Speaking to your students through omni-channel communication is an essential strategy for enrollment and engagement.
As college decision day looms near, students are weighing options to determine their future paths. They’ll be juggling offers and information from dozens of colleges and universities which is a lot to take in. Often, information from various institutions can start to blend together.
Reaching students in the 2020s requires more technology and options than ever. Each year, prospective college students receive vast amounts of information from dozens of institutions, and the options can be overwhelming. How do you make your university stand out from the crowd?
Omni-channel communication can take your institution’s marketing to the next level. Have you considered changing how you communicate with prospective students?
What is omni-channel communication?
Omni-channel refers to multiple channels of communication. In the call center world, this can include inbound and outbound phone calls, text messages, email, and chat.
Each channel of communication offers different benefits and appeals to a different audience. In many cases, utilizing multiple channels of communication for different purposes can increase the effectiveness of the work you are doing.
By researching and utilizing the best methods of communication for each audience you are trying to reach, you can make your institution stand out to prospective students.
How does this apply to college enrollment?
Most people picture prospective college students as high school seniors and recent graduates. While that may be the case for many schools, your audience may change depending on the type of institution you are.
Traditional four-year colleges typically have a very high percentage of students who enroll straight out of high school, so their marketing audience will be primarily teenagers and young adults.
Community colleges and technical schools tend to have a wider variety of students coming from different age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds, so they have to market to a greater variety of prospective students.
These audiences use different kinds of communication and will impact the choice of medium your institution chooses to use for different types of marketing.
4 Ways to Use Omni-Channel Methods to Increase Enrollment
Using multiple channels of communication can help you reach a wider audience, especially when your audience is very diverse. Here are some ways omni-channels methods can be used to help you increase your institution’s enrollment.
Did you know that an estimated 85% of American teenagers and 97% of American adults have cell phones?
Younger generations rely heavily on text messaging to communicate not only with their peers, but with businesses and other organizations.
Text messages can serve a variety of purposes in the application and enrollment process. Universities can use text messages to send reminders to students about application deadlines and other important dates, information about tours and info sessions, application updates and reminders, and information on next steps once a student gets accepted.
Email has traditionally been used to target prospective students to make them aware of universities they can apply to. These emails are typically sent from a mailing list to potential students advertising the college and encouraging them to visit their website, schedule a tour, or even apply right away.
Email can be useful when used smartly. Keep in mind that many colleges and universities use email to send information to prospective students, and these emails pile up quickly in students’ inboxes. It may be smart to use email as a supplement to these other messages to make sure your communications don’t get lost in a sea of college advertisements.
Call centers and phone conversations are still vital to the college admissions and enrollment process.
Inbound call centers can provide assistance with application and admissions questions, financial aid support, help desk services, and more. This can help answer any questions prospective students may have and give them peace of mind during the application process.
Outbound calling can be used similarly to email and text messaging to contact prospective students from a list, providing application updates and assistance, and reminding students of important deadlines and dates.
Chat options can be extremely helpful for prospective students throughout the application and enrollment process. As with texting, chat is popular with high-school and college students because they can quickly send a written message instead of having a long conversation over the phone with an agent.
Chat can be used for a variety of purposes. Chat services can be used to answer quick questions about applications, financial aid, campus life, and more. They can also be used for help desk services and website support.
AnswerNet Education Enrollment Services
AnswerNet Education Services can assist you in outreach efforts and lead generation using our Enrollment Services. This will accelerate the journey from prospective student to enrolled student. The application process is streamlined and carefully tracked. Our services are PCI compliant, HIPAA compliant, and FERPA compliant to ensure your students’ sensitive information remains secure and processed safely.
AnswerNet Education Services is ready to assist your school and take your marketing strategy to the next level. For more information about AnswerNet Education Services, and to request a quote, visit our AES page.