Craft campaigns and offers that will generate top response from educators. Download our infographic about teachers’ purchasing preferences to learn tips for:

  • Grabbing teachers’ attention
  • Earning loyalty through worthwhile offers
  • Reserving your share of teachers’ purchasing dollars

Download & share a PDF of the infographic.

job titleA number of people are involved in education purchasing. Some are influencers, making recommendations for education solutions. Others are decision makers who approve purchases and sign the final contract. No matter their role, you must reach them all to build awareness for your brand.

It’s back-to-school. Budgets are set and education purchasing is underway. Teachers and administrators are already considering products and programs to invest in for next school year. Given all of the activity during this busy season, how do you know whom to schedule meetings with? What should you talk about during sales calls?

Insights from a recent Agile survey of educators will help you strategize your approach and be better prepared for conversations.

There is an old maxim in marketing: It’s less expensive to generate business from existing customers than it is to land new ones.

This has certainly proven itself in education subscription businesses such as magazines and software licensing, where renewals are far more profitable than new subscribers. And if you know your acquisition cost per customer, reactivating dormant customers is likely to be more cost-effective than acquiring new ones.

This infographic from Reach Mail offers tips for re-engaging with the dormant subscribers on your email list. Among some of its most eye-opening insights:

  • 60 percent of the subscribers on an average email list are inactive, or haven’t opened, clicked or engaged with emails in six or more months.
  • The longer a subscriber has been on your list, the less responsive they become.
  • 69 percent of email users unsubscribe from a list because they receive emails too frequently.
  • More than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. If your emails aren’t optimized for mobile, you’ll likely have a higher percentage of dormant subscribers.

Keep Your Email List Healthy

The first line of defense against email dormancy is to not lose subscribers’ interest in the first place. One way you can keep them engaged is by segmenting your list and tailoring information and offers to smaller groups or individuals. Delivering exactly the kind of information each subscriber is interested in can help ensure that your emails get opened and read. A regular review of response metrics will help you focus your messages on the information that matters most to different audience members.

Another smart strategy is to scrub your list periodically. List hygiene is important to the health of your business. It may seem counterproductive to reduce your list size, but there are benefits to doing so. No matter how much effort you make to engage subscribers, there will be those that never engage due to inactive email addresses or other circumstances. Removing these subscribers will help improve response rates and spam scores, demonstrating your compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act. Decreasing the size of your list or list segments also can help you reward your most loyal customers and prospects with tightly focused information or offers based on their unique needs.

Re-engagement Tactics

If you do see engagement starting to fall, often the simplest request can reactivate a subscriber’s interest. Send a request to update their email information or preferences, or send a short survey to determine why they’ve stopped responding and what you can do to better serve them.

Some companies that sell directly to end-users have had good luck with “miss you” or “come back” messages. When you see that someone has been ignoring your messages, acknowledge it and offer an incentive to stay, such as a discount on a product or program.

Just be sure your messages aren’t purely promotional. Also be cautious about frequency. Almost two-thirds of email subscribers leave a list because they receive too many messages. Strike a balance. A good rule of thumb is to make your emails 90 percent informational and less than 10 percent promotional. Demonstrating that your purpose is to share helpful information with respected colleagues is important to building subscriber loyalty. Give your subscribers what they want when they want it, and they’ll reward you with lasting engagement.

Most companies use email to stay connected to their customers and prospects throughout the education marketing cycle. Some do it well; others don’t.

We all recognize the hallmarks of a “bad” email when we see them:

  • Trying to communicate too many messages in a single email
  • Focusing solely on self-promotion
  • Using too many images
  • Including too much text
  • Not branding emails appropriately, thus creating an ambiguous sender
  • Not optimizing messages for mobile viewing

What do all of these email “don’ts” have in common? Poor planning and design.

10 Email Template Design Tips

Good design is essential to email marketing success. When the reader opens your message, you want the email to capture their attention — in a good way. Once engaged, the design should guide readers to instinctively click through the call to action (CTA).

All major email clients and marketing automation software offer drag-and-drop email templates. No matter what program you use to design your templates, follow these best practices to ensure your emails stand out.

  1. Brand your email template. Make sure your company logo has a presence “above the fold.” Adopted from newspapers, this term refers to the first screen a reader sees before scrolling to read more.
  2. Use plenty of white space to help focus the reader on your core message.
  3. Place your CTA above the fold as well. If a reader has to scroll to find the CTA, this diminishes the response. Better yet, include two or three CTAs in each message that all lead to the same action.
  4. Keep your copy clear and concise. It should be immediately clear what the purpose of your outreach is whether readers choose to skim the email or read the entire message.
  5. Images are important to overall design, but plan for filters to block them out. Prepare for this by adding alt text that appears when an image isn’t available. Also be aware that too many images may trigger spam filters.
  6. More and more educators are keeping up with emails on their smartphones and tablets. Keep small screens in mind when designing, and make sure the template is responsive on mobile devices.
  7. Create your most important messages in HTML and text. This ensures that readers can see and understand your message even when filters block images out.
  8. Test email formats against one another to see which garners the most positive response. Then use that format consistently to create easily recognizable messages.
  9. Personalize your emails. You may be able to do this on a granular level through personalized URLs (PURLS) that customize messages with a reader’s name, geographic location, custom images and more. You also can add a personal touch simply through your choice of pronouns. Use “you” and “your” to seem as though you’re addressing the reader directly.

For more email marketing tips, download Agile's Email Marketing Best Practices guide.

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About Agile Education Marketing

We're the go-to people to build brand recognition and generate leads. Using our comprehensive EdConnect™ database of early childhood, K-12 and higher education institutions and personnel, Agile Education Marketing helps you reach educators at school, at home and online.