By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
If you’re like most admissions offices, you’re dealing with this scenario right now.
You’ve got a list of rising senior inquiries who haven’t signed up yet for a campus visit and aren’t responding to your outreach.
Something’s wrong, right? Maybe, or maybe not.
Let’s assume that your school hasn’t been sending these students emails from a general admissions account that look and feel like mass impersonal messages. If that unfortunately is not the case, I recommend you to stop reading this article and read this one instead.
But if you’ve been incorporating personalization into your recruiting communications, and you’ve been explaining why the campus visit is so important, let’s talk about how to handle this situation.
We know from ongoing research that during the early stages of the college search process, a lot of students just don’t see the need to hurry up and schedule different campus visits, or start filling out multiple applications the moment they open.
Their perception of the situation (i.e. they’ve got lots of time, why rush) is dictating the pace of their conversation as well as the decisions they make (or don’t make).
That means it’s up to you to adjust your communication strategy accordingly.
Something that we see continuing to work well in situations like this involves getting a student’s attention by creating a very short and direct email that comes from their admissions counselor.
Your goal with this message is to uncover a student’s mindset and get them to give you feedback about what they want to see happen next, and how they want to see it happen.
Consider using a subject line like “How can I help?” or “One question, that’s it.”
In the body of your email, mention that you hope they’ve seen some of the emails you’ve been sending, and you’ve got an important question to ask – “Walk me through what you’d like to see happen next in the college search process.”
Asking a direct and intentional question like that as your call to action opens the door for them to engage and reveal what they’re currently thinking.
End your email by encouraging them to send their answer as soon as they can, as well as reminding them that you’re there to listen and help.
When you receive responses, keep in mind you don’t have to write long, detailed follow-up messages. You just have to take the feedback a student gives you and keep the conversation going in a way that feels personal.
Want to talk more about something I said this article? Just hit reply or connect with me here.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else in your campus community who could also benefit from reading it.