Now more than ever institutions of higher education face stiff competition when it comes to reaching, recruiting, and enrolling new students. In today’s post-pandemic world, high school students and families often seek colleges with flexible learning options, such as both online and in-person classes, and results-oriented degrees. Colleges and universities that are adapting and implementing these options on a permanent basis find themselves expanding their reach as their pool of potential students increases exponentially.
As the needs and expectations of potential college students evolve, so are the recruiting strategies of colleges and universities. Research shows that traditional student recruitment no longer works for colleges and universities as effectively as it once did. For example, sending a direct mail piece about a school to parents’ homes continues to decline in effectiveness. In comparison, email marketing drives higher results among prospective students and garners a significantly higher ROI for college recruitment offices when compared to direct mail.
5 Tips for Effectively Using Email Marketing to Reach Potential College Students
Innovative email recruitment strategies and tactics that address the needs of prospective students can give a college a competitive edge. Consider these top tips for effectively reaching and recruiting prospective college students that can set your school apart from the competition.
- Reach out to the right mentors and influencers in the college decision-making process. The most effective email campaigns begin by first defining and connecting with the K-12 counselors, principals, coaches, and other administrators or teachers who influence the college decision choice of students in your ideal demographic. While prospective students face more choices for colleges, they still look to trusted sources to guide their decisions. Consider building an email marketing campaign specifically to equip these trusted sources to point prospective students to your university.
- Create a Virtual Tour. Colleges can address their expanded reach by offering virtual tours to students. On-campus visits may not work for every student, especially students outside a college’s geographical area. However, offering a virtual tour option makes it convenient for potential students to visit a school, learn more about what makes that school unique, and begin to visualize themselves attending that college. Use a virtual tour to show prospective students how their lives would improve if they chose to attend your school. Some schools find success by showcasing student-centric stories so prospects can easily relate to the experience.
- Begin the recruiting process early. Long before the college application process begins for high school seniors, they begin thinking about college and being exposed to the college experience through older friends or family members. By connecting with students early in their high school career, colleges and universities can begin building a relationship by highlighting how their school could be a good fit for them in the future.
- Use targeted alumni testimonials. For your email campaign, highlight testimonials from students who graduated from the targeted area. What do they love about your college or university? Why would someone from their hometown or county be a good fit? Why would someone from the South like attending a school in the Northwest? Think creatively about how to best leverage testimonials in your email campaigns to help prospects connect with your school and the unique experience it offers.
- Anticipate questions and be ready to respond. Today’s generation expects a quick response. Prior to sending out an email campaign, prepare a list of frequently asked questions with responses already written. This can help you and your recruitment team quickly follow up with prospective students who respond to your email campaign. A timely answer helps build trust and strengthens a relationship between a prospective student and the recruitment team.
Where to Find the Best List of Email Addresses for K12 School Administrators
Do you want to connect with potential college freshmen and tell them why your school might be a good fit for them? We can help. For more than a decade, our up-to-date and affordable email lists offer a proven way for colleges and universities to reach K12 decision makers, including principals, coaches, counselors and other school employees who are most likely to influence students’ college choices.