It’s almost time for back to school. That means stores need to start thinking about the best ways to communicate with new and returning students to help increase rush foot traffic and maximize your competitive advantages. We have gathered three student communication tips to help you select the best back-to-school marketing materials for your store.
3 best practices for student communication
Timing is important
When is the best time to start talking to students about buying/ordering their course materials? The easy answer is as soon as possible. Course material conversations can and should start as early as registration for classes. Savvy stores utilize tools like registrar’s link to connect students directly to their eCommerce site and populate the online shopping cart with the student’s schedule specific course materials. This makes it easy for students to order their materials as soon as they register for courses when it is top of mind.
“We are using registrar link which is a great product from MBS. Students log in to their portal and they get exactly the books they need. There is no concern about students getting the wrong course number or anything like that,” said NWTC Bookstore and The Buzz Coffee Shop Manager Gretchen Bonnema.
Also, consider new students. There is a lot to do when starting a new school and preparing for a big life change. Send new students a welcome email, letting them know how to get course materials, where to buy them and the variety of options the store has to help them save money. If you are unable to directly communicate with new students, try to work with the office on your campus in charge of new student welcome emails or materials to include some helpful information about the campus store.
Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself
Did you know that repetition in marketing is a good thing? The more someone sees or hears about something, the more likely they are to remember it. There has been a longstanding rule of seven in marketing dating back to the 1930s. The rule of seven is that customers need to hear your message at least seven times before they will take an action.
However, in today’s noisy world, winning the attention of students seven times can be quite a challenge. As you prepare to communicate with students this term, think about the different ways you could potentially reach them: on-campus/in-dorm flyers, emails, text messages, social media, table tents, web banners, flat screen ads, school newspapers, word of mouth, etc. Try to utilize as many different avenues as are available to you to let students know why they should get their books in the campus store.
By maximizing the scope of your store’s reach, you can direct more students back through your doors or to your website.
Keep the message simple
Too much information is a surefire way to lose the attention you worked so hard to get. When creating your marketing materials, assess what information students absolutely need to know: where to buy their books (the bookstore), benefits of buying from the store (cost-saving course material options) and the options that provide greater convenience (order distribution options).
Different segments of shoppers might be interested in different options you provide. With tools like the MBS CRM, stores can create marketing lists that better targets specific shoppers based on purchasing history. For example, maybe you want to email students who purchased from your eCommerce site to encourage online orders. Or, perhaps you want to tell students who utilized in-store pickup that it is available again this term. Tools like CRM give you almost endless possibilities for how you can better market to your customers’ existing preferences.
In the example flyer below, notice the call to action, a QR code for easy access, the benefit of ordering from the store and the convenient options other retailers can't provide.
This example email is short, includes the information students need and an eye-catching image at the top.
Subject: Don’t forget to order your course materials!
Classes start soon. Make sure you’re ready by ordering your course materials today.
That’s all there is to it! If you have any questions at all, give us a call.