Amazing Newsletter Ideas for Back-to-School Season To Inspire Your Own

Amazing Newsletter Ideas for Back-to-School Season To Inspire Your Own
17 August, 2023 • ... • 2609 views
Tamara Liparteliani
by Tamara Liparteliani

Every business should prepare for the back-to-school season no matter the industry or marketplace. Parents, kids, and teachers are all getting ready for a new school year, so it’s the perfect time to connect with your customers! You can motivate them to buy your products, keep them posted on your news, or inform them about the school preparation process. Email marketing is just the tool for this job!

In this article, we outline some of the best back-to-school newsletter ideas, tips, and examples. Discover resources and templates you can use to effectively meet your audience’s needs and increase the engagement rate. Read on to get inspired and start your campaign before the summer’s gone!

Why send out the back-to-school newsletter

Why should your business invest in a back-to-school campaign? There are many reasons: 

  • It allows you to connect with a specific niche of your audience. Often, brands try to appeal to everyone, but end up appealing to no one. An effective back-to-school campaign will help you narrow down your target audience and address their needs directly.
  • Back-to-school campaigns are a great way to show your unique value to the audience. Think about it: during school, parents are constantly bombarded with advertisements for all sorts of products, from pens to lunchboxes to backpacks. Your product needs to stand out to show your unique value to the audience. A good back-to-school email campaign will help you do just that.
  • The back-to-school season is usually the second-highest spending occasion for parents. On average, a household plans to spend $890 on back-to-school shopping this year. It’s an especially great opportunity for the technology businesses as electronics is the top category for spending, followed by clothing & accessories and then shoes.
  • A back-to-school email campaign can help you get the edge over the competition. This year, many parents prioritize deals and retailers with competitive pricing. And 49% will research online before making a purchase in-store. If your business promotes good deals via email, it will attract back-to-school shoppers.

Back-to-school newsletter ideas and examples

For educators

Back-to-school is a time of excitement and anticipation for both students and teachers. The back-to-school season is an excellent opportunity for teachers to connect with their students and share what they have been up to over the summer break. Teachers and schools can do this by sending out newsletters that may contain the following:

  • A welcome email from the teacher or principal
  • A list of all the students in their class with their photos
  • An introduction of themselves
  • What they have been doing over the summer break (nice to use as an icebreaker)
  • What they are looking forward to in this school year
  • “How to get organized” or “ time management tips” checklist with tips for parents and students
  • Information about the school schedule so that children or their parents have an idea about classes during the week
  • Ideas for fun things to do after school or on weekends, including a list of local activities sponsored by local businesses
  • The school’s calendar of events and activities
  • Announcements about fundraisers or community service projects
  • Student work samples, templates, or projects
  • Tips for parents on how to help their kid succeed in school
  • Books to read before school starts

Here’s a back-to-school newsletter template with essential information divided into easy-to-read sections:

back-to-school email example from an educator
Source: Canva

And this is a real back-to-school bulletin example from Warwick Elementary. It’s a lengthy newsletter with resources for a smooth start to the school year, so it has a table of contents. It also uses the school’s logo, motto, and signature red color to get the newsletter subscribers into the spirit.

Warwick Weekly back-to-school email fragment with the school’s logo, calendar, and message from a teacher
Source: Warwick Elementary School

For businesses

Businesses of all sorts take advantage of back-to-school emails, not just traditional sectors like retailers that sell school-related supplies, books, and dorm room accessories. Electronic shops, for example, benefit from these newsletters because Generation Z requires not just a pencil, book, or notebook in a classroom, but also advanced technology or gadgets that will facilitate their learning process. Clothing retailers, furniture stores, and even SaaS companies that provide digital goods may also benefit from them. 

Even if your business is not in the education sector, you should still send back-to-school emails. This big shopping event is a great chance to reconnect with your contacts and strengthen your bond with them. 

Here are some great ideas to use for your back-to-school email marketing campaign:

Targeting students

How can you say no if your kid tells you that they need a new shirt or a new gadget for a new year at school? Almost impossible. The best way to attract students is to use catchy and attractive graphics, offering something that will take the burden of homework assignments off their shoulders. 

In this email, Grammarly shows that their product will significantly increase the student’s productivity during school, offering a very attractive price:

back-to-school email example for students
Source: Really Good Emails

Prep sportswear, on the other hand, uses a captivating design with bright colors to attract a teenage audience:

Back-to-school email example for teenagers
Source: Email Competitors

And Footshop used an ironic tone of voice, addressed students’ concerns directly (find a new backpack fast to enjoy the rest of the summer break), and added photos in a stylized classroom. An A+ back-to-school email you can use as a template!

