Today’s incoming higher education students are part of Generation Z. Meaning that when it comes to choosing the right university for them, they are likely to turn to online sources.
When searching for the right university online, Gen Z looks for disruptors and organizations that reflect their personalities and values.
Gen Z’s knowledge of technology and familiarity with social media makes them more likely to research their options online versus past generations. Nearly half of Gen Zers are online “almost constantly.”
Because of this, your goal as institutional marketers should be to ramp up digital communications. Email is a great way to spur interest in your university and show them why you’re the right fit for them.
Now you may be wondering…
Is Email Marketing Effective in Higher Education?
Email marketing remains a popular channel for communicating with Generation Z. Not only does it have a strong ROI with an average return of $44 for every $1 spent, but 85% of Gen Z prefers email over other forms of communication.
With 58% saying they check their inboxes multiple times daily, there is ample opportunity to engage incoming students via email to get them excited about choosing your university.
A well-written and designed welcome message is the perfect way to start a new relationship. It can help the student feel connected, encouraged, and your educational institution.
So, how do you design an inspiring welcome message for students?
Continue reading for some of our best practices in email marketing for higher education.
Crafting an Inspirational Welcome Message for Students
A welcome message is a meaningful way to set the tone for an engaging and successful long-term connection. For the best result, make sure your emails have a nice balance between valuable and inspiring content.
For instance, when sharing information like campus resources, sprinkle in a hopeful message reminding them of their bright future.
Welcome emails are emails with the highest open rates – 86% higher, in fact.
It’s the first impression, so make it count.
To deliver a high-performing welcome message, it’s best to segment your content based on where the student is in their onboarding journey.
For instance, a student majoring in science may require a lab coat and safety goggles, while a math major needs an advanced calculator. Understanding the student’s needs will help you to provide the most relevant and valuable information.
Best Practices for Designing a Welcome Message
There are many best practices to consider when designing an impactful welcome message for students.
Create an instant connection with incoming students by personalizing messages for them. For instance, personalized subject lines make recipients 26% more likely to open your email.
Our PRO tip?
Go beyond the subject line. Include relevant information about the student, such as their current school, a potential field of study, or graduation date, using dynamic content to help establish relevance and personalized experience.
2. Clear and Concise Messaging
Research shows you have about eight seconds to capture the attention of Gen Z. This means emails need to be focused and easy to understand. Use bullet points, short paragraphs, graphics, and callouts to create interest in your email content.
3. Attention-Grabbing Email Design
Similar to keeping the messages clear and concise, images should be visually appealing and layouts easy to navigate. Remember that many Gen Z’ers will most likely check their email on a smartphone, so ensuring images and layouts are optimized for mobile is very important to engagement.
If you’re not a professional email designer or need a little inspiration, check out the template catalog available on our website for a variety of easy-to-use and visually appealing email layouts.
4. Highlight Key Benefits and Opportunities
When writing email content, including the “what’s in it for me” angle.
This would include the key benefits and opportunities the student will have by engaging with your educational institution. You can showcase the unique resources, extracurricular activities, or academic programs your university offers that set you apart.
Examples of Successful Welcome Messages You Can Copy 😉
Many businesses and organizations use welcome messages to engage prospects or new subscribers. It’s important to start new relationships off on the right foot. Here are some examples of welcome emails we like.
This email by Sephora uses white space and a fun font to capture attention. It’s well branded using Sephora’s signature black and white designs but has a few splashes of red for a pop of color that guides the eye downwards. The content does a great job of expressing the benefits of shopping at Sephora from a “whats in it for me” angle.
In this welcome email from Munchery, they use big, colorful images and a clear call-to-action. The CTA is a bright orange color that dramatically stands out.
The content is short and sweet not to overwhelm the reader, and there is a good amount of whitespace.
Universities can follow a similar idea by using engaging images to pull the reader in, while not overwhelming them with too much content within the email. Consider how images could be used to inspire feelings, like how Munchery makes us hungry!
Optimizing Your Email Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve drafted your welcome message, remember the work has just begun. Now it’s time to test and refine the message over time to improve student engagement and action.
Consider these additional ways to optimize your welcome email:
- Build a segmented list to incorporate more personalized messages
- Incorporate A/B testing to continually improve your message
- Analyze post-send data to refine messages and targeting strategies
- Improve the efficiency of your marketing program with tools and resources like marketing automation software or BEE Pro that can help streamline email design efforts.
Get Started with BEE Pro to Design Welcome Messages for Students that Inspire
There is no question that email marketing is alive and well with the upcoming generation of students. Ensure you build inspirational and captivating email campaigns, starting with strong welcome messages, to grow long-lasting and successful relationships.
Design beautiful emails using best practices and mobile optimization quickly and stress-free with BEE Pro!
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