When navigating the world of college admissions, your marketing and communication efforts are often beholden to the ever-present enrollment numbers. But with more and more students applying to six or more schools, what can you do as an admissions rep to improve your recruitment efforts and draw in students with a variety of options at hand?
Here are some tips for upping your communication game.
With so many college options in play, student prospects are getting inundated with information from every which way—and much of it looks and feels similar. So when you're on a phone call with a potential recruit, remember to read the room. Is the student in question giving one-word feedback? Are all the questions coming from your end? It might be a sign that this particular time of day isn't good for the prospective student, or maybe he or she would be better served with a different method of communication. Don't force it—be ambitious, but not aggressive.
Email strategy is likely a big part of your communication process with your potential recruits. So how do you prioritize the messaging in your emails? Do you send a to-do list packed with deadlines and three to four requested actions? It's time to simplify. Ensure your emails are prioritizing a call to action that is the lowest-hanging fruit and accomplishes something useful to the onboarding process. Rather than including a housing app, course registration access and financial aid form all in one email, try prioritizing the most critically important and focus the body of your email on emphasizing this subject in particular for the recipient.
Do you send mailers and electronic communication that looks the same for everyone, regardless of the type of community they live in or their household income? Your communications should cater to the end user. If you're communicating with a student from a larger city, emphasize your campus's wealth of free-time options that make the experience more comparable to his or her lifestyle. Or a student whose household income may be lower—emphasize financial aid and scholarship options. Cater your messaging more specifically, and you'll forge a more genuine connection in the recruitment process.
Generationally speaking, your college recruits may not fully understand the ins and outs of applications and the various paperwork that comes with it—but they may not let you know they need your assistance. Your communication strategy should assume that your list of contacts needs context and some guidance on where to start and what to prioritize in the admissions process. Be proactive—send reminders about upcoming deadlines and tips on what t include in admissions essays or how to budget for a study abroad experience. It will endear you to them come college-decision time.