We get this question all the time: what is the sweet spot for messaging students? When is it too much? When is it too little?
When we think about quantity in terms of marketing, typically you have to get in front of someone seven times before you truly grab their attention.
But there really isn’t a magic number that’s one-size-fits-all. So let’s stop thinking about quantity and start thinking about quality.
Variability in Messaging
You don’t want to rely solely on one type of messaging. We always recommend our client-partners mix it up with both print and digital outreach.
Having a diversity in platform motivates different pockets of students, giving you the ultimate bang for your buck.
And hey, maybe not every student gets every piece. Some students will be more interested in learning about academics over athletics, financial aid versus student life.
That’s where personalization comes in. We’re not just talking about addressing your emails “Hey [FirstName]”.
A personal note intermixed in your communications flow could make the difference in moving inquiries to visits and applications.
Don’t be afraid to sound human when answering prospects’ questions. We promise it will be much more well-received than a robotic, templated answer. Great service towards your students makes a huge difference in the crowded higher ed marketplace.
When we keep in mind the type of student we’re marketing to and what their interests and concerns are, our outreach will be more successful.
Keep It Simple
Have you ever received a lengthy email with multiple calls-to-action and immediately hit that delete button? Yeah, that’s what students will do if you stuff too much information into one message.
We all know Gen Z doesn’t have the most…. long-lasting …. attention span. Breaking information up into topic-based, palatable bites is key.
But how do we decide this? Well, you should always keep in mind the process you’re trying to ignite by sending this message.
Do you want them to apply for a certain scholarship? Visit an open house? Whatever it is you’re trying to get the student to do, make it easier for a student to take this action by keeping it streamlined and focused.
And with that, make the message straightforward with one call-to-action per reach out.
Quantity Matters… to an extent
Okay, so there is such a thing as too much. When you over-send mail or emails, it can be overwhelming for the student. More than likely, your mail piece will end up in ye ol’ garbage can or your email in the spam box.
Unless that message fits an exact need, don’t send it. Because students are just as busy as we are, and they don’t have time (nor the desire) to read 100 messages from X school.
Think of it kind of like dating. You don’t want to be too available, or you’ll come off as desperate and easily ignorable.
When evaluating what messages to send, we highly recommend looking at industry standard open rates. If your emails aren’t performing well in comparison, it’s time to re-evaluate. And A/B testing is a fabulous way to accomplish this.
Think About the Journey
Communication flows aren’t limited to what you send long-distance.
Let’s say you got that student on to campus, which means they’ll have a much higher likelihood of enrolling. What are you handing the student when they arrive? Is it the same material they’ve received in the mail?
Ensure that every step the student makes through the enrollment funnel offers new and useful information. Otherwise, you’re wasting time, paper, and money.
A secondary communication flow might just be necessary to make sure no prospect falls out towards the end of the funnel.
Evaluating Your Communication Flow Structure with The Parish Group
So when you’re examining your communications flow, remember that QUALITY builds relationships more than quantity. And don’t be afraid to jump out of one-size-fits all marketing.
Ultimately your school’s unique selling point should guide what’s dictated in your overall messaging.
If your school’s comm flow could use a tune-up, reach out! Our admission pros have decades of experience in higher ed admissions and are ready to help.
Call us at 828.505.3000 or email us at email@example.com
Together, we do BIG things.