Back-to-school email focused on backpacks and other school accessories and clothing
Source: Milled

Targeting parents

Parents spend more and more on back-to-school items every year. It is estimated that parents in the US alone are planning to spend $41.5 billion on their children this year. So take advantage of this fact and boost your sales with the help of a back-to-school email campaign. Make sure that it translates the value of your product to help parents make their kid better in school, acquire a new skill, or overall prepare their kid for school or college.

Scholastic made their offer the star of the email to motivate parents that shop for deals. Plus, there are links to shop by grade at the bottom of the email. If your business offers products for different age groups, consider adding a similar footer to your email template.

Back-to-school email with site-wide and book discounts and a footer with links to shop by grade
Source: Milled

If your brand isn’t selling classroom essentials or learning materials, you can still appeal to parents. For example, here’s an email targeting college kids’ parents from a mattress and pillows manufacturer:

Back-to-school email promoting mattress toppers and pillows to make the dorm rooms cozier
Source: Milled

Another option is to forget about kids’ needs and focus on parents’ needs. And what does a parent need most during the back-to-school season? A cup of coffee, of course! That’s the idea behind this back-to-school email campaign:

Back-to-school email from a coffee subscription business
Source: Milled

Targeting teachers

Don’t forget about teachers! They prepare for a school year as well and need different resources that will help them to survive another year of tests, exams, and nights spent checking their students’ work. Give the teachers exclusive offers, like free delivery to the school or a free guide that they can download to understand how to use a device that you are selling.

If you are a clothes brand, you can add the special professor style selection, containing your latest collections with advantageous offers. Here’s an example:

Back-to-school email promoting a clothing collection created for educators
Source: Milled

Back-to-school season is all about learning, so you can explain how teachers can use your service and offer detailed instruction.

Back-to-school email with instructions on how to create a greeting video for students
Source: Milled

You can also address teachers’ concerns about supplies in your newsletter, as in our example below:

Back-to-school email example for teachers
Source: Really Good Emails

Back-to-school newsletters tips and best practices

How can you make sure your back-to-school newsletter is effective? Here are some tips and best practices:

Timing is everything

The timing of your back-to-school newsletters is key. You want to hit your audience right when they’re starting to think about the upcoming school year.

Ideally, you should send your newsletters out in late June or early July. That’s when parents are starting to do their research and figure out what kind of supplies they need and what kind of clothes their kids will need.

If you wait too long, chances are they’ll have already made their purchases or they’ll be so overwhelmed with everything that’s going on that they won’t even notice your newsletter. So start planning your campaign beforehand and hit your target audience right when they’re ready to buy.

Pay attention to your subject lines

When it comes to your newsletters, you want to make sure that you’re getting as many people as possible to open them up. One way to do this is to pay attention to your subject lines.

You want your back-to-school subject lines to be catchy, interesting, and relevant to your readers. And you also want to make sure that they’re not too long — people are more likely to open a shorter subject line than one that’s 50 words long. Back-to-school subject line best practice is to use no more than 7 words or 41 characters.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should always test different subject lines to see which ones get the best results. What works for a parent might not work for a teacher or a student, so it’s important to tailor your content accordingly.

Subject lines examples for students:

  • Back to school again? Get ready with us
  • Ready to prepare for a new year of school?
  • Back-to-school styles that will make you stand out
  • For your first day (BREDA)
  • Time to go back to school! (Flatiron School)
  • 🙌 Brag-worthy NEW bags + up to 50% off (Spencer Gifts)

Subject lines examples for teachers:

  • Need classroom supplies? Giving 30% off to teachers
  • New school year, new deals for teachers with 50% off
  • Up to 70% off on items for teachers. Hurry up!
  • [Name], last day to get up to 25% off (TPT)
  • Teacher’s choice supplies (Zerbee)
  • Light up your classroom with colorful décor 💛🧡 (Carson Dellosa Education)

Subject lines examples for parents:

  • Tips to make your kid smartest in class
  • 50% off on back-to-school essentials ends now
  • Give your kid the best back-to-school experience
  • ⌛ 20% off ALL kids’ items + free shipping (H&M)
  • 🍎Back-to-school must-haves are here (Phillips)
  • Back-to-school spirit for you and the kiddos 🎒🎉📚 (Zappos)

Segment your audience

It’s important to remember that you’re not writing for everyone. You need to segment your audience and target the right people with the right information.

