Back to School Email Strategy


Kevin Urrutia




May 05, 2024

Back to school email campaigns are often coupled with other occasions, notably the end of summer and Labor Day. This gives a chance to every business to incorporate some of its offer and come off better for the practice.

Not Every Child Needs the Same Thing

The common mistake newbies make is to advertise a generic offer, whereas it is important to keep in mind that neither the children nor the parents are necessarily on the lookout for the same items. Sure, backpacks are always in need, but some selection is in place.

On the other hand, stores selling children’s clothing may re-pack the offer and couple it with discounts to remind old customers of the benefits and attract new ones.

There are several ways to determine which items to advertise. The main influences on purchasing decisions are school recommendations, familiarity with brands, discounts and children’s decisions.

Most purchases (62 percent for parents and 70 percent for students) take place online, so think in terms of free shipping.

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Email Campaign Timing

The timing of the campaign is of utmost importance. As it turns out, the right timing depends on the types of items. For example, computers are usually purchased in early July, school supplies in late July, clothing and accessories in August and gadgets in September. Remember that these items cost money, and most parents can’t afford to buy them all at one time.

Generalized Back to School Offer

School is school and children are children, so what could possibly go wrong with a back to school marketing campaign?

Even if it lacks personalization, a generalized offer will still apply to a multitude of customers, and it is the easiest approach by far. Still, think of the items recipients will be interested in. As a rule, affordable prices come first, and some style can’t hurt either. Also, coupons and discounts are always welcome.

Personalized Offer

The easiest way to find out what is in demand is by appealing to both parents and students. Many brands segment their campaigns by the sex, making certain that both boys and girls look their finest. Here’s how Nike Vision did it:

And why not include parents, too? There are numerous examples appealing to everyone’s taste.

Just remember not to overdo the whole thing! You don’t want to be overbearing — too many choices are likely to create the opposite effect.

Tip: There’s no need to underline the need to buy school supplies — parents already know that. However, you may easily fit in a promotion or two to boost your ROI.  School supplies tend to be expensive, so special promotions on additional items may attract new customers. Here’s an example of how to nail the strategy:

Bond With Customers

It cannot be stressed enough how important bonds between a brand and a customer can be. Marketing is, in its essence, the art of offering the best deal and making people feel special. Every business wants to keep its customers; that’s why special offers should be set in place for regulars. Students who use some other essay writing services often walk away disappointed. Many times, they receive an essay or paper that is so poorly written, it cannot possibly be turned in. Such an outcome will never happen at Trust My Paper. When you ask us to write an essay, you will have an entirely different experience, and you will receive a wholly original and perfectly written piece by the deadline.

A good email campaign is so much more than just a portfolio of products. It weaves a story and connects people. Many studies have shown that, when the day is done, people remember stories rather than actual products, even if their children parade in them every day in front of their noses.

A happy child is better advertisement than a thousand images of stylish clothes. A content parent is more likely to appeal to other parents better than a Hello Kitty backpack, no matter the trend.

Remember that email campaigns allow for adding interactive content, so why not use the feat to its fullest potential?

Finally, boost your back to school campaigns on social media. Use hashtags profusely, but do your research first. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram are perfect platforms to relay your message and show a multitude of images without annoying anyone. Not to mention the sharing option!

Do Your Customers Need Anything Else? Offer It for Free!

In all likelihood, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to school children. Every parent knows this simple rule: if one child has a fancy accessory, all other children will want to follow suit. Think in terms of an iPhone (though the item doesn’t have to be that expensive).

That’s why GUESS Europe coupled their back to schools offer with a special gift:

This is a prime example of marketing done right. New headphones are not a necessity, but they do come in handy, especially when they come for free.

Bottom Line

Everything considered, strategies are as varied as the offer. That’s fine and all, given that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to email marketing (if indeed there ever is). People love discounts, coupons, special offers and free shipping, so we’re not sure they should be considered extras at this point.

Still, school accessories are expensive, so every little savings is a gain. Be generous with special offers and make no mistake about it — your customers will reward you for it.


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