Higher ed notebook
May 12, 2022
4 min read

Every student matters: How personalization increases yield

Every single current and prospective student at your institution matters. You wouldn’t be reading this article or frankly, this website if you didn’t think so. We believe you.

But more importantly, do they believe you? Do your prospective students think you care about them and their academic success?

In today’s hyperdigital world where relationships are often struck and sustained on the internet, it’s your job to stand out from the crowd. How are others in higher education approaching student engagement? Spoiler alert – personalization is the key.

Why student personalization is essential to student recruitment

Your admissions team’s goal is to optimize student recruitment, increase engagement and improve yield. Old tactics like brochures, mass emails and campus visits may have cut it in the past. But not anymore.

Your target market of Gen Zers has grown up on the internet. They spend 8 hours online every single day, says the Global Web Index, and expect engaging digital experiences. Merely “going digital” doesn’t make you stand out from your competition. In fact, it’s hardly relevant to your prospective students’ expectations.

Without question, student personalization is the next wave of higher education communication. Adweek and IBM Watson found 75% of today’s users think personalization is critical to a brand’s longevity. More importantly, almost half of people would leave an organization that didn’t personalize their content for one that does. With the top high school students applying to 8-12 universities, you must adapt quickly to beat your competition.

Prospective student walking through campus

Digital natives who are exploring your institution crave a personalized experience with you deeper than just mass emails, bots and automations. 

Recruitment, campus experience, education. In what ways can your institution use personalization to increase student engagement and improve yield over time?

Increasing yield & retention through personalized experiences

Imagine this.

A prospective student enters your funnel by applying to your university through the Common Application. They don’t hear from you at all for a week. Then, they receive an automated email from your institution outlining the admissions process and when they’ll learn of their acceptance or rejection.

Weeks go by. Nothing.

In the meantime they apply to your rival university who has far better, authentic digital communication and meaningful student engagement. They receive gifts in the mail and texts explaining further actions and important dates. They even get a personal video message from an admissions director congratulating them on their acceptance.

A month later, you get to the student’s application and wow, they’re a remarkable student and individual. Accepted! 

Problem is – they’ve already accepted their offer at your rival institution.

What was the difference? Because they felt a personal connection with your rival, they accepted their offer. Student personalization is crucial to engaging and nurturing them through an often-stressful admissions process.

A culture of personalization & video

Learning, marketing, campus life – student personalization impacts all facets of the higher education experience today. So, you know that personalization is important, but how do you act on it? Simple. By caring.

How do your students want to be engaged? If social media is any hint, Interactive Intelligence found their favorite platforms are Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram. Videos, specifically short videos, are the x-factor.

By sending personal video messages to your prospective students, your institution has a leg up on your competition and helps your target market connect with your university on a deeper level. Admissions teams who work with Goodkind would agree. In fact, their prospective students are 1.6x more likely to transact after viewing a personal video message.

And they’re not the only ones. Volt Edu claims, “For the typical prospective student who receives thousands of digital messages per week, personalized videos are a powerful tool that get noticed.”

Prospective student sitting on campus with phone

Be personal, don't mass personalize

Don’t overcomplicate things (and spend too much money) by implementing the latest artificial intelligence platform to personalize your admissions process. Your digital native prospective students have spent twenty years digesting brand experiences online. They can differentiate mass personalization and authentic, one-to-one personalization. Mass emails and {FIRST NAME} merge fields won’t cut it throughout your student recruitment.

Instead, get personal with your students. Each and every student is crucial to your bottom line, especially if you’re higher education institution is smaller. By keeping them frequently, actively engaged, you strengthen your student relationships.

It could be as simple as sending a one-to-one video message to a prospective student congratulating them on their acceptance. Or, personally welcoming an admitted student to campus for their first day.

Remember, human engagement requires a human touch. Your target market craves a personalized experience but not at the cost of authenticity.

You don’t have to break the bank and adopt an artificial intelligence tool to personalize your student recruitment. Digital natives want a human touch. Human engagement, not bots. By sending highly personal video messages, you’ll show you care. And your students will know it.

Increase student engagement, drive academic success and inspire strong donor relations. Too soon? Sorry, we’re optimistic about your institution’s future.

‍Get a real video example from a human on our team. Book a demo of Goodkind and learn how others in higher education have improved their yield.

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