“Yield is going to be important this year.”
This phrase gets thrown around in undergraduate enrollment offices a lot this time of year. Of course, it’s less of a phrase and really more of a challenge, isn’t it? By the spring semester you likely have the majority of your inquiries and applicants, and you have to figure out how to work with the pipeline you have. Maybe you are trailing last year’s applicant numbers. Or maybe your applicants are skewed to higher achieving students this year, which isn’t exactly a bad thing but it could be costly. These situations and many more can lead to the pressure of increasing yield this enrollment cycle.
I’ve been here before, and after the jokes are made about hand-delivering each acceptance packet, scrutinizing your accepted student events, finding extra money for student callers, and ensuring your accepted student e-mail marketing properly conveys why your institution is the right choice, you wonder, “What else can I do?” At this point, think digital.
Here is my quick list for why digital is a must for yield communications:
- It’s highly segmented. With a number of personalized strategies available to us as enrollment marketers (such as IP Targeting, Facebook one-to one marketing, and Retargeting), we have an opportunity to mirror our print, phone, e-mail, and SMS efforts with digital marketing targeting our accepted student pool.
- It meets students where they are. The students we’re recruiting are digital natives. They are attached to their devices, and they expect us to adapt to their preferences and behaviors. We have the ability to have a presence on their newsfeeds (think Facebook ), on the phone in their hands (think Instagram), and on the sites they visit (think YouTube).
- It captures the attention of influencers too. Let’s not forget how important parents are in this process. With digital marketing we are able to leverage our messages to both the student and their influencers at home.
- It provides an unparalleled frequency of message. If you promote your accepted student events with fancy invitations as I did or even postcards, how many waves can you afford to send? Students need to be informed, influenced, and in many cases simply reminded; digital provides this frequency at a more affordable cost.
- It’s affordable. Since I buried this point in #4, I’m giving the incredible cost-effectiveness of digital marketing its due in #5. For some of us, it might be equal to the postage cost of mailing those accepted student day invitations. Or if you spend a bit more, just think of the return on your investment if you are able to increase your yield by even a faction of a percentage point this year.
- It buys us mindshare. More than anything we want to remain top of mind while our students are making their final college choices this spring. Leverage your value proposition, reiterate your unique opportunities, show off what excites them about your school…and do it through digital marketing so you remain top of mind.
If yield is going to be important to making your enrollment numbers this May, now is the time to start thinking about digital marketing and its benefits on yield.
Want to talk more about your yield communications or looking for a digital partner to help impact your yield? We can help—contact your regional director at Carnegie Communications or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.