Back-to-school season is here with us. Millions of families nationwide shop for school supplies for the new education cycle.
The season presents a significant retail opportunity since there’s a huge demand for everything, from books to electronics and new clothes.
As a business, you have the chance to fulfill customers’ specific needs during this busy period. With email newsletters, you can promote your products and give back-to-school discounts to drive sales.
This article shares newsletter and email subject line examples to help you build effective back-to-school email campaigns.
Back to School 2023 in the US
The summer break is almost over, and students will report back to school for the new academic year in the next few days.
In some states like Georgia, the first day of school is just a few days away. If you still haven’t started your back-to-school email campaigns, you have just a few days to appeal to Georgia residents.
But don’t worry, many shoppers are waiting for last-minute deals from their favorite brands.
In some states, the first day of school is still a few weeks away. In New York, learners report back to school on September 7.
This means you have a sizable window to engage shoppers from the state and drive sales. However, the earlier you start your back-to-school email marketing campaigns, the better. This is because it gives you more time to build a connection with your audience.
Back-to-school campaign potential audience
Now that you know the timelines for the new academic season, let’s focus on the audiences you should target. Clearly defining your audience is crucial as it allows you to reach them with targeted messages.
Here are the top audience segments you should contact for your back-to-school campaigns.
School children are your top audience segment for your back-to-school campaigns. After all, they are the ones who are going back to school.
This group includes children of all ages, from elementary to high school.
While they don’t have buying power, they can influence where parents buy school supplies for them.
College students are another crucial demographic for your back-to-school campaigns. College students often seek textbooks, tech gadgets, and dorm furnishings.
Brands that sell study aids, academic resources, and campus-related products can target undergraduate students with their campaigns.
Parents and guardians are key decision-makers during the back-to-school season. They are responsible for purchasing school supplies, clothing, and tech gadgets for their children.
Some grandparents may also buy back-to-school essentials for their grandchildren. This makes them a potential audience segment.
Teachers and educators may require classroom supplies, lesson planning resources, and professional development materials. They can also recommend where parents can buy school supplies for their children.
7 Back-to-school newsletter examples
To help you build compelling email campaigns, here are a few back-to-school newsletter examples to inspire you.
Our first example is a newsletter from Atoms to its email subscribers. Atoms is a sneaker brand that uses email marketing to share product updates with its audience and promote its latest products.
To drive sales during the back-to-school season, they had a promotion for 15% off their products. Through their email campaigns, they shared the discount code with their subscribers, as you can see in the image below.
The discount code “SCHOOL15” features the word “SCHOOL,” which makes it relevant for back-to-school email campaigns.
Atoms are also aware that their products are for more than just students. That’s why the email copy mentions that their sale is for everyone who needs comfortable new shoes.
2. Munk Pack
For its back-to-school email campaign, Munk Pack chose a giveaway. As you can see in the image below, the brand is giving away a gift card worth $50 to five lucky winners.
Contests are an excellent strategy for your back-to-school email campaigns. When used correctly, they can help you increase user engagement and build a community of loyal brand advocates.
Munk Pack’s messaging is also highly relevant to the occasion. The brand understands how stressful back to school can be. They also plan to help users eat healthy as they deal with the chaos of a new routine.
The giveaway is the brand’s plan to build a loyal customer base. When the season ends, the brand will remain with a long list of contacts who have shown interest in its offers.
3. J.Crew Factory
Do you want to drive sales with your back-to-school email newsletter? Then, creating a sense of urgency with time-limited offers would be best.
J.Crew Factory uses this strategy effectively with its emails. Instead of the usual 15% off, the brand gives shoppers 25% off all their orders.
However, this deal only runs for one week, and interested users must act fast to enjoy the discount.
Image via Pinterest
The deal is only meant for students and teachers who shop at the brand’s physical store. Shoppers must present the email at the store to receive the discount. They must also show their school ID to prove they are students.
Email recipients can forward the email to a fellow student. The referral can also claim the offer when they present the email and student ID. However, with a campaign like this, you risk losing your shoppers who would be interested in shopping right now without going to the physical store.
Sending a highly relevant message is crucial if you want to succeed with your back-to-school email campaigns, and a well-chosen email theme assists you in effectively conveying that message.
Take Bluemercury’s campaign for example. They take us back to school with their class-focused design and phrases.
