Thursday, October 21, 2010

E-mail campaigns designed for success

We have been doing a number of e-mail campaigns for clients of late and always hear the same question. "We have over 800 or 1000 click throughs but don't see anyone responding. Why?" The answer is mulitfaceted but has two fundamental answers.

First, prospects are used to seeing a message more than once, particularly for something that is time intensive or potentially expensive. They need an incentive to take the next step and give you their information for follow-up. Basically, what this means is that you don't just want to send a message out using e-mail and hope for the best, but you need to give some incentive to complete the form with their name and contact information for follow-up. Remember, you want THEM to select you to be their school of choice to complete their education.

What this means is, multiple deployments should be considered for the maximum response. Give them a STRONG reason to contact you and register, which means a discount on the first semester's tuition, discount on books (don't give them a sweatshirt, or travel coffee mug), it's insulting considering what you are asking them to spend on their further education. Give them something of substance to convince them to learn from you.

Second, and most importantly, use a unique code or process to identify who is applying. If you offer a discount on tuition, use a discount code (for example, AE1020 may reference Adult Education 10/20/10 campaign. That way you know the source of the new student. Make this unique for EVERY campaign.So, if you do three deployments over 2.5 weeks, the first may be AE102010, the second AE102610 and the third AE103110. That way you will be able to track performance by deployment.

As an example, here are some actual numbers from a client who did a campaign like the one described above.

Each of these deployed 75,000 e-mails, spread over six days.

Deployment 1
   Opens 13,471 or 17.9%
   Click Throughs 1015 or 7.53% of the opens
   Confirmed registrations 4

Deployment 2 - 2 days later
   Opens 16,004 or 21.3%
   Click Throughs 1855 or 11.59% of opens
   Confirmed registrations 33 new students

Deployment 3 - 4 days later
   Opens 17855 or 23.8%
   Click Throughs 2280 or 12.76% of opens
   Confirmed registrations 75

They used a unique registration/discount code for each deployment and offered a discount on tuition for this campaign. The acheived 112 new students from this campaign and are now rolling out this program for every recruitment semester.

Learn how a program like that can assist YOUR institution. Contact us today for a count and quote.