5 strategies to engage your offer-holders without losing the plot

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Regular prospect engagement throughout pre-enrollment leads to increased conversion; this much we know.

But how can endless enquiries be dealt with and ever rising targets be met without impacting on university recruitment and marketing teams’ hattrick of untouchables: time, resources and money?

The answer is… with great difficulty, but bear with me! Here are some strategies we know help boost pre-enrolment engagement without leaving you marbleless.

1) Make it simple for offer-holders to build their own community online.

Prospects with a support network of peers and ambassadors are more likely to convert and enroll. Done well, this is not onerous in terms of resources/time for staff in the long run, and the proven value of peer-to-peer recommendation and alumni advocacy is as powerful as ever.

2) Find a repeatable, reliable channel of current student content.

A recent Ipsos/Crowdtap survey found that among millennials, UGC is 35% more memorable than traditional media, and that it’s 50% more trustworthy.

Gen Z can spot a filter at 100 paces, they want authentic, transparent, honest and practical content, not polished marketing literature. Who better to create this content than your current students? Effective UGC highlights your university’s uniqueness and brings the student experience to life.

Show your appreciation by rewarding the best students, come armed with hoodies and pizza.

3) Focus your energy.

While the multiple channel approach may be necessary early in the student recruitment cycle, at offer stage you need to double down on one or two channels that you know to be effective in connecting and communicating with your offer-holders.

Do you know which channels are most effective in creating positive pre-arrival communities? Add your ambassadors and communicate with those prospects who are under offer in key markets. Keep a close eye on engagement metrics and focus efforts on a manageable, sustainable number of channels (avoid reliance on email at all costs!).

4) Achieve true personalisation.

While ‘Dear applicant...’ comms. have all but disappeared, effective personalisation does not stop at a ‘first name’ CRM code.

It means building relationships, finding out what offer-holders’ individual requirements are and then meeting those requirements where possible.

An effective peer to peer strategy has personalisation at its heart; it’s about forming relationships, making friends, and gaining the reassurances needed before setting foot on campus.

5) A speedy response.

Recruitment and marketing staff wake up in a cold sweat thinking about unrealistic student expectations on response rates, but the fact remains that prospects prefer, and are used to, real-time interactions.

It’s an impossible task for your team to respond to every enquiry in a timely manner, but it is possible (honestly, we’ve done it!) to crowdsource this workload by combining the support of both student ambassadors and other prospects in a positive digital environment where everyone can contribute in order to lighten the load on you and your team.

What is CampusConnect?

CampusConnect is a mobile app service connecting universities and colleges with their incoming prospective students.

Students connect with fellow applicants, student ambassadors and staff, as well as accessing critical, personalised pre-enrolment information. The service provides institutions with higher rates of offer - enrolment conversion and better prepared, happier students.

For more information, get in touch with me on dan@campusconnect.ie

Daniel Hinkley