Email Marketing – How Does It Work for Indian Colleges?


In the recent years, especially in last 5 years, lots of colleges (mainly engineering and management colleges) have come up in the North, North-East and Western states of India, because respective state governments allowed non-governmental organizations to participate in the growth of education sector of India. Now, this sudden influx of colleges has increased the capacity of students to be accommodated for higher studies as compared to the available number of students opting for it. It has become increasingly difficult for those newly come up and still coming up colleges to generate sufficient number of students to fill up the allotted quota of admission and generate enough revenue to run their colleges.

Management of those new colleges had to look for means of advertisement or promotions of their colleges in different the media so as to get maximum exposure to the prospective students in a cost effective manner. Due to cost effectiveness, simplicity, round the clock marketing ability and several other advantages of email marketing as compared to television and radio, newspapers and education fairs (there are other mediums also but these are most popular in India), email campaigns became a preferred choice of the most college managements.

In the last month, two of my friends, who are part of higher management of such colleges, complained me about the failure of their last year’s email marketing campaign and asked me to work out the reasons of failure and their possible solutions.

As per my study possible reasons of the failure were:-

Lack of Branding Support: People who are using emails for their communication get some 5 to 50 emails (including spam) everyday based on usage of email address. Brand Support in this regards means people read emails only when they find a familiar name in the subject of the email. So, my suggestion to colleges is, keep branding your college names simultaneously through various other channels. Just show your achievements, facilities, unique advantages of institutes in those channels. Don’t ask students to contact you for admissions, ask them to do in the mail reply.

Class of email reader: The student community in India is the community, which uses computers mainly for fun and networking with friends, not for any official communication. So design your campaigns in such way that emails can accommodate some funny activities like poll, reviews and add a touch of some mostly used social networking sites. Make them interactive and have fun kind to read and interact with.

Regularity of email reading: There is one more class in the Indian student community which doesn’t have that much regular access to internet. They access their inbox after a regular interval of some 7-10 days. By the time they open their email inbox, they find some 100 to 300 new emails in their inbox and spam folders. Again your branding plays a major role to make them pay attention your emails.

So, in short for all the new ventures (not only colleges), support your email campaigns by sufficient branding, design your campaigns for your niche, not for your products and services and make your email receivers to read it.

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