Image via Pinterest
Firstly, the email is designed as a checklist. Each product has a checkmark to signify its importance.
They also use phrases commonly used in school to describe the products in the following manner:
- A+ exfoliation M-61 PowerGlow Peel
- Best & Brightest Skinceuticals C E Ferulic
- Extra Credit Hydration LA MER The Moisturizing Soft Cream
While the campaign is meant for parents, the brand has creatively aligned it to the back-to-school theme. This will make the email stand out in the inbox and drive sales for the business.
If you’re targeting the younger generation with your back-to-school email campaigns, your emails should be playful and vibrant.
Nordstrom takes this approach with its newsletter. The email uses lots of color and playful designs, as seen in the image below.
Image via Pinterest
The email design also has less text and more visuals to appeal to the younger generation.
The sender purposefully uses a few words in the email to connect with the students at a deeper level. Case in point, they give their TREND report and guide for the haute HOMECOMING.
While the brand doesn’t provide any offers to shoppers, the trendy design is enough to get recipients to read and act.
For a few commodities, the best sales strategy is to explain their benefits to consumers in great detail. This is especially true for electronics, where customers want products with advanced features.
In this case, you will use your back-to-school newsletter to explain the benefits of your product. This strategy only allows for a few products in the email newsletter to ensure proper coverage.
In one of its back-to-school email campaigns, Owlheadset promotes two of its headphones. These headphones are ideal for college students; the brand explains why that’s the case in greater detail.
Image via Pinterest
The brand highlights the main features of the headphones and the pain points of the students:
- They are ideal for audio learning because of their excellent sound quality
- Superior noise cancellation helps students avoid distractions when studying.
The store slashed prices significantly to help shoppers save during this busy period.
If you sell products students and parents can use, now would be the best time to promote them. You can say how the product benefits both parties in your back-to-school email campaigns.
Mojo sells flavored chewing gum that energizes the consumer. The soft chews are a great buy for students and parents since back-to-school preparation can be very hectic.
Mojo created an email campaign for their products to drive sales from both users. They explained how soft chews can help users stay energized and avoid burnout.
Image via Really Good Emails
They also shared a testimonial from one of their customers. Testimonials give brands social proof and help them convince unsure buyers to purchase.
In addition, they offer free shipping when you buy online.
Additional back-to-school email campaign ideas
Here are additional email design ideas to help you drive sales during this back-to-school season.
1. Create bundles for back-to-school shoppers
Back-to-school bundles are an excellent strategy for driving sales during this period. This is because schoolchildren need a lot of essentials for the new academic year.
Besides books and stationery, they also need a backpack, new shoes, beauty products, sporting gear, and more.
To help shoppers cut costs, you can bundle some of the essentials the customers need. This is a win-win situation for all involved because:
- You get to sell more products
- The shoppers get more back-to-school essentials at a discounted price
In its back-to-school email newsletter, Kate Spade lists some of its products that learners may need now. The email also allows shoppers to buy all the listed products as a bundle.
Image via Pinterest
2. Offer products in bulk
Back to school is also the perfect time to offer your products in bulk to drive sales. Students need certain essentials in bulk, and packaging your products this way can help you attract more shoppers.
Some of the back-to-school essentials students need in bulk include:
- T-shirts, socks, underwear, and other clothing basics
- Hygiene products
- Notebooks, pens, highlighters, and other supplies
- Tissues, hand sanitizers
- Vitamins, etc.
If you sell any of these products, you can offer them to your customers in bulk to help them cut costs.
3. Recipes for lunch boxes
Do you sell lunch boxes for school-going kids? Instead of promoting your lunch boxes outright, take the informational route and share simple lunch recipe ideas.
This way, you add value to your recipient and position yourself as a trustworthy brand.
Customers hate it when brands are too promotional and pushy. That’s why mixing things up and sharing helpful information with your recipients is advisable.
Lunch box recipes are ideal since they align with the back-to-school theme. After sharing the recipe, publish a photo of the dish so customers can see what the dish looks like in your lunch box.
If they are impressed with how the dish looks, they may consider buying the lunch box and other items in your store.
4. Deals for parents
Back to school is usually a time when parents and guardians buy everything their kids need for the new school season. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t target parents with your back-to-school email campaigns.
Parents also have their own needs at this moment. They could return to work after the summer holidays and need new office supplies. As such, targeting them increases your marketing scope and helps you drive sales for your business.
