Top 4 Tips for 2023 Back to School Marketing

Top 4 BTS Marketing Tips

As the back to school season approaches once again, marketers are presented with a golden opportunity to tap into a lucrative market: students. To help marketers make the most of this time, check out these valuable insights and tips on how to create impactful campaigns in 2023. 

Top 4 Tips for 2023 Back to School Marketing

Back to school shopping brings opportunities for businesses and marketers across the world. In recent years, back to school shopping has accounted for up to 17% of retail sales. (Fenster, 2016) Supplies, clothing, and electronics are all necessary items for students entering a new school year. On store shelves and online shops, companies fight their way to stand out amongst their competitors. With the looming recession, this retail holiday will look different to previous years and as a marketer, making sure your tactics are up to date is vital. Here are 4 tips on how you can stay ahead of your competition this 2023 academic year.

Use of Social Media and Influencers

Over the past few years, leveraging social media and influencers for brand and product promotions has emerged as a highly popular marketing strategy. With the growth of social media, and the power of a viral video, the use of influencers and social media to promote your brand and product is a no brainer. Apps like Tik Tok, Instagram and Facebook are a good medium to get your products into new homes. These apps seem to be successful in catching consumer’s attention quickly and making an impact in their shopping habits. 35% of consumers in the U.S. claim that social media influences the products they buy. (Fenster, 2016) Though, social media marketing tends to be directed towards adults, children have a massive impact on what their parents buy for them. Trends come and go and the ones who influence most of them, are the children and young adults of Gen Z and Gen Alpha.

Direct Mail Postcards

Postcard retargeting has quickly proven to be an effective way of driving lost consumers back to your website to make a purchase. 70% of online shoppers abandon their cart, parents of school aged children are no different. (Fenster, 2016) Life happens. Parents lose their train-of-thought, get interrupted by their kids, and are on a tight time schedule. Sometimes, consumers who leave your website without purchasing, need a little help finding their way back. Due to the widespread use of digital marketing, online landscapes have become oversaturated, and consumers have adapted to tuning out the pop-up ads that websites display on their online space. The average consumer receives 1000+ digital ads per day, 100+ emails per day, and around 8 pieces of mail per day. With direct mail postcards, the online store doesn’t stay lost in the dozens of open tabs or unopened emails. It ends up in their mailbox and on their table, refrigerator, and desk. A simple reminder of what they need and a discount to go along with it. Direct mail retargeting has proven to work. Through our research, we have found email averages a 0.12% response rate and display ads average a 0.3% response rate, while direct mail averages a 4.4% response rate. With direct mail retargeting, you can create postcards that are personalized, targeted, and will lower your customer acquisition costs.

Promote Savings

With the looming recession, there is no doubt that discounts are going to be a “make it or break it” for some consumer’s shopping habits. Since the pandemic, back to school shopping has switched from a predominantly in person experience to virtual. 62% of shoppers are intending to spend less money than they did in 2022. Offering promotions and discounts can bring new and old consumer’s back to your store both online and in person. These promotions can be offered and used by parents and college students. Being a college student myself, I am way more inclined to complete a purchase when any discount is given. Knowing many companies offer student discounts, I will specifically go to that website or store to purchase items whether that be clothes, electronics, or even supplies for school. It is not surprising that mobile coupons influence where parents choose to shop. Mobile coupons offer convenience, allowing parents to access discounts and promotions quickly and easily from their smartphones. 89% of parents say mobile coupons determine where they shop and 62% say they plan on spending less money than they did last year. (Fenster, 2016) Online and in person sales are a must for this 2023 shopping holiday.

Start Marketing Early

Schools are just now beginning to let out for summer break but that does not mean it is too early to start promoting back to school. In the U.S. specifically, academic years start at varying times. Not only does early promotion help create excitement and buzz around your products, but it allows you to refine and adjust what and how you are promoting yourself. This can save you money as well as create better relationships with your consumers. Marketing early also enables brands to engage with customers more effectively, building stronger relationships and brand loyalty. By providing valuable content, personalized experiences, and excellent customer service, brands can establish themselves as trusted sources of information and support for students and parents alike.


In the ever-evolving world of back to school marketing, employing a multi-faceted approach is crucial to stand out from the competition. By leveraging social media and influencers, incorporating direct mail postcards, promoting savings and discounts, and starting your marketing efforts early, you can create a successful back to school campaign in 2023. Remember, connecting with your target audience emotionally and offering value will go a long way in establishing your brand as a go-to destination for back-to-school needs.

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