With its long-standing presence in the digital marketing realm, email marketing continues to wield significant influence as a potent means of capturing leads, fostering direct audience engagement, and driving conversions at opportune moments. Despite the rapid evolution of marketing tactics, email marketing has proven its enduring efficacy, particularly amidst the upheaval caused by the global pandemic.

Remarkably, email marketing continues to deliver astounding results, even in the year 2022. A study conducted by MailChimp in 2019 unveiled a staggering average open rate of 21.33% for marketing emails.

Building on this success, recent research conducted by SmartInsights in 2022 demonstrated a noteworthy growth in email open rates, now reaching an impressive 29.55%.

These statistics reinforce the indispensability of email marketing strategy for higher education institutes. By leveraging the enduring power of email, universities can establish meaningful connections with their students, achieve higher engagement levels, and ultimately boost their conversion rates.

Importance Of Email Marketing For Higher Education

Emails are a core aspect of the enrollment marketing funnel, with SmartInsights reporting open rates at almost 33% in 2022. Email marketing for higher education remains a crucial aspect in higher education marketing due to its effectiveness across the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel.  

The modern student is practically glued to their smartphones, with a report identifying that 18-24-year-olds have the highest smartphone penetration at 93%, with usage time between 4-5 hours. Here are some interesting benefits of email marketing for higher education.

Strategic Email Marketing Techniques for Higher Education Admissions

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for higher education admissions, helping you engage with prospective students and guide them through the enrollment process. Here are some strategic email marketing techniques to consider:

1. Segment Your Audience

Segment Your Lists or audeince persona

The most important step in executing successful enrollment marketing email campaigns is to know your people and segment your audiences in accordance with those. For universities that have different departments, it is essential to create unique & personalized emails for every type of student segment. 

Every student persona has its own characteristics, and enrollment teams must capitalize on those unique aspects of their audiences. The email content and design can be customized to provide different types of information through whitepapers, videos, webinars, etc., to be more specific to student needs. 

2. A/B test Different Email Copies 

Testing email campaigns with different content and design templates can provide excellent statistics for increasing conversions. Testing two versions of the same email can provide insight into improving content, providing more information, and redesigning the entire campaign if necessary. 

3. Unique Personalized Subject Lines 

Personalization is essential for enrollment marketers to build rapport and trust with the student. Emails with generalized subject lines usually end up in spam folders too. Therefore, emails created with available student information tend to receive more opens and click-throughs. 

4. Mobile Optimized Email & Landing Pages 

Mobile Optimized Email & Landing Pages 

To ensure success with modern-day students, it is highly recommended to optimize emails for mobile devices. The increased penetration of handheld devices demands enrollment marketers to create optimized higher education landing pages that fit the screen and provide easy navigation and clear CTAs to grow conversions.

By designing mobile-friendly landing pages, universities can effectively engage with prospective students on their preferred devices, making it easier for them to explore the offerings and take the desired action, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates.

5. Create An Email Newsletter Campaign 

newsletter for universities

Enrollment marketers should consider developing a weekly or fortnightly newsletter campaign to keep students engaged continuously with their brands. Providing prospects with new content, updates, and the latest information through newsletters can be very effective. 

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, newsletters can also play a vital role in student recruitment. By including information about student recruitment initiatives, such as open house events, scholarship opportunities, and application deadlines, newsletters can effectively target prospective students and encourage them to consider attending.

6. Include Interactive Content – Be Concise, Be Precise   

Emails must be both engaging and informative at the same time, giving enrollment marketers a challenge in modern times. However, it has become even easier through email automation and marketing tools to embed multiple content types into the same copy. 

Higher education marketers should consider making their content concise and curate emails around more in-depth content magnets like videos, informative PDFs, guides, and landing pages. 

Video content has already proven to get more views and click-throughs, especially because of the visual information mix. Allowing students to view videos and images of the university, its students, and its facilities adds to the brand image while encouraging students to even visit the campus, increasing chances of conversion. 

Emails should also include forms that can allow students to sign up for newsletters and other email lists of their interest. Ebooks are a particularly popular idea, by ‘gating’ their download with an email requirement, universities can create a direct connection with students. 

7. Focus on Your CTA

Emails must focus on multiple CTAs today to get favorable action from the student. CTAs are not just the big buy button anymore, it can be a link to an ebook, an article, a course outline, a video tutorial, a contact us link, and much more. 

Focusing on getting the student to click is essential to engage them in the marketing funnel from the very beginning. Providing multiple links to landing pages, blogs, social profiles, and forms are all CTAs that will bring students to marketers directly.

Email Marketing Has the Highest ROI

Litmus identified in 2021 that email marketing has an ROI of $36 for every $1 invested. This makes it one of the most attractive initiatives that enrollment marketers choose to reach students all over the world. 

Enrollment marketing teams can develop multiple email campaigns for different stages of the customer journey, in addition to being able to A/B test to improve ROI in real time. 

1. Reach Out To Larger Audiences 

Email Marketing is a faster and more secure way to reach a huge global audience. Enrollment marketers can engage a worldwide audience and then filter leads through funnels, educating them, convincing them, and then converting them all through strategic email campaigns & content. 

Universities can attract potential local students from distant cities in addition to international students who may be interested. 

2. Excellent for Branding 

Email Marketing can be a valuable tool in executing a successful university branding strategy. Educating audiences about charity and academic events, providing student support workshops, offering financial aid, and other initiatives can empower brand image and provide an even large audience reach.  

3. AIDA Model

Email Marketing is an excellent way for enrollment teams to use the AIDA model to create awareness, develop interest, create desire, and then encourage action from students in a planned flow of events. Email can be used to send educational content, videos, guides, and forms and used to engage students in live counseling sessions too. 

From awareness to desire, an email is an essential tool that can build formidable trust and engagement between enrollment marketers and students.  

4. Personalization & Trust 

Emails can be personalized to be more engaging for potential students engaging them through their pain points or areas of interest. Email marketing can focus on students who need financial support, educating them about scholarships and funding programs. 

Similarly, university marketers can engage athletes and research students by simply making them aware of the world-class facilities, faculty, and peaceful environment of the school. Building trust by building student interest is something fewer channels can achieve quickly; email remains one of those. 

5. Segmentation & Targeted Marketing 

Email marketing for higher education allows great versatility, including the ability to segment students by programs or courses. Email campaigns can be executed simultaneously for different schools at the university, allowing enrollment marketers to reach a significantly huge targeted audience for each campaign. 


Email marketing remains an essential part of the higher education marketing toolkit. In essence, not only does email marketing provide the most attractive return on investment, but it also offers the most engaging means of attracting audiences to nurture over time. By partnering with a specialized higher education marketing agency like Think Orion, universities can leverage the expertise of professionals who understand the unique challenges and opportunities within the industry.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of our blog. For more interesting reads, stay connected to our social feeds. 

Think Orion is serving the higher education industry, where we cover higher education marketing for universities and edtech marketing services.