According to the latest Tudor Collegiate Strategies research (March, 2020) on frequency of communications from colleges and universities during the college search process, 95.4% of students wanted to receive at least one letter per month, and 75.2% wanted at least one email per week.
Now, how would prospective students describe those emails, letters, and other communications that make up your undergraduate enrollment communications plan? Does everything look and sound like what they’re receiving from other colleges and universities – a lot of facts and figures; a lot of robotic language that’s purely transactional; and messages that are too long and put too much pressure on the student to immediately take action. That’s the feedback students consistently give us in our ongoing focus group surveys.
Having personalized and engaging communications that tell a better story and help your college or university to be more relational and less transactional has never been more important!
When it comes to other communication pain points and frustrations for students during their college search, they also consistently tell us these things:
- First and foremost, they want more personalization in all communications (emails, letters, phone calls, text messages) and situations (campus/virtual visit, high school visit, college fairs).
- They want emails, letters, and phone calls to be shorter and less formal.
- They want colleges and universities to show more empathy and recognize what they’re going through.
- They want the “why” and the “how” explained better – including why they should visit or apply, and how various aspects of your college/university are truly different than other similar profile schools.
- They want a mix of communications throughout their college search. In 2020, the majority of students say they’re comfortable with one letter per month, one email per week, one phone call per month, and one text message per month from a college or university.
- Social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube should show current student “day in the life” experiences from the current student perspective – not from the admissions or marketing lens.
Tudor Collegiate Strategies heeds that advice, along with additional feedback straight from your target audience about how they wanted colleges and universities to communicate with them during their search. The end result is a comprehensive and personalized student recruitment communication strategy that we call “The Total Recruiting Solution.” It’s giving colleges and universities an extra edge when it comes to getting the attention of prospective students (and their parents), and increasing their interest and engagement levels.
Check out this response from a prospective student after she received a TCS generated email from a client of ours:
“I just wanted to tell you that, even though this email was more than likely sent by a robot, receiving this meant a lot to me. I get all sorts of emails from colleges that contain nothing but shallow compliments and information on the school. It has been a while since I have felt such a personal touch from a piece of college-related mail. Even if this will only be seen by a computer and all I get back is a quick “thank you,” email, I hope you know that it was really therapeutic to write this. I am excited to look further into your school.”
Our year-long research-based email and letter campaigns will save you time, eliminate the guesswork, personalize the process, and increase engagement between students and families and your admissions/enrollment team. Your admissions counselors will become better communicators and more efficient territory managers.
Our team at TCS understands that every college and university is different, and we pride ourselves on meeting your individual needs. We will help you consistently deliver impactful, authentic messages that explain and reiterate the different parts of your college or university’s unique story that is your value proposition.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
- We partner with your admission and marketing/communication staffs to create a year-long master recruiting plan that targets both high school seniors and juniors. There are no gaps.
- We conduct survey research with both incoming and current students, and we combine that with our database of national research on communication preferences and decision-making factors.
- The focus of your monthly messaging will be a series of topics that students tell us are important to them as they’re trying to figure out which college or university is the “best fit.”
- We also create parent and high school guidance counselor communications each month to engage and help cultivate relationships with those influencers.
- We train you and your admissions team on a number of topics, including how to lead the conversation and be more intentional with the questions you ask. Along with that, part of each communication plan includes monthly talking points for your admissions counselors that tie in with that month’s messaging topic.
- We also provide you with a social media focus each month that includes content recommendations to help you effectively deliver the all-important student lens on different topics.
- When requested, we craft unique ad hoc messages throughout the year to target specific groups of students (ex. cold inquiries, incomplete apps), and to push specific actions (visit campus, apply, FAFSA completion, deposit).
- Once students start to choose your college or university, we provide a separate set of messages for committed students to help prevent “melt.”
- We provide ongoing staff training on how to effectively guide a student/family through the entire college search process.
Our clients consistently tell us that besides high levels of engagement from students and parents like they’ve never seen before, our messaging helps admissions counselors better understand the mindset of students in their territories – including how and when many of them will make their college decisions.
Numerous colleges and universities we’ve worked with have achieved record freshmen enrollment thanks in part to their partnership with Tudor Collegiate Strategies. We’ve also helped schools increase their application numbers, FAFSA completion rates, as well as the number of campus visits in a cycle.
“The TCS team has challenged us to reframe the way we approach communication with students, families, and school counselors. They have helped us craft a relational communication strategy that is true to our institutional identity. It has transformed our interactions with students and driven us to big results. They are truly a partner in that they are responsive to our feedback and available to any of our staff to talk through everything from drip marketing strategies to staff burnout. The whole admission team knows Jeremy, has his cell phone number, and knows that he’s available to them when needed. It’s about relationships and that’s what TCS is all about.”
*Illinois College set records for its largest first-year class in school history in 2019.
You can check out more client stories here.
YOUR NEXT STEP
Contact Jeremy Tiers (Director of Admissions Services) directly at email@example.com and start a conversation about your specific needs, pricing, timing, and more.