Harnessing Technology to Enhance Personal Touch

If you had an opportunity to join us for our webinar “Harnessing Technology to Enhance Personal Touch”,  we’re sure you’re now aware of all the creative and unusual ways every day data is making admissions marketing waves. If you weren’t able to attend – read on! We’ll fill you in on the most important takeaways from the discussion, and you can even watch the full session embedded below.

Suzanne Sharp blog post

Suzanne Sharp, VP of Enrollment Management

Suzanne Sharp, VP of Enrollment Management at Stephens College, shared with us how she utilizes the latest recruitment technology to boost outreach and empower her admissions strategy. The key conclusions of the discussion include:

Personal touch in recruiting works. Developing 1-to-1 meaningful relationships with students is important. Admissions counselors must utilize all media (print, email, mobile, and more) in order to reach students by the most effective means at every step of the admissions process. Because there are so many options available for students, it’s vital to stand out, and the best way to do so is to offer personalized marketing materials that offer information on what matters to each student the most.

Technology should increase personalization, not depersonalize. It’s easy to get caught up in the mess of technology and the vast array of options, choices and tools available. There’s no reason your students should be receiving emails and mailings that are either so generalized or have nothing to do with the student at all. Communicate with small pools of students and provide information that is meaningful to them. This will not only build the relationships with students, but also ensure they will want to be kept in the loop, trusting that you care about their individual search and admissions processes.

Personalize all the major cornerstones of your enrollment strategy: form-fills, “thank-you” response pages, emails, print pieces, visits, application, phone calls, and texts. From the moment a prospect inquires on your website to the moment he/she applies and receive a reminder text to send in a deposit, each part of your strategy can and should be easily managed, personalized, and tracked with a real-time data platform. For instance, Stephens has a unique policy that allows pets to live in its dorms. As such, the Stephens’ inquiry form-fill asks its prospects the type and name of any pets they would like to bring to campus. Because general and unique information is collected into their real-time data platform, this information is utilized in creative ways from printing pet-themed postcards to printing a special dedicated section in their viewbook “calling out” to the inquiry’s pet. The key is to first collect the necessary standard information and capitalize on capturing unique information from your prospect to highlight your school’s brand and make a personal connection.

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Phone calls are always important. Although it may be easier to communicate via email or even text, the phone call is an important touch-point in the admissions process. Students need to hear a voice to make a real connection with your admissions counselors, they can learn more about each student, and have any of the student’s questions answered. The useful information discussed in the phone call should be logged in your system to enhance any future communication and ensure the student doesn’t just feel like a little fish in a very big sea of prospective students.

Technology can increase your numbers. Suzanne Sharp, and the Admissions team at Stephens College has been able to increase their visit, application and deposit numbers due to their increased efforts in utilizing technology.

Most importantly, if utilized properly, technology can help admissions counselors understand their students to their fullest extent, which benefits your university in countless ways. Suzanne stated, “We know the students better, we feel like we really have a handle on who the class is coming in at this point, who they are and what’s important to them.”

If you’re interested feel free to watch the full session here.