Barnes & Noble College

Designing Effective Email Campaigns



The Ask

5.3 million students and faculty members at over 700 campuses nationwide rely on Barnes & Noble College as the country’s leading college campus store operator. BNC needs to provide the right message at the right time, which is a challenge for a brand that varies by school and whose audience has multiple layers of segmentation across parents, alumni, and students.

As one of the top CRM agencies, DEFINITION 6 designed an email program using personalized, dynamic content to scale each message across campuses and segmented audiences. This strategy, which encompasses localized content and an automated cadence of emails, was executed across a national platform and has consistently resulted in higher click-through and conversion rates.


DEFINITION 6 boosted brand loyalty across the six segments by designing separate communication streams supporting a range of audience’ needs be it academic, social or residential. A few highlights

  • Dynamic branching of flow based on behavior
  • Integration of localized campus and course information
  • Integration of purchase and web browsing history into messaging
  • Dynamic content based on course information
  • Aligned administrative triggers to appropriate promotional content
  • Automatically and dynamically respond to survey responses
  • Integrate promotional content into surveys

Our team now sends out over 1 million emails daily to BNC’s growing database of students, parents, and alumni. In addition to email-specific consultation, creative development, and reporting and analytics, we developed segmentation logic to micro-target specific parties with key messages. These emails have routinely delivered seven-figure revenues for key marketing windows such as fall and spring semester kick-offs.

We recently redesigned the bookstore finder microsite for all 780 Barnes & Noble College Bookstores.

The Results


Retail Stores




Increase in click-through rate

More Work