An effective and intuitive website, which is often the “ultimate brand statement” for an institution, is among the most important marketing tools in higher education. Therefore, today’s institutions should focus on website personalization and optimization in order to enhance student enrollment. Each campus website visit can further develop a student’s user profile, helping content to become more and more targeted, and encouraging prospective students to matriculate.3
In my experience with higher education institutions, the more they know about prospective students, the better they can use technology for personalized, one-to-one marketing
on multiple channels. I’ve seen several universities use digitally printed mailers
with personalized information — combined with an email campaign — to bring in more inquiries to their websites and recruiting departments. They also bring higher-quality students who eventually become alumni and donors.
The key is to use various types of media to engage students at different points throughout their college decision-making process. These can include data-driven print materials, PURL marketing
, email campaigns, short message service, social media and mobile media.
I recently heard of one notable Midwest university that sends potential applicants a happy birthday mailing around the student’s birthday with a “free gift” of a limited-time waived application fee. In this case, this highly personalized communication came with an added incentive to apply.