The average high school student may easily have received 100 texts today, been tagged on social media several dozen times, and opened a large number of emails. It is just as likely that the postman left not one piece of mail for them.
There is an overwhelming tendency to assume that, because a tsunami of graduating seniors are internet savvy, they are not interested in traditional mail. Higher education marketing cannot afford to make that assumption. We know that when the pendulum swings away from the norm, it eventually swings back. Online marketing is not an “all or nothing at all” proposition, but marketing itself is.
Differentiate with Direct Mail
The key to differentiation is to not get lost in the crowd. Don’t abandon using technology to attract students, but do something that others are not. Use the crowd to your advantage by not following it.
Mail is personal. There is a mystique about a mail box. There is something inexplicably exciting about opening both the mailbox and the envelopes inside. “It’s like opening a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” But when there is nothing in the box, there can be a very personal sense of disappointment. That’s how we are wired.
Discover the Power of Direct Mail
The Direct Mail Association recently published a study that indicates that – believe it or not – direct mail is still the least costly method of turning a lead into a customer. In this scenario that customer would be a student. The same study also revealed that direct mail has a conversion rate of 65%.
Discern the Possibilities of Direct Mail
The best printing companies are now using digital printing. Digital printing permits a direct mail campaign to be personalized and customized with text and graphics keyed to each individual in your school’s database. The possibilities for personalization now go far beyond the insertion of a prospect’s name, sending the same message, yet allowing the tailoring of a direct mail piece uniquely for each recipient.
Put Some Nuts Inside the Chocolates
Remember, “You never know what you’re going to get.” Include an invitation to an online meeting with one of the deans and offer a special bonus if the prospect attends. Include a special memento, such as a school decal or even a t-shirt with the school logo. Direct mail is not limited to a standard, business-size envelope.
Put Some Icing on the Outside
Sometimes a postcard can say it all and say it for everyone to see. It’s economical and it is ideal for invitations, announcements, saying thank you, and follow up.
Speaking of follow up, effective direct mail marketing for institutes of higher education must be in the form of a well-planned campaign. A campaign that includes continual follow up keeps your school in touch with your prospects and it keeps putting surprises in their mailbox. Make direct mail an integral component of your overall marketing campaign. You will love the results.
To learn more about our services and how we can help you with higher education marketing, please contact us.
Lou Gutheil writes on a wide variety of subjects, including investments, immigration, technology, NGOs, and, of course, higher education marketing.