Trials of an Enrollment Guy! Enrollment Management Part 2

“The plumber’s pipes don’t always get fixed even by the plumber”

Click here to read Trials of an Enrollment Guy! Enrollment Management Part 1.

This post is my second installment in the continuing story about my 17 year old son.  He is a very intelligent (top 10 in his class), rising senior in high school (rural area of upstate South Carolina), baseball player, social media lover, southern boy who loves to be outside in the woods, water and wild. I am a 40ish year old Dad of two boys, with a wife that still can hold her own even with 3 guys in the house! I have spent most of my working life in higher education enrollment, with a brief hiatus (5 years) into corporate sales.  Now my life consists of visiting and consulting with colleges and universities across the south.  And in between, I get to sit behind the computer screen and try to keep up with what is happening with this younger generation.

Getting Noticed – How to make it happen?

Today, with all the media out there it is easy to get a “glance”, but a true “notice” can be harder.  Let me define this word “notice” first.  With my dollar store “New Webster’s Dictionary”  it is defined as – act of noting; regard; information; order; a brief critical review; to make observation on; to treat with attention. I think you get the picture now.  With prospective students, we never know what will trigger them to take the next step. This is why we need multiple, strategically timed, well thought out, and yet simple messaging. We all want students to raise their hand and say “I am interested” – and then take an action.  At my house, we have been receiving many types of communications recently.  Every day we receive mail pieces, emails, inbound Internet ads, but no phone calls yet.

The mail piece that got the most attention from my son recently was from a Freed-Hardman University in Tennessee.  The neat thing is my son did not know who it was from, but was intrigued enough that he opened it and read through it.  Many schools are utilizing a strategy of having alums write letters to their prospects.  If schools can coordinate this communication flow it can be very effective in getting a “notice” in the recruitment process.  Andrew’s comment was “I wonder if I will get a letter from Phil Robertson?” Somehow Phil Robertson from the Duck Dynasty Show is connected to Freed-Hardman University. If schools have influential, distinctive alums I would recommend that you use this approach to supplement your communication to the prospect.

nathanblog1-e1377624314614

I mentioned earlier that we have been receiving a ton mail lately.  And we have started to see duplicate mail pieces coming at the same time.  This tells me that we are on the school’s mail list twice. This is costly.  I would recommend your data person do weekly checks for duplicate contacts.

The emails have been flooding the inbox at all different times.  I have seen neat subject lines recently, especially one from Wofford College today…

wofford-college-email

Making your emails personal, distinctive and trendy will help get you opens and “notices.”  Wofford even incorporated some of their distinctive messaging into their hash tags.

When it comes to phone calls, we have not received any yet.  I do expect the phone to start ringing once we submit our applications for admission.  My observation is that phone calls work better once the prospect has developed and fully “raised their hand” that they are interested.

Another form of marketing that I have been pleasantly surprised to see, is inbound advertising via the Internet. Andrew and I have been on the web recently doing some college searches, and now ads from these schools have started to show up. We have seen schools like Samford University and Shorter University doing this sort of communication.  I am of the opinion that you have to be where your prospects are to recruit and “get noticed.”

The pipes are beginning to clear – time to visit and apply

We now have spent some time working with the College Board’s college search tool and identified about 8 schools to visit this fall. We are also in the process of registering for the ACT and SAT this fall.  Time is of the essence now; the roads will be hot with us touring, talking to admissions counselors, faculty, and students across NC, SC, and GA.  It was a great day when he ranked his choices at this point in the journey and he even tweeted about the fun!

I think dad enjoys this college process more than I do @nateenrollwhiz

So I invite you to stick with me along this journey, as I share our fun and some nuggets I find along the way.

The next chapter is getting them to visit!! Click here to read Trials of an Enrollment Guy! Enrollment Management Part 3.

