Increase Response Rates in a Down Economy

Liz Kistner - Monday, October 27, 2014

Navigating through economic uncertainty can bring enrollment opportunities. Those that are unemployed go back to school, the employed look for continued education to bring value and relevancy to their organization, and often professionals with the highest level of education have the greatest career opportunities.  How do you find these prospects? 

Below are several tips that can help increase the effectiveness of your direct mail marketing campaign: 

  • Personalize your mailing:
  •   Are you likely to respond to an offer that states "Mr. Jim Jones" or "To The Neighbors of..."?
  • Model your data
  • to enhance your current file as well as identify new audiences.  Use data enhancement to find the best qualified prospects and help give you're school a deeper understanding of the key attributes in your database.
  • Bundle Your Programs
  • -What a great way to cross sell to your audience.  If you offer a multitude of various marketing certifications or degrees, for example, promote them in one direct mail message.  Less print and production=savings!
  • Multi channels
  • - email/postal match.   A multiple touch campaign gives you the ability to reach out to your prospect more than once.  How many times have you sung "I'm lovin it"?  How will you be remembered?
  • Detailed segmentation
  • to target the markets you serve.  Targeting high school graduates vs. high school graduates, age, gender, area of study/area of interest, radial mapping, recency.  Which one do you think will give your school a better response?
  • Track, measure, analyze, refine.
  •    Gauge performance through detailed analysis and understand your cost per acquisition and/or ROI.
  • Strengthen your Corporate Alliance Program.
  •   Append a company match.    There are over 50 different segments to choose from such as job title, company size, industry, or buying authority, for example.   Generate PR with HR Executives and Chief Learning Officers.
  • Partner with professional organizations and/or associations.
  •   Use online opportunities to increase matriculation.  Some organizations will allow your school to create a link that takes them right to the application page on your website.  Your logo would look great on a relevant website.
  • Data hygiene regularly
  • to optimize deliverability.  Postal increases take effect May 2009.  Cleanse your database regularly.
  • Create the right offer and message for your audience.
  •   Your offer should be relevant, offer benefits/value/call to action.  What is your core message? Blend expertise of shape, color, fonts with behavioral data to create the right piece.   Do you have a tag line?  We remember "Don't Leave Home Without it" or "Fly The Friendly Skies".
  • Think like your prospect and go where they are likely to be:
  •   specialty/networking events, career fairs, sporting events, entertainment venues. 

 What strategies are you pursuing to change from economic stress to economic success?