Make no mistake: university marketing personalization is no longer optional. Every enrollment marketing plan has to include at least some element of personalization.
At its best, personalized enrollment marketing permeates every aspect of your enrollment marketing plan. From first touch to orientation and the first weeks on campus, you have the opportunity to create more relevant, customized messaging designed specifically for each prospective student you’re looking to reach.
That’s not just an ideal state. Instead, your future students demand it. Research shows that 71% of Gen Z consumers expect brands (including higher education institutions) to deliver personalized interactions. Even more than that, 76% become frustrated when that doesn’t happen. They can become so frustrated, in fact, that they might just take you out of their consideration set altogether.
Our own research backs up that trend. In a recent Concept3D study, 67% of high school seniors prefer personalized interactions with their future school, while 72% expect online content tailored to their needs. That’s the biggest case possible for a strategic university marketing personalization effort.
4 Reasons to Build a More Personalized Enrollment Marketing Plan
General audience preferences matter, but the need for more personalized enrollment marketing goes deeper. These four reasons make the case for prioritizing personalization at all stages of your enrollment marketing plan.
1. Stand Out Among Competitor Schools
While students increasingly expect university marketing personalization, it’s not yet actually the standard for enrollment communications in higher education. As a result, building truly personalized experiences can differentiate your messaging.
Consider, for example, the difference between a school that sends email blasts to all of its web inquiries and one that sends different messaging depending on the majors and interests of individual student groups. Simply by signaling that they care about those differences, the second school will likely win the attention game in the long run.
2. Get Seen in Your Audience’s Field of Vision
The average online user sees hundreds of promotional messages every single day. In that clutter, the simple effort of being seen can be difficult. It’s no wonder that the average open rate for email blasts to your search lists can be in the single-digit percentages.
However, that changes with personalization. Research shows that personalized email messages have a 29% higher open rate and a 41% higher click-through rate than their non-personalized counterparts. The same is true for all other channels, as well. Personalization quickly grabs your audience’s attention and makes it more likely for your messaging to be seen.
3. Truly Address Modern Student Needs
As most enrollment professionals know, the prospective student body is diversifying—seemingly by the minute. More and more different types of students are considering higher education. But they all come with different needs, backgrounds, and expectations that schools need to address in order to attract them.
For example, Latino students are a growing demographic. But they are also more likely to attend school closer to home and be first-generation students. They likely need more of an introduction into higher education terminology and messaging on how they can visit home during the holiday than a third-generation student whose family is all familiar with the student process.
4. Create a More Integrated Enrollment Plan
Finally, personalization has the potential to permeate your entire enrollment marketing plan. Consider, for example, the opportunities that personalized campus experiences can provide. With a tailored digital package, you can make campus visits for prospective students more specifically relevant to them while sharing personalized content on all of your channels.
That’s how we’ve built My Campus Experience, a tool specifically designed to connect your recruitment efforts with student interests and preferences. That creates a stronger sense of belonging and ultimately increases the chances of enrollment. Ready to learn now? Get in touch to learn about the next steps you can take in enrollment marketing personalization.