Convincing parents that your school is the best fit for their child goes a long way toward securing a student’s enrollment. In our webinar, “Driving Enrollment through Parent Engagement,” Keith Mock, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Faulkner University, and Linda Quimby, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment at Franklin Pierce University, joined Liaison’s Suzanne Sharp to discuss how you can win a parent’s approval and their son or daughter’s enrollment. View the recording and the slides.
Parents Play an Important Role in Recruitment
Studies have shown that a majority of both students and parents consider parents to be very involved in the student’s decision of where to enroll. 78% of parents rated the good fit of a school for their child as highly important to them, compared to only 15% who rated school rankings as highly important. So how do you convince parents that your school is the best option for their child?
Reach Out Early Through Multiple Channels
You have the best chance of improving your response and yield rates when you communicate with parents and students early in the recruitment process through cross-media channels including phone, email, print, and even web. Are you sending timely email and voice messages to parents and students? Providing important information on personalized microsite pages? Having faculty or staff members call the parents to discuss topics that might be of interest to them? Are you sending relevant print materials? Don’t discount the value of print for validating the other forms of communications; having something physical can make the school seem more real for parents.
Partner With Parents
Create a consistent message that focuses on the key concerns of parents: What will tip the scales one way or another for parents? What market challenges should you address with them? How can you serve them? And then decide how best to communicate with them through every step of the student’s involvement in the application and enrollment process. Send them information not only about your own programs, but also links to websites and blogs that are designed to help them understand the application and enrollment processes in general. Explain to them how to apply for financial aid, keep them in the loop about what steps they need to take next in the application process, and even send them parent checklists and reminders about important deadlines. When parents feel that you understand what is important to them and care enough to help them, they are more likely to consider your school to be the right one for their child.
Personalize Your Message
Personalized cross-media materials, including microsites, email, print, and voice messages, can make a huge impact toward demonstrating to parents that your school cares about their child as an individual. Make these communications more powerful by using data that you’ve gathered about the student and the parents throughout the recruitment process to create materials that are tailored to activities and areas of study in which the student is interested. For instance, if you want to communicate with John Smith’s parents, address your emails and print pieces with a personalized greeting such as “We can’t wait to meet the Smith Family!” or “Keep on track with deadlines, Smith Family.” You’ll be the college of discussion at the family dinner table.
Automated communications are critical for managing a successful parent-engagement strategy. It’s simply not possible to handle manual personalized communication with parents and students throughout each step in the enrollment process. With Liaison’s Enrollment Marketing Platform (EMP), you can manage it all: build and cultivate relationships with parents and students by delivering relevant personalized content across multiple channels and devices. Rather than being an extra system to manage, EMP can be the system that helps you manage all of your communications with students and parents.