A few suggestions, ideas and fun facts to enhance the performance of your direct marketing program.
- Postnet Barcodes are retiring on January 28, 2013 Intelligent Mail Barcodes are the FUTURE!
- Color can make a printed piece pop—or flop. The key is in the planning.
- Acquisition Problems? Try A Cross-Over
- Getting Them To Open The Envelope
- Where do you start when you create a fund-raising appeal?
- Writing for Direct Marketing? Make me care.
- Recruiting Prospective College Students?
- What is a QR Code?
- The Power of One
Tips / Techniques
Recruiting Prospective College Students?
“Searching” new students has become more complex even with new technologies. The student recruitment season has become longer, thus the planning for direct communication must be more efficiently mapped out and implemented. Direct Marketing “best practices” are essential for a strategic, comprehensive and successful campaign.
Here are some ways to improve your “Direct” Response:
1. Multi-Channel marketing is a must. When you purchase names, you will improve your chances of a response by contacting the student in many different ways. For example, some students are responsive to email messaging while others will reply to a letter in the mail. Initially, you don’t know their preference, so you need to try all avenues. When they inquire, you can ask for their preferred way to communicate and use that method. Only ask if you can honor their request.
2. Get personal - use the data. The more you know about a student the better your communication can be with them. Utilize the information you have. Speak to their major, sport or activity. If you know they are 200 miles from campus, let them know how close you are to airports. “It’s all about the student”. So speak specifically to THEM and THEY will listen.
3. Try multiple lists and purge duplicate names. Not all students take a Fall PSAT exam. You may be missing prospective students. Test a new list or geographic area. Test the timing of the lists. Successful Search encompasses more than just a one-time mailing.
4. Focus your list. The more specific to your school, the better. If you are purchasing the wrong names, it does not matter what you offer, they won’t reply. If you don’t attract A+ students, don’t waste your money buying their data. Be realistic.
5. Use direct marketing to expand your outreach. Understand that your response will be lower in the new territories. (However, it’s less expensive than travel.) Track by region to see how you are doing year to year.
6. Test, test, test - you will learn something! Test subject line, copy or a mailing package. Remember to keep a control for comparison.
7. Keep letters easy to scan and use a PS. Underline important phrases. Use humor. Don’t use all capital letters. IT’S HARD TO READ.
8. Make an offer. Give students a reason to respond to your message. “What’s in it for them?” Make the offer special. Make it something they can’t get out of a guidebook. What information will you provide if they respond? Repeat the offer in the PS.
9. Don’t confuse features with benefits. Tell the student “why” a new lab is important for them, not just that there “is” a new lab on campus.
10. Tell what is unique about your school and how you are different from the competition.
11. Make it easy to respond. For mail, use a BRE. Online, try a Personal URL or Quick Response Code.
12. Use the student record more than once. Send non-respondent messages via email and mail.
13. Allow students to opt out of email and mail.
14. Follow up to inquiries quickly. Have a sense of urgency. Don’t let your responses sit. When students ask for information, send it to them immediately while they still are interested.
Most colleges and universities are spending much of their shrinking budgets on prospecting new students. At Perrone Group, we will help you set the plan, implement it quickly and cost effectively, and connect you with students who will be a good fit for your community.