pictures and videos are capable of conveying much more than words can and in the minimal amount of time possible. So why not use them to your advantage in email campaigns? The 2021 E-expectation Trend Report also proves that emails with compelling graphics win over the text-only option. With continual drop in the average attention span, it takes attractive, engaging, and informative graphics to increase your chances of success.
Be intentional when selecting images for your email campaigns. Rather than choosing general images that do not appeal to a specific group, choose more targeted images likely to resonate with your target audience. Images and graphics accentuate your message and promotes effective communication.
Group Your Email Lists by Demographics or Interests
In marketing, generalization is rarely ever the best thing; specificity is. Ensure that your email lists are grouped by demographics and/or interests. That way, you can send custom messages that are likely to get responses and increase your conversions.
Just like the interests and needs of freshmen vary from those of sophomores and seniors, so should their emails. Furthermore, if your institution has campuses in various locations, you shouldn’t use the same email to reach high school students in these different locations. Employ geotargeting to craft content that is more likely to engage a specific demographic group. A high school student who resides in Alabama is more likely to be interested in Alabama colleges than a student from Arizona, and vice versa.
Automate Different Email Campaigns
In life, time is of the essence. This is more so in K12 marketing. Email campaign automation saves you a great deal of time. You don’t have to compose follow-up mails now and then. You can simply guide your prospects through the funnel without doing a hands-on job.
Customize your software to automatically follow up and send frequently requested information. This way, no prospect slips through your fingers, and at the same time, you get to make the most of your time.
Customize Your Emails
Yes, your mail is sent in bulk. Nonetheless, this is no excuse not to personalize them. Import names, areas of interest, and locations into your email content. That way, they are much more personalized and suitable for specific audiences.
Email marketing is often integrated with other marketing strategies.
When setting up a marketing strategy to reach seniors and K-12 decision-makers, it is a great idea to test bidding on up to three different radii. For a start, you may consider using 5-mile, 25-mile, and 50-mile radii. This allows you to test various areas and be very strategic about your spending. Just make sure that the center of the radius is a city center or campus location. This is especially easy to do if you employ Google ad words in your marketing.
For graduate or professional schools:
- Set the bid modifier to the highest in the smallest radius of all.
- Set the bid modifier moderately high in areas with a moderately high radius.
- Set the lowest bid on the largest radius of all.
This way, you’re focusing more on students that are most likely to enroll in your program. This is equally true when sending out emails about your programs and courses.
Don’t go Broadly National
Don’t go national with a uniform message. It might be tempting to do this, especially if your school has various campuses situated in different locations of the country. However, research has shown that over 57% of incoming university freshmen enroll in a university within 50 miles of their home. This is a significant proportion of your audience.
Furthermore, about 73% of students attend a school in their state. So, when drawing out a marketing strategy to reach your potential students, it is best to first look within your geographical circumference, whether you’re using paid search and/or email marketing. Make a point of focusing your digital spending on reaching everyone in your immediate geographic area first.
The ultimate goal of any marketing strategy is to get optimal results. Geo-targeting increases your chances of getting these results at a minimal cost. With efficient geo-targeting, you can achieve increased enrollments in your higher institutions without going beyond your budget.