The first thing, after we grab our coffee – of course, is checking our email. This is why having an email presence in front of your audience is crucial to building a strong relationship, and securing loyalty to your childcare center.
What is email marketing? Email marketing is one of the most inexpensive ways to connect with your customers as well as potential customers. Using an email account, customized with your website or company domain, you can email the latest news, press releases and promotions to an audience of people. Most commonly, email messages, or campaigns, are used to create brand awareness, spark engagement or drive a customer to make a purchase of a good or service.
- Emails to Create Brand Awareness: Newsletters, Press Releases, Articles
- Emails to Spark Engagement: Asking customers to contact your business
- Emails to Drive a Purchase: Promotions, Product or Service Launch
Getting Started With Email Marketing
2. Choose your business email address. Most often, you’ll want to use an email address that matches your website or business name
i. Website: mybusiness.com
ii. Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Start building your email contacts. The first group of email contacts you should have is your childcare enrollees.
4. Lastly, develop an email strategy. Keep reading!
Who Are You Talking To?
Defining your email audience is a critical piece of your childcare center’s email marketing efforts. Without knowing who it is that you’re talking to, you could completely lose your audience before they even open the email.
Understanding who your audience is and what topics they are interested in will secure your email in their inbox before they decide to hit the delete button. Instead, by speaking to their needs in your subject line, you are likely to entice the reader to open the email and read the message, or content, that you are sending to them.
Types of Email Audience
- Current Enrollees or House List: These are likely the parents or guardians of the children already enrolled in your childcare center. This audience is going to be most likely to open and engage with your emails since they have the most invested in your business.
- Prospective Audience: Your prospect audience is potential enrollees, or parents you are hoping to attract to your childcare center.
What Are You Saying?
Just like you, your audience receives 20 to 200 emails every single day. So, making sure that you have the right message will help your email stand out in their inbox and increase the likelihood of them opening your email.
Use what you know about your audience and their interests to craft your email message, making sure that you use a unique subject line that draws your reader in and commands them to open the email.
In the body, or the main message, of the email is where you have the “meat” of the content. This is where you can tell the story that you intend for them to read and take further action.
What Do You Want Your Reader to Do?
Emails typically lead the reader to some type of action; this may include a phone call to have a deeper conversation, straight into an experience or maybe something else.
For example, you may be requesting parent participation in a fundraiser that your childcare center is having. Your email would explain the details of the event and clearly list the next steps you would like the parent to take in order to get involved.
A call to action is a critical piece to your email, if you want the reader to take action. Calls to action should be easily found in your email so that the reader knows exactly what you want them to do. Just as important as placement of a call to action is verbiage. Describe in just a few words what your reader is about to do as the call to action.
How Often Should I Send an Email?
The cadence, or frequency, of your email sends should be based on your audience’s preferences. If you’re measuring your email performance with an analytics tool, which is highly recommended, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the following metrics:
- Open Rate: Total Number of Email Recipients/Total Number of Recipients who Opened the Email
- Click Through Rate: Total Number of Email Recipients who View the Email/Total Number of Recipients who Clicked a Link in the Email
- Unsubscribe Rate: Total Number of Email Recipients/Number of Recipients who Unsubscribed from Your Mailing List
Keeping your open rate and click through rate high, along with keeping your unsubscribe rate low, should be a primary goal for your email channel. These two metrics will let you know that your message is connecting with the reader.
Open rates are typically tied to a good subject line and brand awareness. If your subject line is in line with the interest of your reader, and they recognize your brand name as the email sender, the reader will be more likely to open the email.
Click through rates are connected to the body of your email. The more engaging and relevant your content, the more likely a reader will be to click your call to action or respond.
Unsubscribe rates let you know that the reader is either not interested or possibly receiving too many emails from you. If your unsubscribe rate starts to climb, consider dialing back the frequency of your email sends and taking a closer look at your audience as well as their interests.
Key Elements in an Email
- Subject Line – The first presence of your message in the readers inbox
- Pre-Header – Not critical in your email, but a second line under the subject line that serves as a preview of the content in the email
- Body – The body of your email should be easy to read with large headlines and separate sections for easy readability.
- Call to Action – Each section of your email should be followed with a call to action that is a clear path to next steps for the reader.
Getting Personal with Email
Email marketing can be a great way to add a personal touch to your childcare marketing. Including names, addresses and other personal information in your database, along with email address, can allow you to create a customized email message that evokes a connection between your brand and the reader.
Take your email inbox for example. Are you more likely to open and read an email that is addressed to your name? Or, perhaps, a brand can use your geolocation to send you a tailored email message that coincides with something that is happening locally. For your childcare center, your town may be holding a holiday party; you can leverage your data to tell you who lives in your town that may be attending, and target that person with relevant content.
Bringing Your Email Campaign Full Circle
The email marketing campaign does not stop with the email. As I referenced earlier in this article, your call to action inside of the email is a critical piece to the next step in the customer journey. Once your reader clicks on the call to action in the email, the rest of the experience must also be aligned with your email.
If you are asking the reader to call, you should have someone ready to answer the phone and knowledgeable about the contents of the email so that are prepared to continue the conversation and close the sale. If you are asking the reader to visit your website, you should have a dedicated page that aligns with the message in your email.
Understanding childcare email marketing, the key elements and the frequency is critical to having a successful email channel for your childcare center. PREto3 has been perfecting the art of email marketing for childcare for years, and is standing by to help you through this exciting opportunity for your business.
Start building your brand loyalty and customer engagement today!