19 Back To School Marketing Ideas (Advertising, Email Example)

Autumn is either the dreaded or lovely time, depending on how much you like colder weather and used to like school.

Aug 26, 2021 - By Camilla Mackeviciute

Autumn is either the dreaded or lovely time, depending on how much you like colder weather and used to like school.

However, it’s an undoubtedly amazing time for marketers. There’s a lot of spending that goes on at the start of autumn and at the end of summer.

Shopping during these periods happens primarily due to all the back to school marketing. A lot of people need to buy things for themselves or for their children because the school year is about to begin. Good back to school marketing can bring the needs of customers and the products of a business together.

However, the back to school marketing period is quite short. Therefore, you need the best and most effective marketing strategies to get the most out of such a short time frame.

Getting Started with Back To School Marketing


There’s a lot of spending going on. However, as we see from the image above and from the research done by KPMG, shows the industries that have the most to gain from back to school advertising.

Since so much spending goes to core supplies and apparel, good back to school campaigns should be focused on these two categories if possible. However, other products, such as electronics, might benefit from marketing as well.

Additionally, retail businesses should focus more on growing their online channels. That often means diverting some marketing budget to online advertisements. According to KPMG, online shopping will experience 30% growth for back to school shopping in 2021.


Finally, you’ll want to keep in mind that school years start differently in many countries. If you’re a global business, that will mean switching ads and their settings quite frequently. Here is a short list for when school years start in different countries:

  • United States—from mid-July to mid-September, depending on the state
  • Canada—early September
  • Mexico—end of August
  • Spain—mid-September
  • Germany— late July and early September
  • France— start of September
  • Italy— start of September
  • Brazil—first week of February
  • New Zealand, Australia—January, February
  • Japan—April 1

General Back To School Marketing Promotion Ideas

Create a back to school category

One of the easiest, cheapest, and powerful ways to promote back to school products is to simply create a category or filter in your website. Good user experience on a website is the simplest way to attract people to products and services.

Usually, these categories can be implemented by simply applying a filter to all the products that fit back to school marketing. Additionally, such a filter will make all other marketing efforts work better as users who come to the website will have an easy way to continue searching for the products they need.

Run a special discount

A classic way to attract customers is to run discounts and sales. Back to school marketing and advertising is no different. While people expect to spend more each year, they’ll still look for the best deals.

You should take extra care when considering discounts if they’re not sitewide. People will be looking for the best deals for things they’re likely to replace next year (clothes, stationery, and other short-lived products), therefore discounting them could be advantageous.

Create a newsletter with recommendations

As is common with nearly any industry nowadays, there are so many products and services out there that it’s hard to choose one. Many people spend hours researching or deciding on fairly simple products.

As part of your marketing campaign, you can send an email newsletter with specific product recommendations according to categories. Delivering such an email will bring your customers value as it will save them a lot of time that is generally wasted when deciding on products.

You can use the Sender.net platform to create a newsletter for such purposes. Additionally, our solution will allow you to schedule and automate most parts of an email marketing campaign.


Additionally, since you can use Sender to set up automated emails, it’s recommended to have a short follow-up and a reminder about the discount. Many people simply forget to use the discount code and skip shopping entirely.

Run a social media contest

The back to school period is a great way to get a lot of eyes on your brand. Since there’s a lot of shopping going around, there’s a lot of social media research going around as consumers educate themselves about products.

That’s the perfect time to run a social media back to school campaign or contest. Your goal with these marketing campaigns would be to greatly increase interactions and followers. The new customers don’t have to convert instantly.

Bundle products

For most people, back to school shopping involves a lot of different products. Most of them are very predictable such as stationery and other office supplies. However, customers still spend lots of time collecting all the products into one basket. That time spent can be frustrating which can lead to abandoned carts.

Thus, creating back to school bundles with some of or the most popular products all in one place for a good price is a great idea. Your customers will be thankful they don’t have to spend an enormous amount of time collecting all the products they need.

Run a giveaway

Running giveaways once in a while is a great way to boost publicity. Since visibility is vital during such rush shopping periods as the back to school one, it’s the perfect time to run a giveaway.

Additionally, it’s a lot easier nowadays to benefit both the consumer and your business through giveaways. As you can run them through social media, you can request follows or shares for participation. Most people don’t mind doing either, which will allow your social media accounts to grow.

Back to School Marketing Ideas for Fitness

Run a challenge

Fitness challenges frequently explode on social media for good reason. They are a simple but effective way to show off one’s skill to a large audience. It isn’t any different for businesses.

There are many challenges you can run, however, jogging or running is simple and effective. Setting up weekly or daily prizes for the challenge will also increase participation, which, in turn, will raise the visibility of your brand.

Create a back to school fitness program

A lot of people will be heading out of outdoor workouts and move back into the gym as the weather gets worse. Some will be looking to join gyms in schools or universities they might be attending.

Creating simple fitness, especially cardio, improvement programs is an efficient way to attach your brand and company name to something people will be using daily. Additionally, since people often share their fitness goals with others (including on social media), it gives you free publicity.

Use influencer marketing

There’s barely any other industry where influencers are as effective as in the fitness industry. It’s usually a fairly cheap way to reach millions of people without much effort.

Influencers can cover some of the newest or hottest products or services in your selection. Since so many people use social media to research products and services, influencer marketing in the fitness industry is likely to end in a resounding success.

Also read: 10 Fitness and Gym Newsletter Ideas + Examples

Back To School Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

Free coffee after school hours

There’s two good ways to attract nearly anyone’s attention – free beer and free coffee. Offering free beer after school hours would be extremely out of the ordinary. However, free coffee is something a lot of people will take you up on.

Discounted food delivery

Students participate in back to school activities as well. And if there’s one thing a student would want to avoid doing is preparing food.

