Over and over again, students have told us that email communication is the best way to reach them. If set up properly, it’s a powerful way to provide personalized and relevant content with minimal time on your end.

Through our platform each week, we send anywhere from 100,000-200,000 emails to our database of students, parents, and counsellors – which gives us the opportunity to compare campaigns to determine email best practices. We’ve compiled a list of the top performing emails from the week of October 6, 2020.

The Importance of Subject Line & Preheader

Let’s take a look at the often overlooked subject line and preheader. These are the first things a student sees in their inbox and will have a huge impact on whether or not they’ll open your email. By being concise yet intriguing in your messaging, you will dramatically increase your open rates.

Here’s an example:

This Week’s Results

This week, we’ve compiled a list of our top performing email campaigns (with anonymity preserved) and some campaigns that didn’t perform as well.

Top 3 Performers:

3. School Drip Campaign [38% open rate]

  • Subject Line: [First.Name], have you considered studying on the west coast?
  • Preheader: Get the west coast experience at X University! Explore program options and learn about all the things to do in BC.
  • Key Takeaway: By asking a question in the subject line that’s specific to a student’s interest, you are able to engage them.

2. Ontario-wide Drip Campaign [39% open rate]

  • Subject Line: [First.Name], do you know what’s next in your education?
  • Preheader: If you’ve started thinking about what’s next in your educational journey, explore your many options for school in Ontario!
  • Key Takeaway: This works off the uncertainty that COVID is causing. Students aren’t sure what’s next and they are looking for guidance.

1. Scholarship Drip Campaign [44% open rate]

  • Subject Line: [First.Name], you could receive up to $70,000!
  • Preheader: The X Scholarships are offered to students like you who are doing amazing things in their community.
  • Key Takeaway: Anything scholarship-related always performs the strongest.

Could Do Better:

2. Ontario-wide Drip Campaign [12% open rate]

  • Subject Line: [First.Name], have you signed up for a virtual tour?
  • Preheader: Choosing what to do after high school can be both exciting and intimidating! Here’s why you belong at X University.
  • Key Takeaway: With so much of their school already online, it’s difficult to get students to register for another online event.

1. Open House Registration [4% open rate]

  • Subject Line: [First.Name], have you registered yet?
  • Preheader: Join us for a virtual open house at X University.
  • Key Takeaway: This is a little too “hard sell”. It’s difficult to get students to sign up for an event when they don’t know much about who you are.

We hope this is helpful!

Throughout the fall recruitment cycle, we will post digital marketing insights designed to shed light on how you can improve your overall engagement.


Connect with us