Co-written with Pegi Anton
When enrollment managers and admissions directors ask us what makes a college student search program successful, they are usually wondering about things such as creative, offers, and mailing strategies. But while those elements are important, a student search program also requires a variety of institutional efforts to enhance its productivity and efficiency.
In our work with campuses using Noel-Levitz Direct for student search programs, we always advise campuses to have the following six strategies in place before they launch a student search program. These elements form a critical foundation that will support and strengthen the search itself.
1. Be prepared to follow up immediately with new inquiries.
When a student inquires, your institution or your student search firm should send an email fulfillment instantly and any paper fulfillment should be mailed within 24 hours of the inquiry. You also should have a specific plan for continuing communications with these prospective students.
You may already have a standard inquiry communications flow, but at the minimum we suggest that new search inquiries receive the following within the first 90 days:
- An introductory brochure about your institution.
- A series of emails (every other week is appropriate) that highlight your key marketing messages.
- An introductory letter to parents of the inquiry.
- A TUMAY (Tell Us More About You) card or electronic response mechanism that allows students to provide additional information about themselves for your CRM. A more sophisticated version of this strategy is to ask one or two self-disclosure questions at a time, providing multiple opportunities to engage with the inquiry.
- An invitation for a campus visit or to a campus event.