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How To Get Students To Sign Up To Your Marketing E-mails


Tips on how to get students to subscribe to your content – and stay subscribed!

E-mail marketing is not as simple as it used to be. At the Engaging Youth Conference, our student panel provided an insight into how they interacted with their e-mails and it became clear just how far e-mails have come. Every year, students get savvier with online communication and many are reluctant to give out their e-mail addresses at all due to the sheer volume they already receive from businesses every day. A few even have a separate e-mail account just for competitions and company newsletters.

Consequently, you have to make sure students will sign up and stay tuned to your content, which may involve a change in your current strategy. We have written up some advice on how to get students, the masters of ad-dodging, to hand over their e-mail address and stay subscribed to your content.

Offer an initial incentive

Students are much more likely to sign up to your e-mail mailing list if it has the promise of some exclusive reward. This reward can come in many formats, but some examples include: insider content, a free gift or download, a discount, or early access to sales. Without a clear benefit to subscribing students will be reluctant to hand over their e-mail address.

... but then you need to give a reason for them to stay

Our students reported that they will frequently sign up for a discount and then simply unsubscribe when spam starts pouring into their inbox, which means that the content of your e-mails is crucial and worth spending time over. Once students are in your sales pipeline through being signed up to your e-mails, your content should add value in order to ensure they stay subscribed. For the best practice to use for creating and sending e-mails that are marketing to students, read our blog post on it here.

And it needs to be done quickly!

The reward needs to be offered quickly to fulfil your initial promise and start the relationship well. If students are subscribing for a discount code, for example, chances are they want to use it in the very near future. However, once they have got the reward that they gave their e-mail addresses for, they will simply unsubscribe. To combat this, your initial e-mail should showcase what future e-mails will contain and also highlight the continued value of their subscription.

Consider using social media platforms

From a consumer perspective, social media platforms can be considered as a ‘try-before-you-buy’ to e-mail updates and extra content. It is a chance to showcase your brand’s character and encourage students to get to know the brand. Even if your primary marketing strategy is e-mail, you still need a method to get people to sign up and social media can be a great way to do that. Plus, if the e-mail marketing content is consistent with your public brand persona on social media, students have already bought into your concept when they sign up with an e-mail and are less likely to unsubscribe.

Work with influencers

Influencer marketing can be an incredibly effective way to increst interest in your brand or organisation. Students are more inclined to trust the words of influencer’s over traditional advertisements or branded content. Try to establish partnerships with influential students who can shout about your brand and encourage e-mail sign-ups.

Make your advertising native

Students are not as responsive to traditional methods as they once were. Instead of having traditional banner advertising, try to adopt native advertising techniques. Studies have been done which tracked user’s eye movement across web pages as they browsed the internet. What they found was that most people, not just students, have developed a ‘display ad blindness’ which means that their eyes don’t even take notice of the areas that these adverts are placed. Native advertising feels less forced and students are likely to be more receptive to native advertising within e-mails.

The ‘e-mail marketing is dead’ debate has been a hot topic for a number of years now. However, there is still an array of evidence that suggests the success of e-mail marketing. Many brands and organisations continue using this method with great results. Companies need to bear in mind the changes in how we ingest e-mails and advertisements and ensure that e-mail marketing strategies are updated to maximise their successes.