How to get your email campaigns to schools noticed: 6 tips to create a stand-out subject line

Topics: Email Marketing
Isobel Ellis
Isobel Ellis Marketing Executive 12 June 2023

Don’t underestimate the power of a great subject line! They’re often left as an after-thought when creating email campaigns to send to schools.

However, it’s so important to get them right as it’s the first thing teachers will see from you in their inbox and the first impression they’ll get of your brand. So, if you want to send effective email campaigns to schools, stand out in a teacher’s busy inbox and prompt them to open your email, you need to make sure your subject line is eye-catching.

So what makes an engaging subject line? Take a look at my 6 top tips below:

It can be easy to try and fill your subject line with as much info as possible. But doing this can make your message unclear, difficult to read and simply too long.

We find that a subject line of 6 – 8 words works best for our clients’ email campaigns to schools, achieving consistently high engagement rates. This is because it’s the perfect amount to let education staff know what the email is about, whilst concise enough to make it quick and easy to scan in a busy inbox.

This is where targeted data comes in handy! Using personalisation in the subject line can make your message feel personal and specific. Whether it’s your recipient’s name, their job title, school name, or any other piece of relevant info, including it in your subject line gives it that bit of something extra, and means you stand out from the crowd by addressing them directly.

Inside Insight: Our stats show that personalising an email campaign to schools with the establishment or teacher name can boost your engagement rates by up to 46%.

Remember, teachers are often short on time so you should use your subject line to immediately highlight what your email is about and the benefits you can offer to them.

This can be done by using stand-out words, such as “free” or “opportunity”, as these highlight a key benefit and will catch a teacher’s attention immediately!

So, if you sell ed-tech supplies, let them know that in the subject line by including the name or description of what you’re selling. Or if you’re running a limited-time offer, mention what it is in the subject line so the benefit is immediately obvious. The less mystery, the better!

Inside Insight: Our stats show that including an offer or a discount in your subject line can potentially double your open rates.

Depending on who you’re targeting, you should use words and phrases in your subject line that are specific to them and their job role.

So for instance, if you’re targeting business managers, mention factors that are relevant to them and their role in the school. For business managers, this is likely to be cost. Therefore, subject lines with phrases like “save money”, or with discounted offers are likely to be appealing.

If you’re targeting teachers, your subject line should sell the benefits of your product to them in their classroom, or how it will help their pupils. “Reward your pupils with an end of year theatre trip” and “Link your students with over 70,000 employers for work experience”, are subject lines used by our clients recently in their campaigns that worked well for them because they do an excellent job of promoting the benefits they can offer, not just the product they’re selling. 

Take a look at the full list of job title you can target.

Preview text is the short line of text you see below the subject line when the email is sitting in an inbox. It works together with your subject line and is a great spot to give a little extra insight into what’s inside the email.  

When not filled by you, it will just pull through the start of your email. This can be good if you want to take your reader straight into your email, but don’t miss out on highlighting key info that will entice more teachers to open and engage with your email.

Every email campaign to schools and its audience is unique. This means no matter how many campaigns we analyse, insights we gather, or trends we identify, the best way to know what tone, style or messaging works for your own target audience and marketing campaign is to test it.

Running an A/B test gives you the perfect opportunity to experiment and discover what gets you the best engagement rates. It gives you the chance to compare the performance of different elements of your email or subject line.

For instance, you can analyse which tone of subject line your audience responds best to. You could send one clear, to the point subject line such as “Free KS2 science resources” to a segment of your audience and then a more fun one like “Inspire your budding Einsteins with our free resources” to another segment. You’ll then be able to analyse the results to understand which tone your particular target audience engage most with.

 So, if you do anything, make sure it’s to test!

Now you’ve got these top tips, you’re ready to start sending email campaigns to schools that engage teachers, generate more opens and stand out from the crowd.

Remember, our expert team is always on hand to help with your subject lines, or any other part of your marketing campaigns.