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By Lauren H. Dowdle

Schools of all sizes and levels are tasked with creating emails to engage students and their parents—and these seven types of campaigns can help them reach that goal.

1 Welcome

Let students and their families know the school is excited they’ll be attending with a welcome email marketing campaign. This message should be automated to send to subscribers as soon as they sign up for the school’s email list.

It’s a great way to not only let them know they’ve successfully signed up for the email list, but a welcome email also gives you the chance to set expectations. Share the types of emails they can expect to receive, such as weekly newsletters, events calendar, updates, and teacher spotlights.

Make sure the first email they receive from the school is a good representation of what’s to come by including the institution’s logo/name at the top, school colors, contact information, and anything the rest of your email marketing campaigns include. That will help them recognize the messages going forward and cultivate trust with them.

2 Holiday

Tis the season for greetings! From Thanksgiving to the winter holidays, there are plenty of opportunities to send students and their families festive messages. The emails can be as simple as a short “Happy Thanksgiving from [School Name]” or “Season’s Greetings” message with a related clipart image.

If you want to take the email to the next level and truly engage subscribers, include photos of students and faculty. For example, share pictures from a holiday party at school, art projects from the students, volunteer events (ex. food drives for the holidays), or anything that highlights how the school is celebrating.

Not only are these cheerful campaigns fun for subscribers to receive, but they can also be informative. Include any dates the school will be closed for the holidays, along with any related special events or parties. 

Remember: Holiday emails aren’t only confined to the fall and winter months, so send messages for everything from Valentine’s Day to Labor Day. Schedule these emails ahead of time, and take some work off of your plate as the holidays draw near.

3 Newsletter

Every school needs to send a regular newsletter, whether it goes out weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. This email is the institution’s direct line of information to the students and families about everything that’s going on within the school. 

Send newsletters on a set schedule—like the first of the week or month—so subscribers will know when to look for them. That will improve the campaign’s engagement and ensure they don’t miss the important information.

Newsletter content can include messages from the principal/dean, school updates, student or faculty news (ex. awards, promotions, achievements), dates to remember, photos from past events, and anything important subscribers need to know. Segmenting the newsletter list based on things like grade level/year, focus of study, students vs. parents, and other criteria can help further ensure you’re providing valuable content.

4 Calendars

From class parties and field trips to deadlines and report cards, send subscribers a calendar of upcoming events. These can be included in the regular newsletter and also as stand-alone emails.

The message should include the date, time, location, and a description for the event—along with who they should contact if they have questions. You can also add a call to action button that links to the calendar for the full school year.

Students and parents must constantly keep track of what’s going on, so don’t be afraid to send the dates multiple times. The more you can remind them, the better!

5 Invitations

Schools depend on the support of students and their parents to remain at a high level, so let these families know how they can get involved. Inviting them to school events, parent/teacher conferences, performances, meetings with faculty members, or to learn more about an extracurricular activity is a great way to do that.

Include the date and time for the invitation, along with anything they need to bring with them. For example, if the event is during the school day, they might need to bring their ID to check in. Also, make sure the invitation states whether or not they should bring their children to the event.

6 Back-to-school

Some of the most popular campaigns from brands are back-to-school emails, and that’s the same for schools themselves. Students and their families are eager to learn what they need to do to prepare for the school year, so they are sure to engage with this type of email.

Instead of sending one long email with all of the information, break up the back-to-school campaign into multiple automated emails. Start with the basics and things they need to prepare for further in advance—like the school supply list and important dates. Then, share more specific information they need to know for the first day back the closer you get.

Including a list of FAQs about starting back to school in an email or as a CTA is a great way to inform and provide value, as well. Take as much of the guesswork out of starting back to school as possible to ensure everyone has a smooth, stress-free experience. This will also help build a relationship with students and their families that will be important throughout the year.

7 Scholarships and aid

Both current and prospective students (and their parents) want to know more about the types of financial services the institution offers. From scholarships to other assistance programs, finances can often be a confusing and difficult topic for families. 

Take the guesswork out of the equation by sending clear and concise emails that explain your school’s financial services. Share information on any programs the school offers, qualification for aid, how to apply, deadlines, and who to contact. Also, include images and short sections of text to make an often complicated topic easier, like in this example.

Well-rounded strategy

The best types of school email marketing campaigns are the ones that inform, provide valuable content, and foster relationships between the institution and the ones who attend and support it. When you create content that hits all of those points, you’re sure to engage students and parents all school year long.

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