Digital Marketing For Higher Education: How To Reach Senior Professionals & Executive MBAs

Digital Marketing for Higher Education

When it comes to engaging senior leaders, colleges and universities face two main problems: prospective Executive MBA applicants have extremely busy schedules and two goals in mind- practical knowledge and connections.

In order to catch and retain the attention of potential Executive MBAs, universities must get creative in their email recruitment strategies and remain tightly focused on their marketing messages in order to properly convey their program’s value proposition and persuade professionals to set apart their valuable time and join the university program.

In this article, we will discuss personalized email marketing techniques that can increase your response rates when you target senior leaders and potential Six Sigma program or executive education students. Below, you will learn how to reach more senior professionals and stand out from the crowd. This blog also offers solutions to the pressing issues university marketing directors must solve in order to be successful. 


Understand Your Niche 


 In order to be successful as a university marketing director, Your priority is to understand your niche which would include senior leaders, managers, executives, and those who wish to transition into those roles. It’s important to remember that at this time you can’t be hazy in your understanding of what your prospects need, want, or feel as they continue their busy lives and really don’t have the appropriate time to take out of their busy schedules to spend 15 minutes or more on an email that isn’t focused on their goals. There are thousands of executive education programs in the market that your department will need to compete with to ensure that your message comes across clearly and reaches the Executives that will read your marketing collateral and then enroll in your program.

One of the most important aspects you’ll need to understand when beginning to create a marketing plan, whether it’s using marketing through email or channels such as social or display advertising, is to understand your buyer’s journey and how they’re receiving information. Without this integral information, you’re not going to be able to clearly reach the right type of prospects, much less receive the engagement that you’re looking for.

How do executives receive their information? 

Senior executives often receive information via: 

  • LinkedIn 
  • Email 
  • Sports clubs or golf clubs
  • Email marketing lists for universities
  • Professional associations or alumni groups 
  • Industry magazines or websites 


Segment Your Digital Marketing For Higher Education List To Target Executives  


Digital marketing for higher education post-COVID-19 needs a two-pronged approach: building out effective digital marketing for higher education campaigns and reengaging inactive subscribers to gain new Executive MBAs for your programs. One of the most important tasks that email marketing for universities needs to include is the use of email list segmentation. 

A significantly large email list will not help your brand succeed if the mailing list includes subscribers who do not interact with your content nor will digital marketing strategies that do not speak to your target mid-career professional population.

A few ways to segment your email list by interests include:

  • Academics
  • Location (zip code or community)
  • Professional organizations (six sigma, etc.)
  • Demographics
  • Gender
  • Leisure activities (golf, sports clubs, and prestigious social clubs)

Email marketing for universities must include a strong focus on building relatable creatives and outreach materials that executives will engage with. 


Build Creatives To Inspire Executives


Inspiring creatives can be the difference between one and a hundred executives signing up for your higher ed marketing list and then joining your program. Powerful, relatable graphics and creatives should be at the top of your list when you begin to think about how you are going to market to executives. Digital marketing for higher education is now more competitive than ever because of the pandemic. Executives are now faced with making split-second decisions with much less information than before.  Higher education marketing firms should be vetted carefully and with key performance indicators in mind. Don’t forget to ask them for a few of their best creatives to help you decide if your mission aligns with their capabilities. 

A few common and effective, marketing creatives that target executives include:

FrescoData’s award-winning in-house creative team effectively translates client goals into concepts and campaigns that yield the highest potential return on ad spend. We deliver world-class creativity through all formats, beyond what is listed here. Our process is comparable to what you’d experience with big agencies that produce work for blue-chip brands, without blue-chip budgets.


Is your higher ed marketing campaign lacking creatives that convert your target audience? Contact Us today for more information. 


 Sell Your Program with Stories 


The best higher education marketing firms use stories to market to specific audiences and endeavor to create touchpoints that drive their subscribers to take action. To be most effective, your marketing plan needs to include stories especially when you begin email outreach. These drip campaigns should include a continuous flow of alumni stories and, most importantly, they should be framed around the demographics that align with your target student. This could include videos, quotes, short/long-form content, or quick podcast interviews. The key here is to make the content professional and actionable. 

Here are a few ideas for outreach campaigns you can develop:

  • Stories of executives who’ve gained promotions after your program
  • Relatable quotes or multi-media clips from current students
  • Webinar videos featuring current or visiting faculty discussing your program’s benefits 
  • Quickly digestible infographics or display ad campaigns designed with your prospects’ time in mind

Much higher education marketing firms choose to solely focus on the local population and fail to gain enough email list subscribers and students. 


