As students are increasingly applying to and being accepted by greater numbers of schools, enrolling them at your school requires a greater marketing push from acceptance right through their first day on campus. In our webinar, “Innovative Marketing Tactics to Maximize Student Yield,” Liaison’s Suzanne Sharp (Executive Director for Enrollment Management Consulting) and Drew Bancroft (Director of Creative Services) discussed how to use the power of enrollment marketing technology to ensure students that your school is the best one for them.
It’s no surprise that yield is declining. Students are applying to more schools than ever before and are receiving multiple acceptances, but the number of students who are applying is not increasing. As a result, it’s no longer enough to focus your efforts on attracting more applicants to your schools; even when you dramatically increase the number of applications you receive, you can still experience declining yield. So where should you focus your marketing efforts to increase your yield?
Nurture Accepted and Deposited Students
While you need to focus on driving students to apply, you can begin an even greater push to get students to your school after you’ve accepted them. To achieve this push, you might need to move more of your resources to target students who have been accepted so that you can continue nurturing them through their first day on campus. As you communicate with your accepted students, make sure that they have a clear view of the steps they need to take to move forward. Don’t underestimate the value of providing checklists and pointers to guide them through enrolling and selecting housing and classes.
Share Personalized, Relevant Communications
Be sure that the communication you are sharing with accepted students is targeted and relevant. Consider how you can use technology better or differently so that your school stands out as the obvious choice. For your accepted students, up your game—communicate strategically across the channels that they prefer. Use a personalized URL (PURL), a dynamic microsite that provides targeted information, to help you to collect and use information about the student’s interests and communication preferences. When you know that a student is interested in a particular major, sport, or other activity, update the student’s PURL with pages specific to those topics. Inquire about whether they want you to send email or text messages and then communicate through those means.
Utilize Your Community of Resources
Make it easy for your accepted students to build a personal relationship with members of your school community. Enlist the help of your existing students, faculty, coaches, and alumni to connect accepted students with people whose interests and career path are a match, and offer a Private Social Network (PSN) to connect them with other potential and current students. When they begin to develop a bond and sense of commitment to members of your community, applicants are more likely to want to attend your school.
Don’t forget the role families play in influencing a student’s decision. Reach out to parents with targeted communications about topics that interest or concern them, and keep them engaged right through the first semester. Partner with the family to get the whole family excited about their student enrolling with you.
Invest in a System that Brings Your Efforts Together
You might be wondering how you can possibly manage these marketing challenges with limited resources. Liaison’s Enrollment Management Platform (EMP) offers a way to manage it all through one system that can help you deliver relevant, personalized content to students and their families across multiple channels and devices. With EMP, you can focus on nurturing prospective students from first interest to first day on campus.