By Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services
As you start to communicate and attempt to build relationships with this next class of students, remember this – Timing and consistency are extremely important!! Without both of those things, you’ll get less engagement and less action being taken.
We’ve talked before about why consistency matters. As a quick reminder, consistency gives prospective students and parents a predictable flow of information. It also helps you create trust and rapport, and it helps to prompt a response.
Now let’s talk about the importance of timing and the similar role it plays in a successful enrollment communications plan.
Our ongoing focus group research with students continues to reveal that the majority wanted colleges and universities to communicate with them in some shape or form (email, letter, text message, phone call) every 6 to 9 days during their college search.
To be clear, I’m not talking about “checking in” and asking if they have any questions. Every 6 to 9 days you need to communicate a core part of your school’s story. That story should come from the admissions counselor and talk about things like your academic environment, campus life, your school’s location, resources, and how you’re going to prepare them for life after college. You need to clearly explain the benefits of those things (and why it will be better at your school than their other options), and then ask the student (or parent) for their thoughts or how they’re feeling about things.
If you take that approach and communicate your different value points in a conversational and personalized manner, it will prompt questions, ideas, comments, and feedback.
I’m often asked by our clients – When I get a response or question back and it doesn’t seem to require a reply immediately, is it okay to hold off and incorporate something they said or asked about in a future communication I have with them?
The answer is no. I want you to reply right away.
That brings us to the second part of why timing is so important. Prospective students (and their parents) are judging your interest in them by how quickly you reply back. The longer it takes, the less important they feel. And considering how hard it is for most colleges to get students to engage, I want you to take advantage of your hard work.
Reply immediately, engage and nurture every conversation you can, and use that to deepen your relationship with the student.
Generating feedback and a conversation should be your goal every time you tell part of your school’s story.
When you do that, you increase the likelihood that they’ll take the next step in process.
If this article was helpful, go ahead and forward it to someone else on your campus who could benefit from reading it.
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