For example, if you are targeting high school students’ parents you need to provide them with information about schedules, homework assignments, and important dates as a teacher. If you are targeting only students, send an email with information about lockers, dress codes, and after-school activities.

As a business that sells gadgets, if you are targeting parents or college students, you need to provide a newsletter that shows the visible benefits of the item that will increase their kids’ grades. If you are targeting educators, then you need to pop up features that will make their teaching process more efficient.

It can be a lot of work, but when you target the right people with the right information, you’ll see a big improvement in your response rate.

Here’s a highly targeted email from an educational website. It’s aimed specifically at a 5th grader’s parent and lists relevant resources and activities. This makes the email especially relevant and useful.

Back-to-school email with guides and worksheets for a parent of a 5th grader
Source: Milled

Take advantage of the urgency

One of the best ways to make your back-to-school email campaign work is to play on the sense of urgency. Many parents are busy during the back-to-school season, and they may not have time to read every newsletter that comes their way.

So make sure your headline and opening paragraph capture their attention, and let them know that there’s information inside that they don’t want to miss. You can also highlight a specific event or deadline that’s coming up in your newsletter, and remind parents that it’s time to start thinking about school supplies, uniforms, and other items. You can see how Animal store handled appealing to urgency:

Different design principles email example
Source: Pinterest

Make use of different design principles

When it comes to your back-to-school newsletters, make use of different design principles to capture your audience’s attention. Here are a few tips:

  1. Use eye-catching graphics.
  2. Use related, easy to associate, visual elements.
  3. Start with a catchy headline.
  4. Structure the information according to UX design principles making your content useful, usable, appealing, and valuable for the customer.
  5. Make it easy for parents to subscribe or unsubscribe.
  6. Provide contact information.
  7. Include a powerful CTA.
  8. Keep the design clean and to the point.
  9. Proof-check your work carefully.

A good example using all mentioned points from Krogers grocery retailer:

Email example using different design principles
Source: Pinterest

And here’s another example of good email design — a clean and bright campaign from BruMate:

A back-to-school email with a clean one-column design
Source: Milled

Keep mobile users in mind

When creating your back-to-school newsletters, be sure to keep mobile users in mind. According to the 2022 Deloitte Back-to-School Survey, 65% of consumers use their smartphones for online shopping, so you want to make sure your newsletters are easy to read on small screens. 

One way to do this is to keep your text short and to the point, and use plenty of headings and subheadings so people can scan quickly for the information they need. You can also use images and infographics to break up the text and make it more visually appealing. Look how clean and concise is the letter from Rifle Paper Co:

Mobile users friendly email example
Source: MailCharts

And don’t forget to test your newsletters on different devices and browsers before you send them out.

Don’t overload with content

When creating your back-to-school newsletters, be sure to avoid overcrowding them with too much content. Less is more in this case.

Your readers are likely busy people, and they don’t have time to read through a long, drawn-out newsletter. For instance, as a company that sells gadgets, stick to the basics — introduce your product briefly, tell your audience its main features, and what value it brings. You may add a CTA and a contact form so that the consumer can find you easily and make a purchase. Like in the email from the B&H store:

Don’t overload with content email example
Source: Email Competitors

When it comes to layout, keep it simple, use an easy-to-read font. Also, be sure to use plenty of white space so that the newsletter doesn’t look too cramped or busy.

Conclusion

Let’s have a quick revision of what we talked about in this article:

  1. Back-to-school emails are a great way to connect with your audience: no matter if you send them to your students or their parents as a professor or as an enterprise that produces school equipment.
  2. The back-to-school marketplace has a great potential for growth, so it is a good idea to invest in email marketing campaigns to boost your sales.
  3. It’s crucial to send out back-to-school newsletters at the right time. You want to catch your audience right when they are beginning to think about the upcoming school year. 
  4. Target the right people with the right information, and segment your audience appropriately. 
  5. A sense of urgency is one of the best ways to make your back-to-school email campaign work. 
  6. Invest in a user-friendly design for your back-to-school newsletter. 
  7. Make sure your back-to-school newsletter is easy to read on mobile phones.
  8. Keep an email concise, containing essential information only.

This article was originally published in August 2022 and was updated in August 2023 to make it more relevant and comprehensive.

17 August, 2023
Article by
Tamara Liparteliani
As a content marketing specialist in the IT industry with a focus on cybersecurity, I bring a unique perspective to crafting compelling and informative content for IT companies. A background in professional photography helped me to understand how important is visual storytelling and how to create content that resonates with audiences and drives results.
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