Digital Marketing For Higher Education: How To Market To Executives Post COVID-19

Digital Marketing for Higher Education


Despite COVID’s firm grip on the higher education landscape, there are still clear trends that exist. In this blog, we’re going to cover four digital marketing for higher education trends you can use to reach more Executive MBAs ready to take the next steps in their career and education. 

Digital marketing for higher education can be complex, and even more so during these turbulent times. Universities and six sigma programs should begin to leverage as many touchpoints as possible to clearly communicate their value proposition and how they adapt their programs to COVID to ensure professionals can make the right decisions and enroll as quickly as possible.  


Email Marketing For Universities: Earning Students’ Attention & Trust


  • Be Transparent About COVID-19 Conditions & Be Patient

COVID affects Executive MBAs and senior professionals in a multitude of ways (the most important being they have less time to waste). Your higher education digital marketing firm must first endeavor to be transparent about how your university is adapting to COVID-19 conditions. You should also highlight any closures and upcoming schedule changes that students may be affected by. This allows prospective Executive MBA’s to make decisions “in the know.” 

Higher education marketing firms should focus on building out honest, clear,  email drip campaigns and/or messaging that lets prospective Executive MBA’s or Six Sigma students know the university’s current COVID response plan.

Common COVID-19 marketing messages or events include: 

  1. Virtual COVID-19 awareness events
  2. Information about closures and delays 
  3. College email marketing list drip campaigns 
  4. Mid-career professional or faculty COVID update videos
  5. Dedicated COVID resource and response pages on your website 

Just remember, what is most important is to keep your touch points active during the pandemic. Executive MBAs and prospective Six Sigma students are still looking to earn more knowledge and/or to enter executive education programs. Keep your target audience informed about the challenges ahead, so they can make adjustments as needed. Email marketing for universities is complex and challenging, so understanding who your current, and prospective, the student body is can make all the difference.  


  • Build Campaigns Upon Six Sigma Lookalike Audiences

A lookalike audience can help you build up your college email address list if you are able to convince them to take action and subscribe to your well-crafted email campaign. A lookalike audience, according to Fixel, is “an algorithmically assembled group of social network members who resemble or share the interest and characteristics of a “source” group, usually referred to as the ‘lookalike seed’.” This lookalike seed is seen as the ideal senior executive audience you are looking to recruit to your college or university. Email marketing for universities often includes a discussion on lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences are a huge part of digital marketing for higher education and bring with them specific benefits (and are often difficult to acquire without help from an experienced higher education marketing firm like FrescoData). Email marketing for universities is most efficient when these lookalike audiences are built out and tested over time. 


6 benefits of using lookalike audiences include: 

  1. Advertising campaigns have better outcomes
  2. Hyper-targeting segments are possible 
  3. Self-adjusting audience sizes
  4. Real-time performance monitoring
  5. Easier ROI optimization
  6. Email marketing for universities always use lookalike audiences to scale and retarget

You can have all of the audience optimizations you’d like, but if you don’t make data-driven decisions, your mid-career professional-focused outreach campaigns will fall short. 


  • Leverage New Google Analytics Features To Understand Behavior

Google Analytics will help you to understand the behavior of your prospects, current senior professionals, and their browsing habits which can help you when you meet with a higher education digital marketing firm to enhance your marketing plan. Google Analytics features reports that will help you make data-driven decisions. These are reports ranging from landing page reports, audience acquisition data, and search query information (if connected to Google Search Console). Digital marketing for higher education would not be as relevant if it weren’t for platforms like Google Analytics which help tease out and make sense of random data points that can then be translated into reasons to make decisions that will generate higher ROI for your marketing department. 


  • Prioritize Company & Career Outcomes To Boost Conversions 

After you’ve set up Google Analytics, think about how your campaign message is appealing to the pain points, needs, and fears of your prospective executive education student. Are your prospects looking to eventually build multinational corporations or are they simply interested in building up their portfolios with practical experience? 

Building effective messaging that drives prospective Executive MBAs to make decisions is one way you can engage your email address list and bring it back from the dead.  Successful email marketing for universities needs to include a major focus on practical experience and testimonials from alumni in the C-suite to be effective. 

Here are three ideas that may be useful: 

  1. Graduate addresses in rich media or interactive formats (C-suite or VP level execs.)
  2. Relevant statistics  on salary or career flexibility 
  3. Content-focused on professional associations your graduates may join

No matter what omnichannel or email marketing strategy you choose, digital marketing for higher education is here to stay.


