The VPM Blog

10 Myths About Higher Ed Marketing

Posted by Chelsea Phillips on Mar 6, 2015 9:23:00 AM

When it comes to marketing to prospective college students, there are myths about the right and wrong way to reach the Millennial generation. From personalized acceptance letters to marketing campus amenities, we have compiled a list of the right and wrong way to grab the attention of these students, making your university the most marketable. Addsbtitletext-2

1. Using brochures are the only way to market to perspective students. WRONG. If each university is thinking the same in terms of their marketing techniques, they are not setting themselves apart from the others. Yes, it is cool to have tons of mail from colleges and universities across the country saying “We want you,” but how is this pushing prospective students to apply?

2. Marketing to guardians of the student matters more than marketing to students. WRONG. Yes, mom and dad want to assure that they are sending their college student to the safest university, but it all means absolutely nothing if the university has not marketed itself to the student. After all, these students are just a few short years away from entering the real world. It is time to let them make real world decisions on their own.

3. Hand-written letters from the university are not effective. WRONG. Students are more impressed when they see that the university staff and administrators have taken time out of their busy schedules to invite or welcome prospective students to their university.

4. Personal phone calls do not matter to students. WRONG. Being personable is everything in marketing. Again, students are more interested in being contacted personally than feeling like just another number applying to a specific college or university.

5. Social media has no influence on a prospective student’s decision. WRONG. These accounts offer an inside perspective that you cannot get by simply looking online at a website. Social media accounts are used as a platform to market to current and prospective students, and are a great way to make your university seem relatable to prospective students.

6. When getting accepted, students value personalized acceptance letters. RIGHT. Wouldn’t you feel special if the letter included “Congratulations, Verge Pipe Media!” instead of just, “Congratulations,” Yes, it is the small things that matter the most. It shows the students that you took time to personalize their letters rather than sending the same letter to the masses.

7. Prospective students appreciate having someone on call to answer specific questions. RIGHT. Nothing is more frustrating than unanswered questions! Ok, maybe that is being dramatic, but it is frustrating to continuously be redirected to the next person who redirects you to the next person because they are unable to give the prospective student the answer he or she is looking for.

8. Students are interested in knowing more about campus amenities. RIGHT. This matters. Students are interested in knowing if there is a 24-hour wellness center, the dining options and how much it potentially costs to wash clothes on campus. College is a new adjustment for these students, and knowing as much as possible before they come to school will be very beneficial in the long run.

9. College fairs help students narrow down their college lists. RIGHT. Face-to-face interaction with college recruiters from different universities allows students to decide if the university is the best fit for their desires and needs. Studies show that 40 percent of prospects are converted to new customers in face-to-face meetings.

10. Students like to be followed up with. RIGHT. You’ve been accepted, now what? Do not just leave the student high and dry wondering what the next step is. Engage the student, keeping them up-to-date on deadlines as well as what new events are happening at their new university.

College has the potential to be the best four (or more) years of a student’s life. Do not ruin it with subpar marketing. If your university has the potential to be great, be sure to let these prospective students know! For more information on higher ed marketing, click the link below.

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photo credit: Checklist Chalkboard via photopin (license)

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