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BizReport : Email Marketing : August 26, 2011

Top 3 tips to improve email engagement with student demographics

With universities and colleges back in session across the US, many brands are looking for ways to engage students between classes or during weekend school breaks. Between social networks, online video and mobile content consumption, brands are afraid their messages will get lost. One constant in students' lives, though, is email.

by Kristina Knight

Students have more expendable cash and are some of the earliest adopters of new gadgets and products, making them prime marketing ground for most brands. Here are the top three tips to engage students via email this fall.

campaigner.gifFirst, the subject line. Whether your target is a student or a 32-year-old in the workforce, a sweet subject line will get the recipient to click.

"An email subject line that is clear and compelling gives your email better visibility in a crowded inbox," said Paul Turnbull, Marketing Expert, Campaigner. "For example, if you need your recipients to take action, be sure to include that in the subject (i.e. "please respond, act now, etc."). A generic subject line like "Newsletter" doesn't offer a compelling reason to open your message and will likely mean a very low open rate."

Second, mobile is your friend. More consumers, students and adults alike, are checking in with email from a mobile device. Test your messages to ensure images and content appear and are optimized for the different mobile screens. With students, this is especially important because many only have mobile phones, not land-lines, so they are constantly checking not just for calls but for texts, socnet updates and email.

"Being aware of that, you may want to test your emails to ensure they display properly on these devices and/or that any links in your message direct folks to a mobile-friendly site," said Turnbull. "Those little touches show that you are in tune with the way your target audience accesses their email. Believe me - they'll be grateful."

Third, become multi-channel. Don't put all of your advertising eggs in email, in social, in mobile. Use all as a complete engagement strategy so that a consumer who has seen a display ad will remember that when your email or social network update arrives as well.

"Message frequency is key," said Turnbull. "Simply sending your email message isn't enough - you need to reach these students through more than one channel. My suggestion would be Facebook. It's cheap and relatively easy to set up a Facebook page (don't do a group - use a page for your business), and any updates you post will automatically be added to the newsfeeds of your followers."

Tags: Campaigner, email content, email marketing, email targeting, mobile email, Paul Turnbull

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