College Marketing: New Insights on Student and Parent Digital Communication Expectations

Digital CommunicationHave you seen the latest Noel-Levitz E-Expectations survey results? The results were very insightful. Here are three findings that surprised (and pleased) me:

1. Nearly all high school seniors and their parents will open an e-mail from a campus they are considering. As a former college recruitment marketing professional, I often wondered if the e-mails we carefully and strategically crafted each year had an impact. It appears students and parents do at least look at the e-mails, as long as the student is already considering your school.

This is good news and validates all the time and attention spent on crafting these e-mails. And it reinforces the importance of e-mail communication with students and parents who have not only inquired, but also who have applied and been accepted to your college.

2. Nearly 40 percent of high school seniors use Twitter. Just a couple of years ago, I heard much debate on college campuses on whether it was time for the recruitment offices to jump on the Twitter bandwagon. At the time, only a small number of teenagers were on Twitter, and at smaller colleges (with smaller communication and marketing staffs) they wanted to make sure they put their resources where they would reach the most potential students.

This new stat means that if your college isn’t on Twitter, now’s the time to jump in. And if the recruitment and admissions team isn’t involved in your college’s social media, now’s the time to get them into the fold.

3. More than half of students and parents are willing to receive text messages from campuses. As smartphones have become commonplace (90 percent of high school seniors and 80 percent of parents have access to a mobile device, according to the survey), it seems students and parents are becoming more receptive to receiving communication from colleges on their personal mobile devices.

This finding is contrary to a commonly held notion that teens think of their device as “their space” and don’t want colleges or marketers to infringe on that space by texting them. It appears texting is becoming a more widely accepted method for colleges to communicate with students. If your marketing team hasn’t yet considered incorporating texting as part of your recruitment communication flow, now may be the time to start exploring it.

Did anything surprise you in the Noel-Levitz survey? Leave a reply here or message me on Twitter @DanasCreative.

Image credit: Kromkrathog/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


About Dana’s Creative Services

Dana’s Creative Services is a writing and editing services company that helps businesses communicate better with their target audiences. Dana McCullough, owner of Dana’s Creative Services, writes and edits copy for brochures, newsletters, websites, blogs, magazines, and books. Her clients include universities, nonprofit organizations, magazine publishers, and book publishers nationwide. Dana has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and frequently writes and edits copy on higher education, genealogy/family history, health, and business topics.

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