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High School Recruitment

Reaching the High School Student in 2020

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Alex Guerino

Start Augmenting Your High School Recruitment

With the traditional school calendar of college fairs and the typical meet-n-greet on-campus model in constant flux due to COVID, reaching the high school demographic has become a challenge, leaving a large percentage of high school students in the dark about their higher education options.

Search engine and landing page traffic is surging, but that doesn’t mean other media such as printed materials and direct mail has lost its influence. In fact, a large percentage of high school students and recent high school graduates are researching a spectrum of higher education and career training options from the safety of their home and with the assistance of their parents.

Meaning, if your institution wants to reach the high school student, you need to meet them everywhere they are digitally and through their mailbox, for it’s the combination of all the media that creates a highly effective student engagement and recruitment strategy.

Marketing to Student and Parent

Marketing isn’t just for the high school student. The parent is still an important marketing audience since they will most likely be providing some financial assistance. Get an insider’s opinion in the Effective Higher Education Marketing: A View from Both Sides article posted a few weeks ago.

Effective student recruitment takes more today than a fancy printed brochure or a handout at a college night in a high school cafeteria, and schools that succeed in reaching the high school student, know that reaching their audience where they are online, on mobile, and at home is the key.

Great success has been found in creating a cross-media marketing campaign with both digital and hands-on materials. By combining direct mail and handwritten technology with social media, chat channels, pre-filled applications, and specially designed landing pages, your school can engage with high school students and their parents efficiently and in a medium each can appreciate.

The Surprising CPI

Creating such a robust, multi-media campaign may sound like increased costs are involved, but as we’ve implemented these new strategies for our clients, we are seeing the lowest CPI (cost per inquiry) ever. Getting such a great response is a key indicator of the effectiveness of these types of campaigns.

What’s Driving This Trend?

One question that arises is what is driving this increase in response and lower CPI?

With uncertainty around on-campus vs virtual learning, delayed start dates, and sparse in-person admission services due to COVID, high school students (and their parents) are hungry for as much information as possible during this important decision-making process. A student on the traditional university track is also exploring short-term trade or skills-based schools as an alternative to virtual learning or waiting for an on-campus four-year program to resume.

Reaching Parents and Students

An effective cross media marketing campaign satisfies both student and parent. Parents are interested in tuition costs, financial aid, and safety measures as well as career options and job placement. This information is appealing in printed form for easier reference, while their high school student prefers quick online searches, interactive chats, and social media. However, a handwritten postcard or personalized email adds that unexpected touch that really gets their attention.

While it may seem that the only way to reach a high school student is through their phone, the response and success of these cross-media campaigns is tough to dispute. Getting personalized emails, printed materials in the mail, and even handwritten cards piques their interest enough to look up from Instagram or Snapchat to check it out.

If you’re ready to get their attention and take advantage of this current wave of successful marketing strategy, give us a call. MDT Marketing would be happy to discuss how you can increase your reach and recruitment for the high school market. Call us today to get started.

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