"Email is dead." (Just kidding—don't stop reading. It's very much alive.) Perhaps a more accurate statement would be, "the old way of doing email is dead." With the rise of data-based marketing, segmentation is the new way to transition your bulk-sending strategy into an intelligent, recruit-generating machine.
Here are five potential email segmentations your college or university should give a try.
Though this can vary for a range of reasons, your university has a bank of recipients that will more often open your email messages on desktop and those that will opt for mobile platforms. But since this piece of knowledge is something for you to easily obtain in a CRM, you can also take advantage of it. Consider smart CTAs with awareness of the device being used (i.e., swapping out terminology like "Click" with "Tap" or "Swipe"). Or perhaps even determine your content length based on screen size. Segment your audience lists by their proven likelihood to select one device over another, and you'll cater more to the end user.
Most colleges or universities play host to a variety of students from different states or countries. So target your email messaging based on this known information. Make sure your "schedule a tour" communications include travel information relevant to an out-of-state or in-state recipient. Or target more aggressively toward regions that are home to the likeliest of out-of-vicinity applicants. Use this simple bit of info to capitalize on personalization strategies that make sense.
If your college or university marketing team has readily available access to form data on your application pages, use it! Connect abandoned application forms to email addresses either by IP or known field entries, and serve email communication reminders to follow up. If a potential student recruit was distracted or called away from his or her application, send a friendly email encouraging him or her to complete the app—perhaps even with some form of incentive, such as swag items.
When it comes to your roster of email addresses of potential college recruits, are you aggregating data on high school class? And do you send the same messaging to your junior recipients as you do your senior ones? This is another missed opportunity. Target appropriate messaging to the various age levels at the right time. Nearing the end of a school year? Send PSAT tips or requirements to your high school sophomores, and send new-student orientation or housing info to high school seniors.
Larger universities can go a step further when it comes to geographic segmentation—particularly if they procure student recruits from across the entire United States or even globe. Say you're a university in Arizona—create segmentations for colder states during the wintertime and particularly emphasize your warm, dry climate. Or instead maybe you're a college in northern Montana—create warm-climate segmentations that same time of year and emphasize winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.