In the example below, Moment has a “Back to School – Back to Work Gear” sale targeting parents.
Image via Really Good Emails
Focusing on parents at this time allows your emails to stand out in the sea of children-related content.
5. Provide value
Parents have a lot of things to buy in preparation for the new school year. From books, stationery, shoes, and activewear, back-to-school shopping can be costly.
The National Retail Federation estimates that each household will spend $890 for their back-to-school shopping.
Image via National Retail Federation
That’s a lot of money, so parents look for value when shopping for back-to-school essentials. Electros knows this, so they have a 45% off storewide sale for back to school.
Image via Pinterest
They have a code shoppers can use at checkout to activate the discount. However, the offer is only available briefly to encourage parents to act quickly.
6. Back-to-school checklist
A checklist is a good idea for your back-to-school email campaigns. With so many things to buy, one can easily forget to pick essential items for their kids.
But with a checklist, they can cross-check what they’ve bought and order the forgotten items.
When making the checklist for your subscribers, add links for your products. This way, you make it easy for your subscribers to get their back-to-school essentials.
A checklist is an excellent way to provide value to your users as it helps them plan for this busy season. It shows you care for users and want what’s best for them.
25 Best back-to-school email subject lines
Now that you’ve seen the best examples of back-to-school email campaigns, it’s time to create your campaign. But before you do that, perfect your subject lines since they affect open rates.
Follow the guidelines below to write captivating subject lines for your emails:
- Keep it short – When writing your email subject lines, shorter is always better. Most people view emails from their mobile phones. Keeping your subject lines short ensures nothing gets chopped off from the mobile view.
- Be actionable – To drive sales with your back-to-school email campaigns, ensure your subject line is actionable. Use action words in the subject line to hook your audience to your deals.
- Use FOMO to drive sales – People don’t like to feel like they are missing out on great things. As such, you can use FOMO in your subject lines to encourage recipients to open the email and read its content.
- Use emojis – Emojis are a fun and creative way to make your email subject lines pop. They add color to your subject lines making them stand out in the inbox. However, you don’t want to overuse them as they can crowd the subject line.
- Put the offer upfront – People don’t have time to read an entire email to see what you have for them. That’s why you want to put the offer upfront so readers can quickly determine what the email is all about. If you’re giving subscribers a discount, mention that in the subject line to boost open rates.
- Use numbers where possible – Numbers will help keep your email subject line short. It also makes it easy for your subscribers to quickly read the subject line and decide whether to open the email.
After writing your subject lines, use an email subject line tester to check if they will capture your audience’s attention.
That said, here are 25 of the best back-to-school email subject lines examples for your inspiration:
- 💰 Back to School Sale: Up to 50% Off Footwear →
- ? Get them set for school! Kid’s lenses only $25– so smart
- Back To School savings up to 40% Off*. Better hurry.
- Back-to-School Sale begins NOW! Double Deals: Up to 80% OFF + EXTRA 10%
- Stock Up for School: 40% to 75% Off The Entire Store and Earn $15 PLACE Cash!
- Free Shipping + 20% Off Back-To-School Must-Haves!
- Back to School Sale – Up to 70% off sitewide
- ☑ Check the Box on Back to School Readiness! (Lenovo)
- Back-to-school already?! Raise your hand if you’re prepared
- 🛍️ Back to School Styles for Him and for Her 🛍️
- Jump Back Into School With Style!
- Back-to-School Checklist: √ Backpacks √ Supplies
- Back to School Essentials 📚
- It’s time to get serious about back-to-school season
- New! Personalized notebooks for back-to-school.📓
- Back. To. School. Brilliant stuff for little scholars
- Save big on Back to School + Free Shipping
- Limited Time Only- Back to School Savings!
- Back to School Deals
- Your First Assignment: $ave Money!
- Saved by the 🔔 Get huge back-to-school deals today!
- Hurry, before the bell rings! New gear ships free + save 20% on select backpacks
- Earn Up to 2X Miles on Back-To-School Tech
- HUGE Back to School Bedding SALE – Today Only!
- A special back to school Gift for you! 🎁
Back to school is a busy period for retailers, but you can miss out on sales without the right strategy. Shoppers are looking for value; your back-to-school email campaigns should deliver that immediately.
While students are your primary target during this period, remember the parents who are the chaos coordinators. Hopefully, the back-to-school email examples have given you an idea of building an effective campaign.