By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
I often tell admissions counselors if you want to become a better recruiter, become a better writer.
The reason why is simple. This generation of students has grown up using written messages as their primary way of communicating, so if you don’t create personalized, engaging messages for them, you risk losing their attention or never gaining it in the first place.
To help with that, today I’m going to share two strategies that we use when we’re creating messaging campaigns for our clients. They work for us, and I’m confident they’ll work for you.
- Forget about the writing rules you learned growing up. Believe it or not, most of those writing and grammar rules are actually preventing you from truly connecting with this generation of students. How they process information and communicate isn’t the same as the way you did when you were their age. I want you to think, “If I were in a room with a prospect or inquiry and needed to get their attention, engage them, and present a reason why they should consider starting their application – what would I say?” Then let the conversation flow naturally out of your fingers to the keyboard as if you were talking to them one-on-one. Be less formal and more conversational with your messaging. That’s the key.
- Connect the dots, and do it consistently for a long period of time. There’s no strategy I can give you that will get every single student to respond or take action. But here’s the next best thing. More students will reply and eventually take other actions when one message sets up the next one which continues on to the next one and so on. Just because students don’t immediately engage or take action doesn’t mean your emails aren’t making an impact. How many times have you looked in your CRM and noticed that students are opening the same message three, four, or five times? One of the things they’re looking for is consistency. Think of your recruiting messages as back and forth text messages in a long conversation. Don’t write them as one-off emails. Have them all tie together in a conversational tone over a long period of time – even after they’ve visited campus, applied, been admitted, or picked your school. Never stop telling the different parts of your school’s story and student experience, while encouraging them to engage or take the next step. Keep in mind you may need to frame things a little differently because of the stage a student is at or because of their lack of action.
The reason why these two strategies work so well is because they’re derived from ongoing focus group research with thousands of students. They’ve told us and continue to tell us, and I’m telling/reminding you.
If you’d like to talk more about something I said in this article, let’s do it. Simply reply or email me here.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else on your campus who could also benefit from reading it.