The Future of Viewbooks: In Print, Online, Mobile, & Beyond

Jan 27, 2016

To successfully engage today’s “always on” students, colleges and universities need to ensure that today’s viewbooks offer more than general, static content. Linda Quimby, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment at Franklin Pierce University, joined Liaison’s Suzanne Sharp to discuss how to modernize viewbooks as part of an overall enrollment marketing strategy that combines personalized print, emails, texts, and voice messaging.

Moving Beyond Traditional Viewbooks

Providing traditional viewbooks—30+ pages of content describing everything that might attract a potential applicant to your school and bulk mailed—is far from optimal when marketing to today’s “always on” generation. When potential applicants who’ve requested information about your programs need to wait even a few days to receive a printed viewbook, you lose an opportunity to grab their attention at the moment that they are interested. With the costs to create, print, and ship traditional viewbooks adding up fast, their static content makes them likely to be outdated very quickly, leaving you with more of them than you can use. What happens if you add a new program? If you find an error after printing? Or if something newsworthy occurs that you want to highlight for prospective students? You end up throwing away a very large investment.

Traditional viewbooks are not targeted to a specific student’s needs and interests, not trackable, and not integrated with other media. As a one-way promotion, they don’t go far enough in establishing an interactive relationship with potential applicants.

Develop a Cross-Media Approach

So how can you provide viewbooks that include all of the information you want to share with potential applicants in a personalized, relevant, cost-effective manner? Incorporate them into an automated, targeted, cross-media admissions program driven by an integrated CRM.

With the right tools and process in place, you can develop a cross-media approach that offers content optimized for multiple electronic devices and media to keep the information you are sharing up-to-date and relevant. When you provide an online viewbook as a complement to a personalized print viewbook, you can integrate video, your Twitter feed, and other social network links. If you are tracking what the student is clicking on and opening, you can immediately and automatically update the online content to better match the potential applicant’s interests. This gives you more opportunities to deliver pertinent information immediately to your prospective students.

The Future of Viewbooks is Here

Using the Enrollment Marketing Platform (EMP), you can provide targeted outreach, trackable data, and automated fulfillment and nurture—all from one system. EMP can generate an online inquiry form and can automatically store the information gathered from that form in a database. You can then use that data to develop targeted information to respond to the inquiry. As soon as the inquiry form is submitted, the system can automatically generate an online viewbook at a personalized URL (PURL), providing content that is immediately relevant to that student, based on the information in the inquiry form. If the student has indicated interest in chemistry, student government, and hockey, for example, the PURL can include pages related to the specific major, activity, and sport. That same information can be used to generate a personalized print-on-demand viewbook that serves as a nice complement to the online information. Students who have inquired are also added to nurture campaigns and can receive personalized emails, texts, and voice messaging. They are then kept aware of upcoming events and activities likely to be of interest to them, based on the information you’ve gathered.

Using EMP, you can replace your traditional viewbooks with relevant, engaging communications that offer you cost savings, increased effectiveness, more flexibility, and detailed personalization.

To learn more about how you can use the EMP to revolutionize your viewbooks and other communications with prospective students, view the full webinar here.

You may also enjoy

Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 40,000 programs on more than 1,200 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.