As the beginning of the school year is getting near and the closer the summer is to its end, we know it is the Back to School (BTS) season. This sets a clear topic for email marketing aims for this time of the year. If you provide product and services closely related to school in any way, you know what we are talking about here. If not, you may think to yourself: I don’t sell school supplies, so why should I care? This is where our article comes in. To those who already know and care, we will provide useful tips and tricks to start and/or elevate your game. To those who are new to BTS emails and creating any BTS related email templates, we will show you reasons and data, that will make you a BTS emailing believer!
1. Why Focus on Back to School Emailing
Over 80 billions USD is spend annually during the BTS season and that is over 17% of all annual retail sales (U.S., 2019, The Shelf). That by itself should be enough to show you, how important BTS marketing is. But let’s go further. People are ready to spend money, they want it easy and convenient and tailored.
In the BTS season, more than any other, people have clear idea of what they want and need. You also have clearer timeframe in which you need to send these emails out (during August). Therefore, it is way easier and time/cost effective to prepare targeted emailing for Back to School. And who could say NO to easy conversions and profits? And to put the icing on the cake, Back to school season is repeating for many years to come for most of your costumers. Therefore if you reach out to them in their time of BTS needs, you may create a lasting relationship!
!TIPS AND TRIKS!: Internet inspiration pages (such as Pinterest) are full of BTS kits, mood-boards, checklists, etc. -> create your own or get inspired by the ones already created to see what to aim at with your emailing.
2. The Data Speak Volume
- MILLIONS GO BTS: In fall 2020 in U.S., about 49.4 million students attended public schools from prekindergarten to grade 12, including ungraded students. (nces.ed.gov)
- SPENDING GROWTH: Spending on Back-to-School season grew by 40%. (2019-2022, nrf.com)
- SPENDING PER STUDENT: U.S. parents expect to spend in 2022 on average 660-860 USD on BTS supplies. (statista.com, nrf.com)
- ONLINE BEATS OFFLINE: 1 in 3 BTS purchases are made online (2019) and it is expected to be 1 in 2 for this year 2022. (TheShelf)
- SPENDING PRIORITIES: Four expected main shopping categories in 2022 are electronics, clothing and accessories, shoes, school supplies. (Statista)
3. Which Industries are the Most Affected by Back to School Season
…Parents want to be practical, teachers want to be organised and students want to be cool…
The “strong four”, that people are the most ready to spend on during the BTS season is electronics, clothing and accessories, shoes and school supplies. It may be no news to most of you, but parents focus mostly on practical items as lunch boxes and school supplies. Students focus the most on items to be cool and to enjoy school the most. Such as electronic gadgets (laptops, headphones, new smartphones, etc.) and outfits (cool new kicks, backpacks, etc.). Teachers usually go for items that help them being organised and follow the curriculum. Those may be binders, workbooks, work-appropriate outfits/bags, etc.
Clothing, electronics and school supply brands are not the only ones sending back to school emails. Especially during the pandemic, we could see a surge of companies focus more on any form of online marketing. That also contributed to them focusing on any special occasion/season to promote themselves and their goods/services. Companies, that may not come to mind in relation to BTS, sent emails with seasonal events and promotions. From food to cosmetics all the way to SaaS companies. It is the best way to show your clients that you are there, just one click away!
What may be new for upcoming seasons?
…Being cool, feeling good and acting sustainable is the new black!…
- 2 COOL 4 SCHOOL: teens and young adults are creating mood-boards, aesthetic collages, wish-lists for their new school year, media focuses on promoting cool clothing and accessories and other BTS trends (see BTS section of teenvogue.com)
- MENTAL HEALTH: 1/3 of parents have purchased product relating to their child’s mental health (Deloitte)
- SUSTAINABILITY: 1/2 of parents are making more environmental choices with their BTS purchases (Deloitte)
4. Design Tips and Tricks for Best BTS Email Templates
a) Remember your branding but make it BTS themed.
It is important for you to always stick to your branding. We have mentioned it in several of our previous articles, so if you want to learn more about branding read HERE. But branding is the identity of your company, from such clear and tangible things as colour scheme to such abstract concepts such as the company personality. Use your own logo/design elements and spice them up with common items and designs that evoke BTS vibes:
- Themes: blackboard, school desk, backpack, school supplies, school subjects, lined paper, etc.
- Colours: Don’t hesitate to be a bit more colourful or playful, this is a great opportunity to be a little more bubbly and quirky than usual (of course only if it still fits you).
- Fonts: Great opportunity to use handwritten, typewriter, chalky, bubbly and creative fonts.
b) Experiment with being a little bit messy
No matter who you are, this is the opportunity for you to get a little bit more messy and imperfect in your design to fully immerse in the playfulness of children:
- Themes: you can use torn paper, ink stains, doodling, chalk, splatters
- Colours: you can combine more colours than you usually would, and even the full scale of rainbow colours in your e-mail template
- Fonts: For some parts, you can try using font that is equal measures readable and creative, with most focus on the creativity (but aim for it to still be legible). Other example is using text that is not in a straight line and/or horizontal orientation.
