The purpose of schools sending emails to contacts is twofold: to update current/prospective parents and students on key event dates and to move prospects further down the journey to enrolment. While other forms of content such as social media and blogging are also important, email still remains special because you can personalise the content depending on who is receiving it.
The way to ensure you are sending the right content to the right people is to collect the correct information through sign-up forms. This is an easy way to see what kind of content each person is interested in receiving. Ensure to ask questions such as ‘are you a student or parent?’ or ‘do you already attend the school?’. It is important to not ask too many questions on form fills (as this leads to reduced conversion rates) but rather focus on asking the right questions.
Once you have effective form fills, you can use this to segment your contact list and send appropriate emails to each group. For the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on three effective emails to send to prospects, to eventually nurture them to conversion.
1. Informative resources
These are ideal for prospective students and parents who are early on in their journey to signing up to your school and who would benefit from more information on the syllabus/ course material/ and subjects offered as well as any financial aid or scholarships. For instance, if you know a student has spent a lot of time on your drama and theatre page, then sending them some links to videos of previous shows, or details of plays covered in previous years may help to push them down the funnel and decide on enrolling to your school. If a prospective parent has shown interest in your alumni page, they may be looking to see what kind of opportunities attending the school will create for their child. Send them a link to an article about the acceptance rate of your students at Russell Group universities, or research written and conducted by your alumni. This is a great way to answer any questions they may have in their mind, or even questions they didn’t know they had and will push them further down the funnel.
2. Lead nurturing emails with important dates
If a prospective parent has already signed up to attend your open days, then sending reminder emails before the day is very useful. Post open-day, sending information on relevant application closing dates or financial aid form submission dates is handy and subtly encourages prospects to make a decision. An email encouraging them to confirm their place before the deadline is proven to boost admission rates. In addition, sending useful emails about the process with ‘soft deadlines’ such as when to ask for references or when your children should begin preparing for entrance exams can also be very helpful and bring your school to the forefront of their minds when they inevitably begin preparations. Finally, engage prospective students/parents by getting a copy of your student activities calendar and sending them dates of key events to give them a feel of the school. Invite them along to watch a sports game, theatre performance or attend an open lecture/ taster day. This is a great way to make people feel included and a part of the school’s community even before they sign up.
3. Opportunities to connect
Finally, make a list of all the direct face-to-face contact points you offer and categorise them by journey phase. You can start by considering all the ways prospective students can interact with staff members, current students and alumni. You can send them an invitation to a taster day or a weekend program, or simply let them know they can call you if they have any questions. For prospective parents, you may want to offer signing up to a private tour for those who cannot make it to open days. As prospects move further down the funnel, you may want to offer meetings with an admissions officer, head of year, subject teacher the school board, or even the headteacher. Applicants who have been accepted can get offers to meet with a student mentor or form tutor. This is a great way to keep all prospects engaged, no matter what stage they are at in the funnel.
Whatever the topic of your email, make sure it includes a call-to-action (CTA). Example CTAs could include ‘book a tour’, ‘find out more’ or ‘download our prospectus’. This tightens the relationship between your institution and the prospect and gives you further information on what kind of content they want to receive more of.
If you would like more professional tips on marketing your schools do get in touch with the Digithrive For School’s team who are always happy to help. contact us here