School marketing and admissions teams know that gathering and interpreting the right data is crucial to continually make the best use of their time and resources. Email marketing can be a great tool to help these purposes. However, it can be daunting to know where to start.
We’ve compiled our 10 most useful tips to help you gather high quality, relevant data through your school’s email marketing efforts.
Email Marketing Data Matters
As marketers, data is at the heart of everything we do. It offers us a chance to see what’s working (and what isn’t) and to make adjustments that maximize every dollar and hour that goes into the hard work we do.
Email marketing is one of the most data-rich marketing tools available, making it a critical part of any successful school marketing program - but some marketers feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information it makes available.
By understanding the best types of data for your school, and some simple strategies to collect them, you can ensure you’re measuring and interpreting the right things.
10 Simple Strategies You Can Try Today
1. Implement UTM Parameters
For those not familiar, a UTM parameter is a way of “tagging” to your link, so you can easily identify where a user was when they clicked it. By adding UTM parameters to the links in each of your emails, you can analyze the source, medium, and campaign associated with each click. This way, you can gauge the impact and effectiveness of different channels, campaigns and email variations.
Here’s how it’s done:
Choose a UTM Link Generator: There are many free tools available online that make this process super easy.
Fill in the Details:
URL: Paste the link to the webpage you want to share
Campaign Source: This could be Facebook, Instagram, email, etc.
Campaign Medium: This is the type of source, like social, webpage, banner, etc.
Campaign Name: Keep it short and descriptive, like “SpringOpenHouse"
Once you've filled in the details, the generator will create a new link with UTM parameters. Now, whenever you share this link, the UTM parameters will help you track where people are coming from.
Remember, the UTM parameters won't affect how the webpage looks or works — they're just extra bits of information added to the link.
2. Set Up Conversion Tracking
Setting up conversion tracking on your website will let you measure specific actions taken by email recipients. Whether it's form submissions, brochure downloads or event registrations, tracking conversions helps you understand the true impact of your email campaigns on desired outcomes.
Exactly how you’ll achieve this will depend on the email software you’re using. Popular email platforms like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, and HubSpot make it easy to track customer actions from email opens, click rates, and actions on your website.
3. Utilize Email Analytics
Never neglect the power of analytics offered by your email service provider. By regularly checking metrics like open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and unsubscribes, you can see how your work is performing and areas that could use some improvement.
4. A/B Testing
Experiment with elements like subject lines, call-to-actions, or visuals by sending varied versions of each email to different segments of your email list. The results generated will help identify what resonates best with your audience, allowing you to optimize future campaigns accordingly.
For more specific A/B testing ideas, check out our blog post here.
5. Use Advanced Segmentation
Go beyond basic segmentation and embrace more advanced techniques. Consider factors such as engagement levels, past interactions, or specific preferences. Targeting content precisely based on recipient behavior enhances the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
6. Track Email Client and Device Data
Stay informed about how people access and view your emails by monitoring data on email client usage and device types. This valuable information is easily trackable with almost any email software available today. It helps you optimize your email designs and ensures a seamless experience across different platforms. For example, if your data shows that most parents are opening your emails on mobile devices, it’s a good idea to ensure mobile-optimized design for every email.
7. Incorporate Surveys and Feedback
Unlock valuable insights with surveys or feedback forms directly within your emails. Information about recipient preferences, interests, or satisfaction levels can help you improve future email campaigns with more effective, tailored content.
Some questions you could ask your audience include:
Frequency and timing: Are people happy with how often they receive emails from you?
Personalization: Do people feel that the content is personalized to them and their interests?
General feedback and suggestions: Is there anything people could suggest that would help you communicate in a way they prefer?
The clearer your idea of what your audience wants, the further your school email marketing efforts can go.
8. Get to Know Your Email Heat Maps
Email heatmaps are visual representations of the areas within your email that receive the most attention - allowing you to optimize layouts, content placement, and CTAs for maximum impact. If, for example, your heat map shows that your email’s banner image always gets the most clicks, you’ll know that any high-priority events or announcements will be best promoted using that area. Modern email softwares like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign offer these features, so you can easily scope out which areas of your emails get the most action.
9. Monitor Email Deliverability
Keep a close eye on your email deliverability rates, noting metrics like bounce rates and what percentage of your emails are going to people’s spam folders. Consistently landing in spam folders will eventually harm your sender reputation and reduce the chance that your emails will be seen by recipients. Use this data to promptly rectify any issues that may hamper your email program's performance.
10. Use CRM Integration
Integrating your email marketing platform with your customer relationship management (CRM) system lets you consolidate data, and offers a holistic view of each recipient's interactions throughout their customer journey. By tracking these touchpoints, you can deliver highly personalized experiences.
For example, you could email real-time application status updates to prospective students, keeping them moving forward and demonstrating your commitment to their journey. You could also exclude applicants from receiving certain emails, so you’re not damaging the relationship with messages that doesn't apply to them.You’re collecting all this data anyway - why not use it to better connect with your audiences?
By embracing these 10 strategies, you can unleash the power of data to refine your campaigns, optimize engagement, drive conversions, and make the best use of your marketing resources.
Want to keep learning about email marketing for schools? Check out the rest of the series:
More coming soon!
At Metric Marketing, we develop measurable and practical strategies to help private and independent schools like yours to make the most of your marketing efforts. We'd love to discuss your private school's marketing requirements with you. Contact us today to speak with our marketing professionals or sign up to receive more marketing tips in your inbox.