Adapting to Email Changes Coming this February

Jan 30, 2024

Inbound Strategies for Higher Education in the Face of Yahoo and Google Mail Updates

In the always-evolving digital landscape, schools reaching out to potential students will face fresh challenges with upcoming changes in popular email platforms like Yahoo and Google Mail. Though there will be enduring effectiveness of email as an outbound tactic, educational institutions engaging with prospective students must now adjust their approach, embracing inbound marketing strategies to support the top of the funnel.

Yahoo and Google Mail Changes

Both Yahoo and Google Mail are set to implement changes that will impact how emails are delivered and received. These changes are geared towards enhancing user experience by curbing unwanted or irrelevant emails. While this is a positive development for users, it presents a challenge for large-scale email providers, such as higher education institutions, trying to reach out to potential students.

The Challenge for Higher Education Institutions

For universities and colleges relying on outbound marketing strategies, the upcoming changes may result in their emails facing increased scrutiny or even being filtered out. This shift can hinder their ability to effectively communicate with prospective students, affecting enrollment and engagement rates.

Balancing Outbound and Inbound Strategies

While these changes are poised to reshape the email landscape, it’s important to note that there are still ways to maintain outbound email deliverability and effectiveness. However, a nuanced approach is required. Outbound strategies should now be seen as part of a broader, integrated marketing approach, with a more significant focus on inbound tactics, particularly at the top of the funnel.

Inbound Marketing as the Dominant Strategy

To navigate this evolving landscape, higher education institutions should consider embracing inbound marketing strategies as a long-term solution. Inbound marketing focuses on attracting and engaging potential students through valuable and relevant content, providing a more personalized and user-centric approach.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a Key Inbound Tactic

Within the realm of inbound marketing, investing resources in search engine optimization (SEO) emerges as a crucial tactic for higher education institutions. SEO involves optimizing a website’s technical aspects, creating quality content, and building authoritative links to improve its visibility on search engine results pages.

Technical Audit

A comprehensive technical audit ensures that a higher education institution’s website meets the criteria set by search engines for optimal performance. This includes assessing website speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall user experience. By addressing technical issues, universities can enhance their online presence and accessibility.

Content Creation

Creating valuable and relevant content tailored to the needs and interests of prospective students is key to effective inbound marketing. Higher education institutions can invest in developing blog posts, articles, and guides that showcase their programs, campus life, and student success stories. This not only attracts organic traffic but also establishes the institution as an authority in the field.

Link Building

Building a robust backlink profile contributes to the credibility and authority of a higher education institution’s website. Quality links from reputable sources signal to search engines that the content is trustworthy and valuable. Implementing a strategic link-building strategy enhances the website’s visibility and rankings.

While outbound email strategies still have their place in the marketing mix, the evolving email landscape demands a more substantial investment in inbound tactics, particularly at the top of the funnel. SEO, encompassing technical audits, content creation, and link building, emerges as a powerful strategy to enhance online visibility, attract organic traffic, and establish authority. By striking a balance between outbound and inbound strategies, universities can navigate the shifting terrain and foster long-term growth in student engagement and enrollment.


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Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 40,000 programs on more than 1,200 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.