Student Advantage increases e-mail click-through rate with Lyris partnership

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Student Advantage, a discount loyalty program aimed at college students, has directly increased clickthroughs by 10% by testing its e-mail campaigns.

The wholly owned subsidiary of The CBORD Group began regularly testing its e-mails in January after it transitioned from using an in-house e-mail product to working with e-mail services firm Lyris. Since working with Lyris, Student Advantage has implemented a number of e-mail efforts including testing, targeting and monitoring the inbox for deliverability. The company also recently began doing resends to non-opens with new subject lines to try to lift the open rates.

“We used to create our e-mail campaigns with a tool in-house, but after it crashed, it became urgent to find a new tool, so we started working with Lyris,” said Samantha McDuffee, marketing manager at Student Advantage.

Student Advantage sends more than 700,000 e-mail newsletters a month to students nationwide. Depending on the offer, it sends e-mails out once or twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Each e-mail contains a special offer from one of its 70 different partners, including Macys.com, Amtrak, Greyhound and Armani Exchange.

Student Advantage has also been focused more on best practices since beginning work with Lyris.

“We've found sometimes that best practices we read about don't work for us and some do,” said McDuffee. They recently saw an increase in open rates by co-branding the from line.

Student Advantage uses e-mail primarily as a retention tool to keep in touch with members, but it is challenged by getting new signups.

“Since students are always graduating, Student Advantage is always looking for new members,” said McDuffee. “E-mail marketing changes rapidly and then our customer base is changing rapidly, so we really need to have the ability to be testing and monitoring constantly because nothing is going to be consistent year after year.”

The brand may begin testing e-mails to non-members in the coming months.

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