Get the Yes: 6 Ideas to Build a Better Yield Campaign

Carnegie Higher Ed Jan 19, 2016 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

Yield. It’s that time of year again. You’ve successfully combed through all those applications and have made your “yes” pile of accepted students. Once they are notified, it will be their turn to say “yes” or “no.” But have you asked yourself or your team: what are we going to do differently this year to get their “yes”?

Yield campaigns can come in all shapes and sizes, but the critical component is staying in front of your accepted student audience, keeping them engaged, and working the “yes.”  What will you do to keep your institution on top of their mind?

Here are some thoughts on creating a multi-channel yield campaign to help drive the “yes!”

1. IP Targeting

What if you could also reach your accepted students (and their parents) directly when they are at home online? IP Targeting allows you to do just that all you need is their address to start digital advertising directly in their home. It’s a great way to get in front of—and stay in front of—this select audience. Last spring, we ran several campaigns to drive attendance to accepted student days and schools reported back that they broke records in terms of attendance to these events!

2. Social media

Did you know you can use the e-mail addresses of your accepted students and match them to major social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram and place advertising directly into their newsfeeds? It’s true and social media is a fantastic platform to engage with this audience and get social!

3. E-mail

E-mail marketing is definitely one way to stay front and center. But to help the “yes,” just say “no” to e-mails that sound like this: We have a low student-faculty ratio, with world-class professors, extensive internships, a wide-range of clubs and organizations, all in a college town setting. Sound familiar? Take a different approach and be memorable. Try not to load up your e-mails with “we” statements; instead, use you statements. Make it all about the student and why they would be a perfect fit at your school. Use rich media like video or images to draw on the emotion and allow them to really envision what their experience would be like. Keep it light and inviting. It doesn’t have to be super polished, but it does need to be authentic. Make sure your institution’s true colors and personality shines through.

4. Texting

Consider texting your accepted students a congratulatory message, fun facts about your campus, or simple videos that help them get a real vibe for your institution. Text is a medium these students live by, and you should be where they are!

5. Personalized URL and landing page

Embed PURLs in your e-mail or direct mail and send students to a landing page that is all about them. You know a lot about these students at this point, so their landing pages can be truly customized. Ask them their level of interest in attending your college. Send your “yesses” a “welcome to the Class of 2020” message. Use the “maybes” to start a phone campaign to ultimately drive the “yes.”

6. Phone calls

Nothing is more personal than a call directly from someone on your campus who can share stories and answer questions. Enlist your student evangelists or even faculty from the major or programs your accepted student intends on attending. This allows for open dialogue, direct questions, and ultimately leaves your accepted student feeling special.

While there is no one simple solution that is going to guarantee the “yes,” these are some good things to think about as you build your yield campaign. And if you need help getting creative and putting a “yes” campaign together, let us know.


You can follow me on Twitter @adpoulin.

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