One to Watch: Mills College
With a strong outer envelope and equally impressive contents, Mills College beat out the other university efforts to be our “One to Watch” this month. A women’s college based in Oakland, Calif., it employs the same components of the later mailings discussed in “Highlights” above but to better effect (Archive code #596-712743-0711).
First, the outer is designed to stand out and be opened. Tri-colored and including an inviting photograph of two young students smiling while studying together, it features the teaser line, “What you don’t know could help you. The 10 Secrets of smart women revealed.”
Second, the letter inside hits on all the notes that a prospective student wants to hear: a flattering opening (“you’re smart, strong, and talented—just the kind of woman who thrives at Mills College”), followed by intriguing details about Mills (“11 students to every faculty member” and “recognized by the New York Times as one of the top three California colleges to consider”, as well as its “San Francisco Bay Area location”) and again plugs that “10 Secrets” premium that prospects can receive after responding. Accordingly, a web address, user name and password are highlighted.
Lastly, the reply page goes well beyond reply forms from rival colleges. It shows a picture of the premium and handily has much of the personal information already filled in for the prospect, including academic interests and athletic interests. And what else it asks for and doesn’t ask for further distinguishes Mills, such as asking the prospect to jot down her parents’ e-mail address (always wise to include the parents!) but not asking for test scores (may be better suited for the second touch with the prospect).
Considering that this mailer from Mills represents the beginning of a potential relationship with a prospective student, it starts out on the right foot.