Segment Your Digital Marketing for Higher Education Email List For Better Performance


Segmenting your lists is one of the most critical parts of building responsive and worthwhile digital marketing for higher education campaigns. It can be the reason your list remains or becomes a repository of dead email addresses and unengaged executives.

Remember, students who will eventually join your executive education or MBA program are not the same as college students or graduate students. This group of prospective students have very different goals and aspirations and desire a much higher-brow experience and information delivery mechanism. Convincing senior executives to give up their time to read your emails or enroll in your courses takes more time and effort on the higher education marketing firm’s part. It is important to understand this and use it to your advantage in your personalized email marketing strategies because if your team takes the time to understand executives more than they know themselves, your competition will likely be falling behind, and your ROI will increase.

Segmenting in digital marketing for higher education will ensure your message gets to the right subscribers. With a focus on detail and personalization, you can easily segment your executive education campaign efforts into targeted messaging that addresses the unique needs of each executive. This is in contrast to just sending an email and waiting to see what sticks. Segmented lists focused on specific interests perform much better than bland, non-personalized emails. 

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)

In addition to the segmentation tactics above, you can segment based on various other factors such as program type or intended specialization. Higher education marketing firms should spend quite a bit of time building out the proper segments and testing them out with diverse messaging, both within email messages and during omnichannel ad campaigns. 


Are You Re-engaging Your Lists’ Inactive Professionals?


There are a few questions you’ll need to answer before sending out drip campaigns to your inactive college email address list. These could be: 

  • What is an inactive mailing list subscriber? 
  • Why did your subscriber fail to engage on previous email campaigns? 
  • How can you entice your inactive subscribers to reengage again? 

Here are some examples of the best types of re-engagement emails:

    • Polls and Surveys: Your customers want to be heard. Polls and surveys give your customers this opportunity. Allowing customers to share their opinion with your brand can have many positive effects like building your brand relationship and increasing engagement. You can even throw in a promo code for your products or services to entice users to take a poll or survey.
    • Product Recommendations: These days, personalized marketing is becoming the norm. Some brands have capitalized on this trend by offering product recommendations to their subscribers based on previous purchases. These types of campaigns show consumers that your brand cares about their needs.
  • Using Subscriber’s First Name: using a subscriber’s first name in email subject lines can help build up your open rates. In addition to using personalization, also think about catchy subject lines and tools that focus on your subscribers’ interests. 


Marketing Tips To Fill Your Masters in Six Sigma Planning & Black Belt Programs


According to Six Sigma Daily, “Six Sigma Master Black Belt is the highest level of certification related to the Six Sigma improvement process methodology. Master Black Belts also help improve the processes within an organization by conveying their knowledge and teaching other individuals proper process improvement skills.” Marketing to these professionals can be more complex, as they need more detailed information on the outcomes of the program and professional qualifications that can improve their career and professional standing. 

  • Craft your marketing messages emphasizing tools and process improvement techniques 
  • Use imagery, video, and fresh examples of learning scenarios and the framework students will learn in your program 
  • Build out drip campaigns focusing on student interaction with faculty and case study scenarios 
  • Highlight alumni and professional networking opportunities
  • Make sure to build at least 7 or 8 touchpoints into your marketing campaigns

Whether you are trying to reach vice presidents (VPs), senior members of company leadership, or prospective students who want to make the jump to the C-suite through adding programs like Six Sigma to their list of professional accomplishments, it is important to incorporate these tips into your marketing plan.


Communicating Benefits of Six Sigma Programs To Vice Presidents


When you’re reaching out to vice presidents and senior members of leadership, you are building touch points geared towards experts in their field with a range of years of experience (usually 20 or more years of experience). 

  • Highlight the experience-rich nature of the cohorts in your program
  • Provide testimonials to showcase members of the C-suite
  • Build drip campaigns and phone outreach focused on providing examples of the quality improvement standards of Six Sigma and its professional reach.  


FrescoData: We Partner with Higher Education Institutions To Drive Results


As a top university email marketing company, 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


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. 



  • Berdah, E. (2020, February 9). The basics – retargeting and lookalikes for higher education. Fixel.
  • (n.d.).
  • October 6, 2020 | J. F. (n.d.). Professional business school: How much do Programs Cost?

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