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College Admissions Recruitment Materials Review, Part I

November 23, 2022

So, the Big One has officially hit submit on her college applications. This is a big decision. It’s one that she has thought long and hard about over the years. She researched her school choices, created rankings and lists and she finally hit that submit button for her top 6 choices.

PAUSE! Celebrate for just a moment!

For more than a year, the college recruitment materials have been arriving in our mailbox. Being 17 years-old she doesn’t have much use for postal mail. So, the various recruitment materials sit on the counter for a day or two and then I toss them into a bag that I’ve been collecting them in since the first one arrived. She knows where she wants to go to school, as such she has no real use for the recruitment materials. I, on the other hand, have enjoyed perusing each piece that arrives.

These things come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are regular letter-size envelopes. There are postcards of all sizes and paper weights. There are folded brochures. There are booklets. There are magazines. There are posters. Some are glossy. Some are matte. Some are colored. Some are black and white. There are so very many ways that the colleges attempt to get my student’s attention.

After going through the entire bag of materials, I have some clear favorites and some that I think should really re-think their marketing strategies. I will share them over a few different entries.

Let’s begin with some general tips for college marketing professionals who are sending an exorbitant amount of postal mail to high school students:

My first tip… know your audience. I’d venture to guess that most students are like mine, they don’t care what the mail carrier delivers. They look at their phones not paper brochures and letters.

Second tip… know your audience. Did I already say that? The Big One wants to study aerospace engineering. Her College Board profile, most colleges get their list of names from College Board, stresses this. Check what the student has opted into in terms of emails and contact information. Look at what AP tests, etc. the student has taken. She is not interested in a traditional Liberal Arts college.

Third tip… know your audience. Wait, are you sensing a theme here?  All of the Big One’s top major choices are engineering. If your college does not have any engineering programs, do not waste your money on us.

Fourth tip… know your audience!  If you have sent more than three marketing pieces and she has not replied. She has not scanned her personalized QR code. Nor has she clicked on any of the emails you have concurrently sent her, you might want to consider taking her off your list. No need to continue sending info.

Fifth tip… Know your audience! A bit repetitive here, huh? Me, the Fix It Mommy, is the one looking at the recruiting materials. Cater your message to the parent(s).  They are probably much more influential in the student’s decision than any piece of paper, sticker, pennant, magnet or brochure that you might consider sending.

Next up, I will call out some specific big name and little name schools for specifics on what they have sent…. I know you are dying to hear more of my opinions! Stay tuned… 

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 23, 2022 2:09 pm

    Wow! How time flies. Good luck, I hope she gets her first choice.

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