LinkedIn Builds a Bridge from Campus to Career

On August 19, Christina Allen, Director of Product Management at LinkedIn, announced LinkedIn University Pages, a new social media tool that places colleges at the center of the career network hub for students, parents and employers.

What It Is

Taking a cue from Facebook, LinkedIn provides the type of branding and community building that we have come to expect from modern social networks. Administrators can post photos and videos of campus life as well as statistics that highlight their most compelling features. The page becomes a forum for your school to engage students, alumni, employers and parents.

But, LinkedIn Pages becomes a much more practical tool with some unique features. For example, the bar chart (see below) enables visitors to see where alumni work and what alumni do. Parents and prospective students can easily see their potential paths from campus to career. Enrollment and Brand marketers can use advanced segmentation and filters to communicate with targeted groups of individuals.

Our Take

Amid the ongoing conversations about the value of higher education, LIU pages provide a natural connection between the time spent on campus and a rewarding career. This move positions schools as digitally connected counselors who have visibility into what was once an uncertain career path for prospects and parents.

For college brand managers who are looking to tell a compelling story, LIU pages can become a hub for real-time research. Branding is not a tagline, it’s a living breathing promise. With the analytics behind LinkedIn, brand managers have access to measurable brand interactions.

LinkedIn’s move comes none-to-soon for Generation Z. Dubbed digital natives, this is the most technologically savvy generation higher education has ever encountered.  When Vala Afshar, writing for the Huffington Post, compared top ranked schools with their corresponding Klout and Kred scores (measures of their engagement across social media) found that “…the very best schools are also the most collaborative.” He concludes that top students are highly connected and expect transparency and collaboration at all levels of an organization – higher ed and corporate.

Conclusion

LI University pages are like Facebook pages, but much more robust.

They not only provide a great branding opportunity with a new interface, but they allow page administrators to use deep segmentation to communicate with current students, alumni and parents. Furthermore, the move puts higher education in the communication stream for Generation Z, parents and employers.

social media, enrollment, linkedin university

Four Ways to Give Your Enrollment Campaign a Boost

Meet Amanda

A former Director of Financial Aid, Amanda leads the Strategic Enrollment Consultant team. When it comes to collaboration on enrollment campaigns, she has her Master’s in Ninja.

Amanda Randolph-bw

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT AMANDA:

She. Cannot. Touch. Cotton. Balls.
She just did her first unassisted backbend in Yoga class.

FAVORITE TRACTOR:

John Deere!

 

 

 

Meet Jeremy

Where hasn’t Jeremy worked? He has higher education experience in Admissions, Financial Aid, and Registrar’s Office. He understands how everything fits together and strategizes integrated search campaigns accordingly.

Jeremy Sturdahl-bw

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT JEREMY:

He coaches girls Fastpitch.
He has two rescue dogs. One fits neatly under the other.

FAVORITE SOFTBALL TEAM:

Which one of my daughters is playing?

 

 

 

 

MEET JESSICA

Don’t let Jessica’s quiet demeanor fool you. She is Gung Ho as they come. Looking outside your usual market? Call Jessica. She has extensive experience in opening lucrative new recruitment territories for admissions offices. Oh, that’s done with a smile.

jessica-s-bw

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT JESSICA:

She has a strong aversion to napkins touching teeth; her own or anyone else’s.

She has somehow survived living in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, for more than 10 years, which has been voted as the “most dangerous city in America” several times.

FAVORITE AWARD FOR JOINING TWG PLUS:

How to Silhouette Your Pet.

 

MEET STACEY

Quick! Describe Stacey in one word. Epic come to mind? It should. A stickler for publication timelines, Stacey has a master’s degree in higher education from Appalachian State University.

Stacey Kammerdiener-bw

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT STACEY:

Just purchased a Vespa and now feels like a full-blown Austinite.
Plays the trombone and piano and was drum major of her high school band (nerd alert).

FAVORITE HELMET:

The one on her head.  Safety first, y’all.