Marketing to college students gets more sophisticated

College-bound students represent a unique niche.

While these students are typically tech-savvy, traditional marketing also retains its appeal.

Here are some interesting statistics from a Noel-Levitz E-Expectations 2012 survey of college-bound juniors and seniors:

  • 97% will open an email from schools they are interested in attending
  • 68% will open an email from schools they do not know about
  • 72% use brochures and print mail to add to their knowledge of potential colleges
  • 69% believe college websites are the most effective way to learn about new schools

So how can you leverage this information to help get your message to their door?

Use integrated marketing campaigns to score with students

Since more channels = more response, and this segment is highly responsive to print and digital media, we created a dimensional mailer for St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, New York, that sent students to a personal URL (Purl).

Our objective was to entice admitted students to attend an accepted students session and say, Yes! to St. Joseph’s College.

We chose a unique vehicle called CargoCard, a lightweight, cost-effective, 3-dimensional mailer with a hidden pocket, available as a postcard, bi-fold and tri-fold. You can use the secret pocket to stow promotional items but we featured a pinball basketball game behind a clear, see-through window instead, to give the mailer an interactive element and highlight the school’s new basketball stadium.

The tri-fold CargoCard offered enough real estate to:

  • enumerate the skills students would obtain in their intended major
  • mention companies where graduates are currently working
  • profile successful graduates
  • touch on the school’s unique advantages
  • promote attendance at the admitted student seminar

Up the ante with personalization

The promotion was highly personalized, reaching each student by name, including the advantage of their intended major, from biology to business, education to liberal studies social sciences to computer science/math. Our call to action motivated students to visit their personal web address to get a free $15 iTunes Card and enter for a chance to win an Apple iPad.

Once at their personal page, the student was welcomed by name to a talented group of accepted students in their program. Students entered to win the iPad and rsvp’d to attending the Admitted Student Seminar.

Tell a story

Sacred Heart University’s new Bachelor of Science in Health Science program wanted to attract more students to the program, which offered a Pre-Professional and Leadership Track.

Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT worked with PromoWriting to develop two brochures, each one showcasing the story and photograph of a current student in that track. The stories featured a quote from the student, a background sketch, the student’s biggest surprise and plans for down the road.

Research from the Pew Research center and other sources indicated incoming students want to hear from those currently enrolled in a program they are considering, and these student profiles gave prospective students a fuller picture of who is a good candidate and what is entailed.

The student profiles were the lead-in to segments addressing students’ dreams and discussing the positive outlook for healthcare practitioners. The unique aspects of the program, its flexibility and the components of each track were described, along with a section on health science as a minor.

Take the guesswork out of marketing

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