Back-to-School season came and went with all of the usual fanfare. Shopping started as early as two months prior to the first day of school and, according to eMarketer, over $56 billion was projected for back-to-school ecommerce sales.

Online shopping begins earlier and ends earlier than in-store shopping and the email inbox remains a crucial channel for brands during this season.

Study up on these three trends that help brands score high marks in the email inbox.

1. A+ Bloggers

More and more brands are leveraging blog content in email to differentiate themselves from batch-and-blast offer-driven messaging. The Gap featured an in-email product review from popular blog Momma’s Gone City. Spring, the mobile shopping app, highlights a back-to-school lookbook curated by fashion bloggers and “shot” only on iPhones. Featuring real people, especially those with less-than-modest social followings, is a great way to add authenticity your emails.

2. Content Marketing is the New Teacher’s Pet

During back-to-school, brands should be asking themselves one question: How do I become Mom’s best friend? Minted does just that with real, relevant information that is helpful to their target audience reading their emails. Minted employs this strategy in email throughout the whole year and establishes themselves as a brand their customers can identify with and trust.

3. Bring an Apple for Mom

According to Dallas Lawrence, senior vice president at Rubicon Project, moms are in charge of the purchase decisions when it comes to back-to-school shopping. That’s no surprise to many emails marketers who target mom in the inbox. Ben Bridge is one brand who turns back-to-school season into an excellent reason for mom to treat herself.

Brands who passed Back-to-School 101 leveraged content from blogs and used content marketing tactics to create authentic emails that appeal to moms. For extra credit, brands will use these tactics all year long for success in the inbox.