8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (2024)

🗓️ Monday, 17th Jun 2024

Hi, and welcome back to Growth Espresso - your one-stop destination for everything e-com.

If you were planning to hold off on your back-to-school marketing campaign until August, think again.

In 2023, many consumers began shopping for back-to-school supplies as early as July to manage their budgets more effectively.

Despite financial challenges due to inflation, spending did not slow down. In fact, back-to-school spending in 2023 was estimated at $41.5 billion, up from $36.9 billion in 2022 and surpassing the previous high of $37.1 billion in 2021.

So, how can you capture some of this revenue? If you sell school supplies or apparel, you're in luck. But don't overlook the growing demand in categories like electronics, personal care items, and food.

8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (1)

Let's kick things off with a few back-to-school campaign examples from brands that sell supplies and apparel. Then, we'll share some cool ideas from brands that don't, to inspire you to get creative if your brand doesn't fit the usual back-to-school mold.

Let’s dive in!

But first, a little word from our sponsor today - RetainIQ

8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (2)

Get a free email audit from the best email marketers in the business. This audit will cover:

  • Revenue Improvement Report

  • In-Depth Email Marketing Strategy Review

  • Technical Email Suggestions

  • Actionable To Dos

Get an Exclusive Email Audit for FREE!

Schedule my Email Audit Now

1. Day Owl communicates what their products can do—visually

Subject line: 🎒Back-to-Backpacks!

Lesson: Let your images do the talking.

8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (3)

On weekday mornings, parents are racing to pack lunches, braiding hair, signing permission slips, and keeping track of peanut allergies and birthday party invitations. The last thing they need is their kid complaining that they can’t fit everything they need in their backpack.

In this email, bag brand Day Owl follows one of the most basic email design principles and lets the images do the talking. Thanks to minimal copy and an aerial shot of one of Day Owl’s backpacks along with everything that can fit in it, a busy parent may only need a few seconds to be convinced of the value of the product.

Add in a 10% discount and a clear, well-placed CTA button, and an email like this has the potential to drive a lot of revenue. (The brand also reported a high open rate for this one.)

2. Hari Mari piques curiosity with their subject line

Subject line: Back To School Means…

Lesson: Create a curiosity gap to increase open rates.

8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (4)

Footwear brand Hari Mari knows back to school means different things to different people. For some, it’s a great time of year—a time to reconnect with friends, feel productive, and work toward a goal. But for others, it’s not as great—it’s stressful and brings up a lot of uncertainty about the future.

Hari Mari creates a subject line tailor made for this uncertainty. Their subject line asks the reader to finish the sentence, which instantly creates a curiosity gap and encourages opening the email for an answer.

3. Quay aces their product photography investment


Lesson: Invest in product photography that shows your product in use.

8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (5)

The return to school means spending a lot more time in front of a computer screen. Quay’s bluelight classes are exactly what students need to avoid hours of eye strain and uncomfortable headaches.

With clean design, high-quality product photography, and bright colors, this back-to-school campaign nails important elements of email design that draw in the reader.

Quay also understands the experience of shopping for glasses—namely, that it can be difficult to find the right pair for your face. The image of the model wearing the glasses makes it easier for people to picture what the frames might look like on their own face.

4. OSEA Malibu empathizes with teachers

Subject line: A Little Back to School Appreciation

Lesson: Target a specific audience.

8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (6)

Skincare brand OSEA opts for a targeted approach in this back-to-school campaign. Instead of focusing on students and their parents—typically the main target audiences for brands this time of year—they tailor their messaging specifically to teachers.

Teachers are the heroes of the back-to-school season—they spend months planning for the upcoming year, and their lessons shape the experiences and minds of younger generations. OSEA hopes teachers will use their products to practice a little self-care, offering them a discount in appreciation for all they do.

5. Native Deodorant tries to make puberty a little less awful

Subject line: Check out these back to school scents!

Lesson: Solve deep pain points for your target audience.

8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (7)

Puberty—it’s a lot of things for different people, but one thing parents can probably agree on is that it’s smelly.

Native Deodorant leans into this fact in a way that’s helpful for both teens and parents. Their back-to-school email encourages parents to help their teenagers “smell great for the first day of school” (and hopefully avoid any cruel comments from teens who don’t know any better).

Students have enough to worry about on the first day of school, and Native Deodorant wants to make sure how they smell isn’t one of them.

6. She’s Birdie shows up for on-campus safety

Subject line: 🐥10% Off Back to School Sale Starts Today!

Lesson: Insert your product where it’s most helpful.

8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (8)

According to RAINN, 26.4% of female undergraduate students experience sexual violence on campus (and 6.8% of undergraduate men).

She’s Birdie is the brand behind a personal safety alarm trusted by over 3M people—and in this back-to-school email, they remind students their product is there as an option for protecting themselves in the case of an emergency.

On a basic level, this email demonstrates that She’s Birdie understands the risk the back-to-school season poses for some people, and they show up when their product might be most helpful.

7. Candylab uses nostalgic imagery

Subject line: 30% Off Just In Time For Back To School 📚

Lesson: Design your email to spark a specific ✨vibe✨

8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (9)

September can trigger nostalgia for fall: the leaves are beginning to turn, there’s a nip in the air, and kids are headed back to school. With this email, Candylab Toys evokes this exact feeling.

The toys themselves—retro cars and trucks—invoke Americana, but the brand takes it one step further with art featuring a canister full of pencils, a shiny apple on a desk, and a stack of books.

While today’s children may be tapping at an iPad or reading their schoolwork off a desktop, these images feel quaint and bring about positive memories.

8. MONSTERBASS leaves school out of their marketing strategy (almost) altogether

Subject line: Bass to School

Lesson: Don’t sell back-to-school items? Get creative.

8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (10)

MONSTERBASS, a fishing equipment brand that specializes in subscription boxes, uses “Bass to School” as their subject line in this back-to-school marketing email—and when it comes to referencing the actual return to school, that’s about it.

We think that’s really smart. Not only did their wordplay earn them a high open rate, but they don’t try too hard to link the content in this email to the academic year.

Instead, MONSTERBASS shows subscribers how well they know them by giving them the content they want: what’s in the August subscription box, techniques on how to catch schooled bass, and inside info on the best types of baits to use.


8 Back-to-School Tips to Boost Your Q3 Revenue (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tish Haag

Last Updated:

Views: 5872

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tish Haag

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 30256 Tara Expressway, Kutchburgh, VT 92892-0078

Phone: +4215847628708

Job: Internal Consulting Engineer

Hobby: Roller skating, Roller skating, Kayaking, Flying, Graffiti, Ghost hunting, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Tish Haag, I am a excited, delightful, curious, beautiful, agreeable, enchanting, fancy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.