4 Tips to Getting More Students at Your Next Open House

Carnegie Higher Ed Jun 19, 2015 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

Summer is here and your campus is quiet, but it won’t be long before foliage sets in and you’re setting up your fall open houses and recruitment events. Here are some marketing tactics and quick tips to help you fill your sessions with qualified prospective students:

1)      Use digital advertising

About four to six weeks before your event (yes, that means rolling out in August for your early fall open houses), start a digital display campaign to promote your event. Set specific geo-targets for your ads, like within a 50–70 mile radius of campus. But don’t just deliver ads to anyone; make sure you’re using behavioral and keyword targeting to ensure you are getting in front of the right someone. This winning combination of where you are targeting coupled with who you are targeting based on their digital body language ensures your open house ads will get in front of the right audience.

2)      Maximize your lists

Use any list, whether it’s a prospect list, inquiry list, or Search buy list. If those lists have home addresses, you can deliver online ads directly to their home. While digital display advertising described above allows you to cast a wide net to get in front of new audiences, IP Targeting allows you to focus at the household level and know precisely where your impressions are going.

Use those same inquiry or Search buy lists to get in front of your prospective students on social media. If those lists have an e-mail address, you can use it to match them to major social networking sites and advertise your event directly in their Facebook or Twitter feeds.

These same lists naturally can and should be used to send invitations via mail and e-mail. This multi-channel approach using mail, e-mail, and the Web will really help drive attendance.

3)      Have the right landing pages

You’ve done all this work creating banner ads and making sure they are in the right areas for the right people, so don’t lose them after the click! Align your call to action with where you are sending them. If your ad says “Register for Our Open House Today,” make sure you send them somewhere they can register in one click. Nothing is more frustrating for user experience (and conversion) than sending your interested prospects searching.

4)      Be mobile optimized

Make sure your open house registration pages, invitation e-mails, and landing pages are all mobile friendly. Seventy percent or more of your prospective students view your communications through their phones.


While it may be too early to start pulling out your sweaters and boots, it’s never too early to start preparing your open house marketing plan. If you would like help, just let us know!


You can follow me on Twitter @adpoulin or on Google Plus as Alexa Poulin.


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