Expanding Outreach to Leaders in International Countries & Groups 


Recruitment for universities has become more challenging since COVID-19. Travel is basically halted or extremely limited due to travel bans or outbreaks. Part of the reason is that universities are all fighting to recruit and enroll the same pool of senior professionals, even internationally. 

Digital marketing for higher education should focus on not just local outreach, but truly global campaigns. One strategy to overcome this problem is to expand recruitment potential and to think outside the box. It is common practice to target a specific age group, however, we must consider that the international market of higher education is growing, and you can miss entire segments if you are only focused on one demographic. 

Focus on what makes your university unique and a global leader in education. Start reaching out to this community with an international mailing list.  Don’t forget to segment your college email address list to hyper-target and engage your senior professionals.


The Best Higher Education Marketing Firms Use Data to Create Segmented Email Lists


Higher education marketing firms use data to create hyper-targeted segments that can easily be marketed to. Have you segmented your email lists? You may find that you do not have enough information available on your own to adequately create responsive, or detailed enough, email list segments. This is where FrescoData comes in. 

For senior professionals, FrescoData can help you build marketing plans and email outreach efforts that are hyper-targeted and include the exact interests your potential executive MBA or Six Sigma students would be interested in. We know where senior execs consume information, and our experts can even help you append data that will generate results faster. 

Whether you are focusing on segmenting by professional interest, past academic achievement, or outside interests, marketing alongside professional organizations (through display ads or omnichannel campaigns) is always a good way to start. You can also segment your list based on users that belong to specific professional organizations. Demographics, age, and gender are also important ways you can retarget executives who’ve seen your university’s ads before. 

In order to bring inactive subscribers back to life, you may create custom interest campaigns and segment ads that include tailored messaging that may just peak your subscribers’ interests yet again. Segmenting and personalizing messages based on geographic area and zip code can also prove to be a useful way to move your list to take action. 

Data is important both in order to make the best decisions and also to understand past errors. Having a data-driven approach will put your marketing department ahead of the game.  Ultimately, subscriber information will help your university secure more enrollments if you partner with our team at FrescoData. We will focus on what the data says and match that with an innovative, personalized approach to target your most engaged prospects that will actually end up converting. 


One Last Tip: Leverage Lookalike Audiences


Lookalike audiences are extremely critical to success when building ad campaigns and trying to reach senior professionals and potential students for your executive education program. Higher education digital marketing firms often forget this step or don’t invest enough in designing the right student avatars to end up successful after running their email campaigns. 

University Email Marketing strategy should leverage these benefits of lookalike audiences: 

  • They help you find new, high-quality leads
  • You are able to create matched audience segments which allow you to market with more control over your message and audience
  • You have the ability to reach potential leads that are more like your most profitable student segment
  • Help improve your ROI and Conversion Rate immensely


FrescoData’s Education Industry Professionals Can Help Your Message Reach Executives Worldwide


FrescoData’s Education Industry Experts will help you deliver your email message to the right audience. Our omnichannel marketing approach and design team will ensure your campaign gets a much-needed upgrade. Our data dashboard and creative team offer you detailed, real-time insights. We will help you create a precise and enriched email drip campaign that guarantees the highest open rates in the industry. 

FrescoData’s unique sourcing model combines omnichannel marketing with the most complete and accurate email marketing services to help you reach executives for your program. 

Our clients are influential decision-makers and higher-ed professionals, who contribute to the exchange of different ideas and shape the cause of education across the globe. We use this information to better hone our marketing campaigns to target the right executives, at the right time. 


Contact one of our Higher Ed Digital Industry Executives to learn how FrescoData can help you attract and convert more prospects into your professional Six Sigma or Executive MBA programs.


FrescoData: We Partner with Higher Education Institutions To Drive Results


FresoData partners with many major higher education institutions such as NYU and Cornell University to drive positive ROI and reengage email marketing subscribers to turn them into students. These academic institutions leveraged our unique digital marketing for higher education strategies to bolster their existing marketing outreach plans. 

We specialize in helping universities and higher education marketing firms institutions by: 

  • Providing the right database for the right audience (Executive MBAs, Six Sigma Professionals, & more)
  • Generating more leads while spending less time and money
  • Improving Conversions Rates
  • Generating repeat admissions

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