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Do Prospective Students Even Read Email Anymore?

You’ve asked it.

I’ve asked it.

I bet every Recruitment and Enrollment Marketer has asked it at least once.

“Do prospective students even read email anymore?”

Well according to Campaign Monitor who recently published a marketing guide on Gen Z:

“While most marketers think Gen Z only cares about social media and thus focus their marketing efforts there, our study shows that Gen Zers remain active email users.”

This is good news for those of us tasked with recruiting prospective college students today and in the years to come since we rely heavily on e-communication strategies in our marketing mix.  The power of email communication is undeniable.   

According to the same Gen Z guide, 

“Email marketing has become smarter in recent years thanks to the innovative processes of targeting and segmenting contacts, which allows businesses to quickly and efficiently send personalized marketing materials to specific audiences. Email campaigns can be used to reach out to particular groups of customers, or even individuals, sending them unique messages based on their interests and needs. It also simplifies the process of calculating the ROI of an email marketing campaign—as long as you use the correct metrics. Although newer marketing avenues have their perks, only a few of them can match the proven reliability or profitability of email marketing.”

However, it’s important to note that our prospective students are using and responding to email very differently than their earlier counterparts and we need to do the same.   

Stand Out: 

According to a recent article about email marketing, most Gen Z’ers check their emails only once a month.  Think about how many emails YOU receive on any given day and imagine if you let them pile up for a whole month before opening your inbox.   Yikes! 

And with an attention span of just 8 seconds, figuring out how to make your college or university email stand out in the clutter is a big challenge.   It’s going to come down to crafting a subject line that grabs their attention in an authentic way.  And email content that is engaging, immersive and interactive.   Colleges and universities often make the mistake of sending lengthy, text-dense email messages that read like our viewbooks and brochures.  By the time we ramble our way to the ‘call to action’…those 8 seconds are up and we’ve lost an incredible opportunity to recruit. 

 Partnering with a professional, full service marketing partner like Thinking Cap, is a smart solution to getting noticed. The ability to craft engaging, multimedia messages, that quickly tell your brand story and are designed to capture critical information about your reader so you can re-target them even after they close the email is a powerful tool.

Be Mobile:

When is the last time you saw a Gen Z’ers without a mobile device in hand? Exactly! A recent Gen Z study showed that 64% of this demographic uses to mobile devices to consume media.

What that means to us recruitment and enrollment marketers is that we need to craft our email messages with the size and experience of a mobile device in mind. We’ve got to avoid the endless scroll of an email that is way too long and text heavy to read on a cell phone. Are we linking back to our website from within the body of the email? Are we including hyperlinks to our social media platforms and interactive media? Are we incorporating short-form, authentic video to hold their attention longer? Can they see, feel and experience everything we want them to, simply by looking at their smart phones?

Get Connected:

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Sending the most spectacular and engaging email to your prospective students is not the end of your work. All of our communications and marketing need to be integrated across channels in order to influence the behaviors of those we need to recruit. Linking our email campaign to coordinated calls to action…whether it’s registering for an event, filling out an inquiry card, driving them to visit our website or capturing their cell phone information are critical for us to keep the engagement and dialogue moving.

Unfortunately, most college and university enrollment marketing teams are stretched incredibly thin and don’t have the time to fully integrate, plan and execute marketing strategies across channels. So even when the person responsible for creating and sending emails as part of the recruitment marketing process hits it out of the park, his/her counterpart in social media management or video gen or data analytics remains unaware of the success and how to leverage it.

That’s where having a long-term strategic marketing partner like Thinking Cap can give colleges and universities the edge they need to meet…make that exceed…their enrollment goals.

 

 

 

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