Does your institution e-mail market? We do!

In the last year we have put a lot of time and effort into creating a solid email marketing campaign. What has been so unbelievable about the campaign is the growing support that we have been receiving from various departments around campus. I’ll save it for another post to really look at the various departments and how they are using our mailshot system to communicate with constituents, but wanted to share an excellent example of how it can drive traffic to your website. For Wofford’s e-mail marketing we use Bronto and to reduce confusion on campus refer to it as mailshot instead of list distribution or blast email or any of the other names out there.

For higher education Christmas break is usually one of the deadest visit times. I’m sure there are a few prospective students out there who visit the site as they whittle down their list of colleges, but for the most part people stay away and spend time with their family and loved ones. As a lot of people have suggested putting together a top ten list is an excellent way to get people connected one final time over the holidays and a mailshot is the perfect avenue to promote these lists. For our end of year we put together two such lists, one list for the top ten news stories and the other for top ten videos/soundslides. Soundslides are videos that are made up of pictures with an audio track on the backend. What is so good about soundslides is that assuming you have the pictures and an audio track they are VERY easy and quick to put together.  Watch some of our videos and see for yourself.

So anyways we sent four emails out promoting this list each tailored towards a different target group. The messages were sent to alumni, prospective students, news, and website updates.  Without getting into to much detail let’s just say we sent close to 40,000 messages and had over 20% open rate. Assuming each click through back to the site was unique we gained an extra 1,734 visitors back to the site during this slow time! Not bad and quite impressive if you ask me.

Below is the traffic data pulled from our Google Analytics account from December 15th to the end of the year. The blue is for 2007 and the green is for 2006. For the last week it’s pretty similar, but notice that big spike? We sent out our mailshots Dec. 18th-20th.

During this two week period here are some other interesting statistics:

  • Visits up 26%
  • Absolute Unique Visitors up 89%
  • Average Pageviews up 52%
  • Time on Site up 23%
  • Bounce Rate down 18%
  • New Visitors up 24%

Absolute Unique Visitors is the most exciting statistic there! I’m sure it’s not the only factor, but mailshots definitely have to account for a large part of the growth in this small sample!  Want to learn more then sign-up for our mailshots and see for yourself.

This post was written by:

Kyle James

Kyle James - who has written 227 posts on .eduGuru

Kyle is currently the Customer in Residence at HubSpot, a Co-Founder at nuCloud and  formerly the webmaster at Wofford College. Kyle is an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media. He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.

Ways to Connect with Kyle

Kyle's Blog Kyle's Facebook Kyle's LinkedIn Bio Kyle's Twitter AccountKyle's Last.FM Music Kyle's Flickr Photos Michael's YouTube Profile Kyle's Digg Profile Kyle's Sphinn Kyle's Mixx Profile Kyle's Delicious Bookmarks Kyle's StumbleUpon Kyle's SlideShare Presentations Kyle's Last.FM Music 


17 Responses to “Does your institution e-mail market? We do!”

  1. Avatar image
    Bradjward Says:

    Nice work! I’ve sent out ~700,000 emails over the last 6 months. Sometimes I feel like a dirty spammer.

  2. Avatar image
    Joe Gaylor Says:

    Great stuff here Kyle, looking forward to reading more of your higher ed expertise

  3. Avatar image
    Tony Gee Says:

    Just found your blog while researching email marketing for my college - nice work and helpful post.Looks like I’m going to be busy

  4. Avatar image
    Jorden Says:

    A very informative article, thank you. Most of all I like the idea that for the end of year you put together two lists, one list for the top ten news stories and the other for top ten videos/soundslides. It is convenient for using.

  5. Avatar image
    Quintin Says:

    You are right that putting together a top ten list is an excellent way to get people connected one final time over the holidays and a mailshot is the perfect avenue to promote these lists. It’s a good marketing strategy, I should say.

  6. Avatar image
    John Says:

    Interesting points made, I’ve done various other forms of marketing but honestly thought that email marketing was a bit dead in the water these days.

  7. Avatar image
    Herbal Hoodia Gordonii Site Says:

    Absolute Unique Visitors have really impressed me. You applied a wonderful strategy and now you have amazing results. My congratulations.

  8. Avatar image
    Quinten - Toe Nail Fungus Review Says:

    hi! sounds to be much promising, impressive. i hope it will work!thanx for so much usseful information!now i know for sure what i’m gonna do this week-end:)

  9. Avatar image
    Lenny - Provillus Review Says:

    yeahh… i feel a lit bit like to be a great mr.SPAM… but this play is worth the candlу!!! and i like it! thanx

  10. Avatar image
    saç ekimi Says:

    Interesting points. It’s a good marketing strategy.

  11. Avatar image
    Allan Rayner Says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you mention “tailored towards a different target group” without this email marketing would be nowhere near as effective. Thank you for sharing your findings, it makes for interesteing reading.

    • Avatar image
      estetik Says:

      E-mail marketing will still be a great arsenal on bloggers and internet marketers now and in future time, you just have to make sure that you are using it right.

  12. Avatar image
    Rick Glaser Says:

    It seems that email marketing will work for some and be a disaster for others. The days of buying a list of 1 million people and blasting the hell out of them are long gone, but if you do it correctly, and build a natural list of people it is a brilliant way to keep people coming.

    I did a campaign for Timeshare Market Pro
    and it was a disaster. They always wanted to send out some spammy type of emails that did no good. Wasn’t my fault though :D

  13. Avatar image
    Jonas Says:

    That’s very interesting point you made.. I wonder how to expand the marketting strategies and this is one of my preferences articles

  14. Avatar image
    JOHN Says:

    Thanks for the info! I really can’t belive it’s almost Christmas.

  15. Avatar image
    Funny Christmas Songs Says:

    You not going to believe this but I have wasted all day scrounging for some information about this. You’re a lifesaver, it was a great read and really helped me out. Have a good one, <a href="https://ezinearticles.com/?Funny-Christmas-Songs-For-Children—Groove-King-Senseless

  16. Avatar image
    estetik Says:

    That’s very interesting point you made.. I wonder how to expand the marketting strategies and this is one of my preferences articles