Do you use email to market your school district?
Do you want to create email campaigns that make an impact with your audience?
By defining your niche audiences and building an email list around those personas, you can improve the performance of your email marketing.
In this article and podcast, you’ll discover how to build your niche email lists and improve the performance of your email campaigns. The goal is to use email to make a powerful impact with your audience.
1. Define Your Niche Audiences for Your District
The first thing, like any marketing campaign, is that you need to define your audience. Who are you targeting with your email campaign? What defines them as an audience?
In CFBISD, we have divided our email lists using audience personas.
According to Buffer, an audience persona is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience. For content marketing purposes, you need personas to help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your audience.
The most important part of their description is deliver content that will be most relevant. Sending a blanket email to your entire district is not going to make an impact. Think of the amount of people who have no interest in the content you’re delivering to their email inbox.
Wouldn’t it make more of an impact to send specific content to a specific audience that is interested in a certain topic? With niche email lists, you can be very specific to the needs and wants of your audience.
Here are some examples of niche email lists CFBISD has created in the past:
- Parents of Gifted Students
- Future Kindergarten Parents
- Parents Interested in STEM Curriculum
- Dual Language Parents
If you need help developing Audience Personas, here is an excellent article from HubSpot that includes downloadable worksheets:
Click Here -> How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business
2. Build Your Niche Email Lists
Building specific email lists can be slightly more difficult than sending a blanket email. How can a district collect email addresses of parents that are interested in a certain program in your district?
In CFBISD, our first step was to build niche website hubs for the audience personas we defined.
Some examples of niche websites that we have created include a kindergarten parent website, an open enrollment website, and a STEM website. These hubs or mini-websites are specific sites for parents who are interested in specific programs in CFBISD. On these websites, we have email sign-up opportunities, which sometimes include what is known as a Lead Magnet.
Digital Marketer defines a lead magnet as an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information. Exchanging something for an email address is a great way to build your niche list.
Here is an example of a Lead Magnet we created to acquire kindergarten parent emails:
Click Here -> Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten Checklist
You can also ask for email addresses at certain events or through school programs, but we have found that lead magnets are the best way to collect the quality emails from specific defined audiences.
3. Develop an Engaging Lead Magnet to Build Your List
Using your audience personas is key in creating a successful lead magnet. You need to understand what is of value to your audience? What will be in high demand?
In CFBISD, we find worksheets, checklists, and tip sheets work the best for lead magnets. It must provide enough value for a person to give his or her email address in exchange for the content.
Think about content that will help them solve a problem. People love when you can fix their problems.
Digital Marketer offers a great article on lead magnets with real world examples:
Click Here -> 9 Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples
We use Lead Pages to help us develop our lead magnets and landing pages for our offers. LeadPages has helped us build extensive email lists.
4. Build the Perfect Email Campaign
Your email campaigns needs to be mobile friendly, and it needs to be visual. Niche emails can’t be RSS generated content. Take the time to build your emails from scratch. They need to be a clear, organized, and digestible.
The most important element when constructing an email is the subject line. It is your first impression when you send an email to your niche audience. They need to be engaging while being short and sweet. Your subject line must convince your audience to take the next step and open the email.
Hubspot has an excellent article on email subject lines:
Your next step in building an email is to create chunked content that has the right mix of text and visuals. In CFBISD, we always write our content, and then create a visual around that content.
Here are some examples of emails CFBISD has created:
Another important tip when constructing an email is to create a Call to Action you want your audience to do when they receive your email. It can be as simple as them visiting a website, sharing the email, or register for an event. You always want your audience to take the next step in the marketing funnel. You want them one step closer to choosing your schools and district.
Although creating niche email lists can be extra work, the benefits are much bigger than a blanket email to all of your district parents.
Creating defined audiences with rich email content can be key when promoting your programs. Having a connection to interested audiences can make the marketing process much easier.
Do you have questions about email marketing? Please leave your questions in the comment section below.