Higher Education Marketing – Top 6 Direct Mail Tech Tips
In the past, higher education marketing typically consisted of direct mail and fliers designed to attract the attention of prospective students and donors. And up until recently, the only way they’ve had to track campaign results was through phone calls, emails, and business reply cards. But things have changed.
Today’s higher ed marketer demands tracking and data. They’re always on the hunt for a modern, creative, and trackable campaign that increases response rates while reducing costs. And they’re turning to new technology and digital marketing to find it.
Sure, direct mail still works, and should remain a part of your marketing mix. But response rates increase dramatically when the direct mail piece is part of a greater integrated plan that includes recent marketing technology innovations. Here are six tech tips to consider when launching a higher education marketing initiative.
1. Variable Data Printing
Variable data printing is ideal for higher education marketing. This powerful technology lets you print customized direct mail pieces using variable messaging and imagery personalized specifically to each prospects’ interests and behavior. Variable Data Printing can increase direct mail ROI by more than 300%.
2. Personalized URLs (pURLs)
Add a personalized URL (pURL) to your direct mail piece and watch your tracking come to life as your response rates double! When printed on direct mail, PURLs (usually personalized with the recipient’s name in the url) drive prospective students and donors to even more personalized landing pages or microsites. Best part about it is that you can track every action they make and use their behavioral data to tailor future campaigns.
3. Campaign Drips
Campaign Drips help colleges and universities improve the reach of their email campaigns by releasing regularly scheduled email blasts with pre-determined follow-up emails based on the recipients’ behavior. Typically, in a campaign drip, you are reaching out to a prospect who has yet to engage with your institution or its content.
[Tweet “Campaign drips can double your open rate and increase unique clicks by more than 75%”]
4. Drip Nurturing
The key to knocking it out of the park with a Direct Mail/pURL campaign is to integrate a drip email nurturing sequence to the program. Drip Nurturing, unlike a Campaign Drip, is kicked off after a user takes an action with your company (visits a pURL microsite, completes a form, or submits a request for information). Once a prospect engages with your marketing (or doesn’t), the drip nurturing sequence automatically deploys a trigger-based email, direct mail, or SMS campaign (or all 3) to go out based on that action.
5. QR Codes
Love ’em or hate ’em, QR Codes work. The great thing about using a QR code in brochures, fliers, or anywhere else in higher education is that they bridge the gap between physical and online collateral. Students around campus won’t need to memorize URLs or hunt through your website to get more information on a topic. All they need to do is point their phone and push a button. Even better, Millennials love them. Forty-four percent of millennials scan QR codes while shopping. So even though you may not have a QR code scanner on your phone, there’s still a good chance your targets do.
6. Facebook Retargeting
Whether or not they admit it, Millennials still use Facebook. In fact, 67% of prospective students currently use Facebook to research schools. Even more alumnae use it. A great way to get in front of these prospects is to institute Facebook Retargeting. When a student of donor visits your website, a cookie dropped on their machine tells Facebook to show this user your ad while scrolling through his/her feed. The results can be dramatic – with conversions growing by 15-50%!