The 12 Strategies of Christmas – Part 1
Posted: December 19, 2022
And, with this two-part blog post, 2022 comes to a close. So much has happened during the course of this calendar year that it would be hard to summarize the higher ed news. Instead, we are gifting you twelve strategies for the holiday season that will help you wind down this year and say hello to the next year energized and ready to dive into a new season of enrollment marketing.
There is so much to do in the new year that we wanted to give you some actionable steps you can take while the office is quiet and the phones aren’t ringing quite as much. Consider this a checklist of tasks that will help you ring in a new year with promise and hope. After all, it’s what this holiday season is all about. (To see part two of this blog post come back next week!)
1. Prioritize Advertising Money
It’s a simple truth: Higher ed institutions have a limited amount of money to spend, and, for some colleges, that money is shrinking. That means your marketing department and admissions department need to get together and really look at where money is being spent. What is the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to reaching prospective students or building brand awareness? What are the goals of specific programs and the border institution? These questions need to be answered, and the answers need to be at the forefront of any discussion about advertising money. If it doesn’t make sense strategically, money should not be given to it.
2. Segment Audiences
Trying to cast a wide net in advertising just doesn’t work. To get the most bang for your buck, you (and the rest of your admissions and marketing departments) really need to drill down on who your right-fit audiences are. And, as the higher ed landscape is changing, your right-fit audience might be changing, too. Taking the time to figure out who you need to be marketing to can help your advertising efforts down the road. This is not a step to be ignored.
3. Clean Out Your Data
The calm of winter break gives you a great time to look at data that’s been collected over the year. Do you have students you need to re-engage? Do you have people you need to stop sending recruiting messages to? Are there students who were accepted but haven’t moved to the next drip campaign? Taking stock of your data now can save embarrassment at double messages or wrong information going to a college. Ensuring that your leads are up to date allows you to focus your time where it needs to be.
4. Re-engage in the New Year
Transfer students, current students – they’ve all been away from your campus for a while. Now’s a great time to create a drip campaign of emails to remind them of all the services and activities provided to them. Upcoming game schedule? Let them know. Worried about their focus in the new year? Show them some organization tips or steer them to the right department on campus to get the help they need. Want to source some images for social media? Put a call out to students to send their best photos representing your institution. There are lots of ways to engage students and the new year is a great place to get started.
5. Invest in a CRM
You might think customer relationship management (CRM) technology is just a waste of money, but there are benefits to this tool if you know how to use it. If you’re just diving into the world of CRMs, this technology allows you to gather all the information about your customer in one place and then set up interactions with them (email drips, SMS messages, phone calls) and keep track of how effective these methods are. In a world where more students are applying and more data is available for each student, a CRM helps keep everything tidy and automated, which is a huge boon for busy admissions offices!
6. Enjoy the Silence
While we know you still have work to do over break, we encourage you to take time to enjoy the silence and stillness that comes when the campus is without students. While working from home has become somewhat of a norm in the last few years, we do know that there are people still in the office. Take some time for some professional development or TED Talks. Remind yourself of your why when it comes to your job. It’s easy to get bogged down in the daily grind and taking time to really think about why you feel called to work in higher education can really energize you for the new year.
Work With Us
With over 21 years of enrollment-focused work in the higher ed industry, VisionPoint is eager to continue making strides to help client partners see the results they need to build classes that not only show up but graduate. As you wind down this year and get ready to launch into 2023, we’d love to talk about what VisionPoint can do for your enrollment needs. Contact our Vice President Dana Cruikshank for a free consultation call.
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