Offering discounted food delivery for a short period of time can net you a few new regular clients. As long as the cuisine itself is great, introducing new people to your business is never a bad idea.

Offer student-only discounts

In many cases, students aren’t the richest part of society, to say the least. Students will often look for brands and companies that are willing to give them discounts to help them save for the future.

Thus, it would be a bright idea to consider implementing a student-only discount for some period of time that begins from the back to school days. Such a discount would raise awareness of your company and possibly build lasting relationships with customers. You may even combine it with discounted food delivery for double effectiveness.

Back to School Marketing Ideas for Ecommerce and Retail

Use SMS marketing to boost other channels

You’ll likely be targeting an audience that’s at least in part on the younger side. It’s a lot easier to get the attention of the millennial generation through phones. In fact, they prefer texting over talking by a large margin.

Since you’ll likely be using channels like email marketing to send out materials, you can boost the efficiency of sales by sending promotional SMS. These messages work wonders if you include a small discount and a link to your website.

We have talked at length about the effectiveness of SMS and how you can combine Sender’s email features to boost overall marketing effectiveness.

However, it’s worth noting that you can use the platform to set up pop-up forms on your website that can be used to gather opt-ins for SMS and provide a discount at the same time.


Change your website to match the theme

Sometimes small changes can go a long way as in ecommerce it’s equally as important to be memorable for customers. Being memorable can often mean more returning customers.

A simple design change with a few tweaks to the website is a great way to get the website visitor into the mood of going back to school. While it’s unlikely to have a direct effect on purchases, your website will become more memorable.

5 Back to School Season Email Examples

Times without numbers, email newsletters have proven to be one of the best ways to reach your audience in a personalized manner.

So, if you’re on a quest to launch a back-to-school email marketing campaign, we’ve put together a few samples to inspire newsletter content to help create hype around your products this period.

Offer Discounts and Create Urgency

The back-to-school season attracts customers who are after the discount offers trends. But the availability of discount offers doesn’t guarantee quick buy actions.


 Because they tend to feel that the offer stands forever.

Therefore, to encourage quick reactions to your newsletter, set limits to the availability of your offers. It could be the time limit or the number of items available at that discount.

Bose creates a sense of urgency while providing an enticing discount offer to their audience.


Image source: Bose

Sound Conversational in Your Newsletter

If your audience can relate to your stories, selling to them becomes more accessible. And sounding conversational is a good head start to convert them into customers.

A conversational tone also sounds friendly and personal. 

Look at this example by Grammarly, and see how every reader/student can easily relate to this newsletter? 


Image source: Grammarly

Use Attractive Colors In your Newsletters

A good combination of colors and clear images give your audience a good newsletter reading experience.

Choose an easy-on-the-eyes color and font that makes your newsletter easily readable. 


Image source: Epic for Kids

Keep It Short and Descriptive

We understand that back-to-school newsletters give you the chance to tell your brand story but try to keep it short and descriptive as much as possible.

Keeping your message short saves time on both ends.  


Image source: vitruvi

Recommend Products In Your Newsletters

Back-to-school shopping comes with a flood of items for your customers to choose from. Narrow down their options by providing product recommendations with descriptive features. At least they have to be sure and confident enough to purchase a recommended product.


Image source: Rugs

30 Back to School Email Subject Lines

Great back-to-school product in store for your customer. Sensational newsletter awaiting them in their inbox.

Will they read or ignore them?

Well, it depends on the excellence of your subject lines.

Subject lines are the first texts that greet your subscribers, and they can make or break your newsletter open rates. They must be catchy enough to lure your readers into reading the newsletters.

If it seems like an arduous task to generate subject line ideas for variant back-to-school sales events, here are some examples to help you out.

10 Sales & Discounts 

  • Back to School, Get 30% OFF!
  • 20% OFF During this Back to School Season!
  • Back to School Must-Haves, 30% OFF
  • 15% OFF Your Kids’ Back to School Events
  • Save More with These Back to School Discounts
  • A Back to School Discount Offer for Teens You’ve Never Seen
  • Back to School: Get 35% OFF + Bonus
  • Free Shipping + 20% OFF in this Back to School Season
  • Stock up for Back to School: 40% OFF each item
  • Back to School Sales Begin Now!!
  • Get 55% OFF Sender Premium for Back to School!

10 Supplies and Gadgets

  • Save Big on Books and Boots for Back to School Season
  • Here’s what’s missing in your backpack.
  • Hot Deals for students!
  • Save Big on Headphones & Speakers in Back to School Season
  • New! Limited Offer: Personalized Notepads for Students!
  • Save 20% on everything you need for school. 
  • {$firstname}, looking for Back to School Supplies?
  • 20 Back to School tools every child needs!
  • 10 Back to School essentials for students!
  • Do you have these back-to-school supplies?
  • Back (pack) at it again
  • Get an A+ (but only if you hurry)

Fashion and Looks

  • Jump Back to School in Style!
  • Top Back to School Looks
  • Look Good in these Back to School Fits!
  • Back to School with Style
  • You Can’t Miss these New Back to School Looks!
  • New! Exciting Looks for Back to School Season
  • Why not return to school in style?
  • Your Favorite Back to School Fits are Here!
  • New Style to Rule the School!
  • Fall into a Fresh Start!
  • Back to School Never Looked So Good!
  • They are here! Back to School Looks
  • Back to School, cool?

Back To School Marketing Ideas

All of the ideas outlined above should be enough to let you get started on creating a powerful back to school advertising campaign. In fact, you can do several as combining them (if the budget allows) will likely be even more efficient.

Want to find ways to automate your email marketing campaigns and create powerful popup forms on your website?

Check out our email marketing platform Sender.net for free!

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