C) Be energetic and streamlined
- Themes: use arrows and other colourful markers to guide the reader fast and clear
- Colours: use high contrast colours for CTA buttons and any tools you use to guide your reader (as stated in themes)
- Fonts: as you are aiming for minimal amount of text, use bold contrasting fonts, to show what is most important and use it wisely. Try using highlighting, underlining, bold text, exclamation marks if you need to add something extra.
!TIPS AND TRIKS!: It is always a great idea to look online for inspiration, there is countless free images and ideas floating around for you to use or to get inspired by. This is a perfect opportunity for you to use pre-made BTS email templates that we prepared for you in Dragit! And it does’t stop there, you can get inspired by other Dragit FREE and PRO templates or use those, to create something even better and more you!
5. Content Ideas for Most Engaging BTS Email Templates
a) Focus on the Subject Line
As we said in previous articles, first impression is key. That also goes for your BTS email templates, and especially for them. So as a first step, it is important to focus on a catchy subject line mentioning BTS. Remember: this line is the point where your audience decide if they will open your email or not, so make the subject line count!
!TIPS AND TRICKS!: Remember it is back to school, so try being thematic and creative, a lot of subject lines these days use emojis, symbols and abbreviations.
Some creative catchy lines with thematic symbols and emojis:
✓ Save on Back to School items! ✏️
✓ Back-to-School Essentials up to 50% OFF →
✓ Be Cool for Back to School! 🏫
✓ Be ready for B2S before the bell rings!🔔
✓ Don’t be late back-to-school! $HOP DEAL$!
✓ BACK TO SCHOOL! Come join the FUN! 🎒
b) Be Helpful
Parents are going to be really overwhelmed in this time of year. There is a lot they need to do and spend in a fairly short time. Help them to get to what they need the quickest with short punchy lines, straightforward message, CTA buttons that take them where they need the fastest.
!TIPS AND TRICKS!: Create thematic set/package deals for BTS, focus on what you think your audience/clients will need the most and help them get it faster and also cheaper!
Some creative catchy lines for package deals:
✓ Get all BTS essentials 60% OFF in our BTS set!
✓ We packed your 🎒 bag for you! Get it here →
✓ Sugar, spice and everything nice! Grab your BTS sugar bag!
✓ 😎 2 cool 4 school from head to toe. Browse cool fits!
✓ B2S $HOP BUNDLE DEAL$!
c) Convert and Sell
As we discussed earlier, BTS season is a perfect time for you to boost your sales. Create converting emails that lead quickly to any Call-to-Action. Provide targeted content (as explored below). Show them you are part of the family.
Some creative catchy back to school CTAs:
✓ 🛍️Shop Now🛍️
✓ BTS Deals / B2S Deals
✓ $HOP BT$
✓ 😎 B COOL 😎
✓ 😱Last Chance😱
✓ 👻DON’T GHOST US👻
6. How to Target the Right Audience for BTS Emailing
SEGMENTATION: BUILD A CUSTOMER PROFILE
Who is the most likely buyer? = Know basic target audience.
BTS audience: Parents, teachers and students.
Who is YOUR most likely buyer? = Narrow your audience down a bit more to fit your needs.
YOUR BTS audience: If you sell laptops, it is probably for older audience than general BTS one.
How did your customers GET to you? =Think about their journey, where they were, before they got to you and to the purchase.
Learn more about your BTS audience: The journey will help you to not only narrow your target audience further, but also to help you find channel to use and how to use them
So what is the customer profile? = Focus on the specific (i.e. demographic) details.
a) age - school age children/young adults, parents of school-age children, teachers
b) location - you can target specific things to specific areas/countries, when it comes to BTS you can, for example target based on the start of the school year in a given country.
c) context - for example parents will focus on how to prepare kids for school, students may want to focus more on how to look cool for school, etc.
d) other factors - income, family size, occupation, education level, marital status, etc.
In this article, we have learned that it is always worth it to focus on back to school, no matter the industry you run your business in. Of course there are most popular back to school areas: electronics, clothing and school supplies. Those should not miss BTS no matter what. But as we discussed, there is no limitation to BTS market, everyone is invited, fast foods, cosmetics, self-help companies, SaaS, etc.
We have discussed many creative elements, from content full of colour, emojis and energy. All the way to very brand-specific design with tiny design quirks that will make your BTS email templates pop. We have, again, focused on importance of branding and legibility in your email templates. And we have showered you with some nice data, graphics and tips and tricks! Now all you need to do is just go and check out our Dragit Email Builder!