Visiting campuses safely in 2021
With Covid-19 still causing significant disruption to life as we once knew it, school and college recruiting has fallen victim to the pandemic. With the effects of the virus not being felt at scale until late March of 2020, many prospective parents and students had already made their decisions. Now, the class of 2021 missed an entire year of college visits and exposure to your institution.
Life in college and private school admissions is challenging. Students have worked hard throughout their high school careers to give themselves options to select the school that best suits them. The challenge now is showing these talented prospective students what your institution has to offer.
With campus visits being canceled, students aren’t able to physically get on campus to visit their home for the next 4+ years. As if that wasn’t enough, if they are able to get on campus for a visit, it’s likely they’re not able to meet with students & faculty to gain the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision. On top of that, the environment they’ll come to see in the spring of 2021 won’t be their 4-year experience, things will get better (eventually)!
How are you planning to overcome these obstacles?
Standard direct mail is a viable option. It’s cost-efficient and it gets your message to students with a physical touch which holds weight in creating message recall. However, this is something that everyone is doing. Every school does direct mail, and rightfully so, but it’s not as much of a differentiator as you’ll need to convince students that your institution is right for them.
So, how can you differentiate yourself while being virtual for college visits? There are two key avenues that you can explore to help yourself make a lasting impression on prospective students. Let’s take a look.
Video Mailers: Arguably the most impactful way to reach students is through video mailers. The benefit of sending video mail is twofold. First, it’ll stand out amongst the vanilla of everyday mail and the mail that prospective students are receiving from rival schools. It’s heavier, bulkier, and will appeal physically. But more importantly, it gives you the opportunity to tell your story to students & parents directly. You can give an accurate portrayal of your campus told by current students, alumni & faculty. You can give info on majors, extracurriculars, and key admissions details. Any story you need to convey, you can through video mailers. These are especially effective pieces for prospective graduate students as they’ll be making a significant investment in your institution and some of your messages may be more complex.
Print + Promo: Another way to make an impact is by pairing print collateral with a promo product. When you send a mailer, you’re getting in front of students physically. But like we’ve discussed, and it’s nothing new to you that other schools are doing it too. So how much is that alone going to help you stand out? It’s more effective than email, but it’s what everyone is doing. One way to enhance your direct mail campaigns is by adding a promo product to the mailer. The benefit is that when your prospects are finished with your literature component, they have a promo product to hold onto afterward. This helps you extend the life of your message. From pop sockets to branded face coverings and everywhere in between, promo products add a physical element that helps you stand out.
It’s never been more challenging to reach students. Since you can’t meet with them face-to-face on campus, bring a taste of campus to them with video mailers and promo products to remember you by.
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