The Future of Viewbooks

Curious about the next big thing in admissions marketing outreach? On March 31, over 350 higher ed professionals attended Liaison’s groundbreaking webinar The Future of Viewbooks: In Print, Online, Mobile and Beyond and got a first-hand look at the strategies and concepts shaping the modern admissions game, with big takeaways on how they can apply those strategies at their own institutions.

Liaison’s Suzanne Sharp, Executive Director for Enrollment Management Consulting, helmed the session, and was joined by Linda Quimby, Executive Director for Enrollment at Franklin Pierce University, as well as Ron de los Santos, Director of Enrollment Management at Resurrection University. Together, the panel examined the traditional format of the static print viewbook and explored the ways that technology is transforming that model of admissions outreach.

In targeting the ‘Always On Generation’—as they describe wired Millennials and tech savvy adult learners—the panel advised that all communication be served immediately, in a relevant and personal capacity, responsive to all formats.

72% of all student interactions with college marketing are on a mobile device

The classic viewbook model—static, costly, and slow—is being replaced by dynamic, personalized print materials, supported by emails, texts, voice blasts, and personalized microsites, all driven by variable student data. The panel described how this approach to marketing collateral integration not only drastically improved yield for their institutions, but allowed for better relationship development with more prospects without requiring more staff.

Franklin Pierce University’s First Year Impact after implementing these strategies:
Inquiries up 50% • Applications up 66% • Quality Applicants up 48% • Deposits up 64%

Franklin Pierce University’s approach to the modern viewbook model—a combination of online and digital print content that is built on a foundation of variability—highlights how much can be done to personalize the viewbook experience with relatively little personal data. By capturing key information at the inquiry gateway, FPU was able to serve relevant information to prospective students from the first touch. All outbound communications used the same data source and were intentionally scheduled across different media to avoid contact congestion or dead spots. The move towards cross-media variability outreach, as opposed to static outreach, has had a direct effect on the increase in yield rates since implementation.

Resurrection University’s First Year Impact after implementing these strategies:
Inquiry goal met in 3/4s of previous record time • Summer completed applications up 36% • Summer accepted rate up 32% • Summer enrollment nearly doubled for 2015

ResU’s complex programming as a health care institution means they have a diverse student pool, ranging from undergrad transfers to working professionals seeking advanced degrees. In addition to sending hard copy variable viewbooks to prospective students, ResU delivered personalized microsites for every student—which displayed only information pertinent and relevant to each student. The microsite includes program information, savable checklists and applications, social media integration, and contact points for reps. Additionally, student browsing is tracked for informed follow-up.

58% of parents indicated that print is their preferred medium

The panel also explored how the increasing influence of parents in undergraduate admissions requires creating a communication track just for them. They suggest that using dynamic digital print to connect and inform parents is key, especially in competitive markets where the admissions ‘experience’ can weigh heavily into final deposit decisions.

Take a few minutes to view the free webinar and see what you might want to apply in your own strategy. And, we invite you to attend our next webinar: Digital Print in the Grad Market. Find details about that and other upcoming webinars at