It wouldn’t be very practical to send your staff door-to-door to greet prospective/current students and parents. However, with the right tools, you can still deliver an extremely personalized experience in a fraction of the time. All you’ll need to start is a camcorder and an email list.
Depending on how much time you have, you can really scale this marketing concept to match your goals. You might first try recording a general message from the Principal/Dean/Headmaster to inform parents and students about the upcoming school year. This message can be sent to the entire list in minutes! At the same time, it will give your mass-communication an added personal touch.
It’s super easy to find and create more video content and it doesn’t have to be professionally produced. In fact, minimally produced videos often have a much more authentic feel. So make it a habit to walk around campus frequently- smartphone in hand. You should have no shortage of potential content. Record things like:
- Student Interactions: prospective students love to see friendship experiences at schools
- Classroom Clips: show parents the exceptional learning opportunities and show prospective students that learning at your school is fun and unique
- Sporting events: connect with prospective athletes and show them the school spirit and camaraderie on your teams
- Performances and art shows: appeal to their creative side
The more personal digital communication is, the more likely that person is to remember your school. Furthermore, if you’re marketing to achieve a certain goal, personalized, targeted emails have a significantly higher conversion rate (i.e. the percentage of people who fill out a voluntary form or sign up for an open house). According to Marketing Sherpa, targeted emails enjoy a 208% increase in conversion rate vs. untargeted emails.
Ways to Segment Your Email Lists & Personalize the Email Experience:
- Segment by grade level and introduce the teachers for each grade level. You might also introduce the incoming/prospective student to other students in their grade. This will give students and parents an opportunity to feel like a part of the school before they even attend an open house.
- Segment by expressed interest. Depending on whether the student expressed an interest in tennis or theatre you can put them in different buckets and send them different messages. The tennis player can meet the tennis coach, while the theatre student can get a sneak peak of the upcoming audition for the fall musical.
- Segment by neighborhood or zip code to offer car-pooling. Record a video explaining that parents in “Neighborhood XYZ” have participated in carpooling and if they are interested they can sign up at your website. This will bring comfort to many parents with busy schedules.
- Segment by the current admissions process step while offering video tips and reminders to nurture families through the process.
If you have a school database or admissions software that allows you to segment your audience, you can make your emails even more personal. It is even easier if your software allows you to send customized bulk messages directly from within the database. But, even if you don’t have software that does this for you, as long as you have a system for keeping track of the data, you still can do mail merges. I know, I know… running mail merges is about as fun as pulling teeth, but they will get the job done.
On that note, relax and enjoy this summer as you plan for a successful admissions season next year!
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