Barnes and Noble College | A PhD in Email Engagement | Email

Designing Effective Email Campaigns

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.

We’re Sending Over A Million Emails Daily.


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


After extensive qualitative customer research and a full audit of existing performance data across all channels, DEFINITION 6 identified growth opportunities within CRM and Email.

Enhanced data environment that supported increased real-time personalized customer communications and business intelligence analysis.

Disciplined reporting and wide-spread socialization of channel and content performance to drive organizational improvements.

On-going A/B testing to optimize and enhance the email program.

Leveraged order history data to determine primary and secondary email messaging and cadence for largest textbook campaign of academic year.

Served highly relevant, purchase-based ads in all Transactional messaging to encourage cross-sell & upsell.

Connections at scale.

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.