My 5-year old daughter recently learned how to ride her bike without the training wheels. Our message to her was simple – you fall down, you get back up. At times I’m sure we sounded like a broken record. Repeating those words however was key to her success.
When it comes to promoting your school, repetition is a necessity. Repeating key phrases or strengths of your college over and over helps prospective students recognize you and sets you apart. The more consistent you are, the more easily recognizable your school becomes over time. You also increase the likelihood that recruits will hear those key points you want to make about the value that you offer.
Which brings us to your recruiting message…
The trend we see most often when it comes to how colleges tend to communicate with their recruits involves cramming as much information about the school into one email or letter. There’s a better way to do it.
Tudor Collegiate Strategies founder, author and speaker Dan Tudor has several rules that he emphasizes which have proven effective for helping our clients create a consistent, interesting recruiting campaign for their recruits. Use them to develop your own brand of repetition and consistent messaging for this next recruiting class:
- Make sure you are communicating foundational, logical facts to your prospect every six to nine days. Without this first point in place you risk inconsistent recruiting results. Our research solidly indicates that when a prospect sees ongoing, regular contact from you, not only do they engage with the messaging on a more regular basis, but they also make the judgment that your school is interested in them, and values them. Those feelings are what you should want your recruits to feel.
- If you have negatives associated with your school or big objections that many prospects bring up in the recruiting process, address it early and often. Don’t run from it, and don’t wait for them to bring it up (or sit back and hope they don’t bring it up). Consistent, early discussion about it gives you the chance to re-define that objection. And, it gives you a greater chance to turn their opinion of you around.
- Short, logical, fact-based repetitive messages. That’s what your prospect needs in order to get to the point of being able to choose you over your competitors. Instead of cramming all that information into one message, take a single concept and address it from many different angles. Spend a few weeks talking about one topic and take your time in repetitively making your point to your recruit.
- Repeat your name and your college name often. Advertisers have followed this psychological principle for decades. Why? Repetition of who you are, and associating that with positive connotations, produces results.
- Mix it up. Your recruiting campaign needs to feature a regular flow of mail, email, phone contact, personal contact and social media. This generation reacts to a good combination of all of these facets of recruiting. If you focus only on one or two communication methods with your recruits, you are leaving the door open for a competitor that will utilize all of their communication resources. Our studies show that this generation of students wants – and needs – a variety of communication types.
- Social media is personal. Be careful how you repeatedly use it. The shiny new toy for college recruiters that is social media is ripe with possibilities – and pitfalls. Communicating with them the right way on a consistent basis is one of the best ways to form a personal connection with that recruit. Social media is very personal for most kids, so doing it the right way means a faster way to connect with those recruits. Show the personal, behind-the-scenes personality of your school – that’s what recruits are looking for.
Repetition is one of the least used – and most effective – strategies that you can utilize in your recruiting message. Follow these rules in creating a consistent, ongoing conversation with your recruits and watch what happens when it comes to your results.
Want to find out if your current recruiting message is an effective one? Contact Jeremy Tiers at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak one-on-one and learn more about the research-based message that our Admissions Recruiting Advantage programs can provide.