Last month, we looked at what email marketing is and five reasons why your Christian school should care. Now that you understand the reasoning behind email marketing, we're going to look at all the different types of emails you can use. Each email format has its own benefits, so we'll examine different types of emails, along with the ideal frequency for sending emails.

Emails are the perfect tool for maintaining relationships with parents and reaching out to potential families, too! Email marketing is much more affordable than physical mailings, saving your school postage and print costs. Moreover, with self-service email formats and free templates on the Internet, you won't need to worry about creating emails. With a few simple resources, your Christian school can easily create its own emails!

Does email marketing even work? According to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing generated a return on investment of $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2009.

Types of Emails

Emails come in a variety of styles and serve different purposes. Here we'll look at the major types of emails your Christian school could use to both help promote your school and retain and build relationships. It's a great idea to set a schedule for when you want to send out emails. Promotional emails could be sent weekly, newsletters monthly, surveys and website-related emails as needed.

Promotional Emails

Announcements - Do you have a sports activity, annual school play, or bake sale coming up? An announcement email is the perfect tool to get the word out! Announcement emails, similar to postcards, are short and to the point. These emails answer the questions of who, what, when, where, and why and are sent only to the people the news is relevant to. Announcements can also quickly relay time sensitive information, like health updates within the school or changes in schedules.

Press Releases - Emailing press releases to media contacts is a great way to attract news coverage. A press release could be about outstanding students, sports scores, new facilities, new teachers or teacher awards, an exceptional staff member, or information about new courses! Maintaining good relationships and building an accurate list of your media contacts will help with distributing your message; just remember to include your school's contact info in the press release.

Special Offers - Want to encourage enrollment? Send out a special offer email. Discounts off registration or tuition can help get the word out about your school. You could also try offering a percentage off books, activity tickets, or cafeteria meals. You can send special offers to current or potential parents and create unique offers for each. Re-enrollment discounts for current parents or referral programs are also a great idea! Remember to make discounts fit within your budget and don't lower costs to the point that you go in the red.

Relationship Emails

Newsletters - Perfect for building relationships with your currently enrolled families, email newsletters provide relevant, useful content to your subscribers. This, of course, could include announcements, press releases, and special offers. More than just a promotional piece for your school, content should include information that parents want to read like current news, parenting tips, studying resources, or ideas for promoting learning. Newsletters are often presented in a column type format and include images. Newsletters can be created by volunteer teachers, parents, or even students. (Read a previous blog for more ideas on how to make a school newsletter.)

Surveys and Questionnaires - Do you need to find out important information from enrolled families? You can easily accomplish this with email surveys or questionnaires. Maybe you're curious why parents withdraw students from you school. Set up an exit survey for them to take. Wondering if parents are pleased with the quality of your teachers or facilities? Ask them in an email questionnaire that they can fill out at their convenience. Create your survey on your website or try free online survey services like SurveyMonkey!

Website-related Emails - What happens when someone requests information on your website or fills out your Contact Us form? If your answer is nothing, try this idea! Reply with automatic emails! These emails can be set up to go to your recipients after they complete an action on your website. Most common are "Thank you" auto responders, confirming that you have successfully received information and that you'll be in touch with them soon. You can also send auto confirmation emails to those who enroll online, similar to a receipt. Try to personalize emails as much as possible.