Ace Your Back-to-School Email Marketing
The 2017 back-to-school (BTS) season is winding down, but that doesn't mean it's too late to brush up on your email marketing ABCs. Although students are back in classrooms, the BTS shopping season won't end for another few weeks.
Before BTS transitions into the holiday season, check out the below infographic by Campaigner and Lesson Planet, an online curriculum review, search and planning solution for PreK-12 educators, which gives insights into the top tips and tricks for successful email marketing. Below the infographic, check out my interview with Jeff Chappell, director of marketing at Lesson Planet, and EJ McGowan, general manager at Campaigner, to learn more about the email marketing trends to take into account for BTS.
Total Retail: Can you tell me a little bit about Lesson Planet?
Jeff Chappell: Lesson Planet is the leading online curriculum search and planning solution for PreK-12 educators. The award-winning search engine enables teachers to easily discover and collect more than 350,000-plus teacher-reviewed curriculum resources within an online, professional community. Teachers can invigorate their curriculum and save valuable planning time by using search criteria to narrow by subject, grade, 21st Century skills, common core and state standards, and more. Founded by educators in 1999, the company is committed to helping teachers be great. Every resource is reviewed and rated by Lesson Planet’s team of credentialed teachers, providing quality members can trust. In addition to individual teacher memberships, schools and districts can subscribe to Lesson Planet’s cost-effective and easy-to-administer School Edition.
TR: Back-to-school is a busy time for email marketers. When do you find most BTS email promotions starting? In addition, when are BTS email promotions at their peak?
JC: BTS promotions generally begin in the second week of August, and response rates are strongest through the entire month of September and into the first two weeks of October.
TR: What are the top three best practices for BTS email campaigns?
- Personalization: In our digital age, consumers expect to be catered to in a manner that's relevant, authentic and shows a brand truly understands them. As the BTS season is cyclical, marketers can personalize emails by basing offers and deals off of past purchases to curate relevant content and show they're anticipating the needs of their customer base.
- A/B Split Testing: A/B split testing allows email marketers to test their subject lines, images, copy and even send time. Putting A/B split testing to use during the BTS season allows marketers to gain clear insight into their audience’s preferences and what tone their emails should take.
- Sticking to the Basics: While it can be tempting to inundate subscribers with timely BTS graphics and videos, it can also be distracting and really take away from your message. When sending emails this BTS season, be sure to have a clear call to action and concise content that's relatable and compelling. This will prove far more successful and appealing to your audience base than flashy images.
TR: Can other channels (e.g., social, brick-and-mortar, etc.) be incorporated into an email strategy? If so, how is this done successfully?
EJM: Absolutely. Social and email should work hand-in-hand to increase brand awareness and drive conversions. In fact, when leveraged correctly, social media has the potential to ultimately drive more email subscriptions, while emails have the ability to direct more followers to social channels. This can be done by building social icons into your email campaigns and highlighting a suggested tweet in your email campaign. Using these small tips to integrate social media is a great way to increase brand visibility and drive engagement.