6 Tips for College Admissions Direct Mail
It’s been a while since I looked at college mail as a student, but I guess some things never change.
A few of my relatives and friends' kids are considering the next steps in their educations. And, as it often happens, I’ve offered my advice based on the mail they’ve been getting.
Some of it is disappointing.
There are some schools that use basic direct mail to push prospective students to their websites as soon as possible. I'm talking about a 1-page letter, a quick call-to-action, and that’s it … no pictures, no graphics, no inspiring copy. Only a logo on the envelope.
Not very welcoming, is it? And pretty much what most colleges were mailing in 1984.
But there are some colleges that use the possibilities presented by printed direct mail to reach out to high schoolers in engaging ways. Here are a few I found in the files of Who’s Mailing What!
1. Be Inspiring
Bryn Mawr College mailed a 6”x11” postcard showing four young women passing through an arch on campus. After boasting about some of the careers achieved by its graduates, it asks: “Who will you become?” The opposite side talks about how the student will be part of a “thoughtful and challenging community of peers.” Both sides use a PURL call to action.
2. Show Your Data
Here’s a great example from Neumont University, which has mailed this infographic in a #10 outer for over three years. It’s maybe the best I’ve ever seen in a direct mail package. It has word clouds, graphs, logos, and all of the important stats on how well the college prepares students for exciting tech careers. The entire package is about displaying the benefits.
3. Offer An Incentive
A lot of college students change direction, or otherwise face challenges that cause them to miss graduating in four years. The University of Baltimore dangles a carrot to students to finish on time: their last semester is free. It’s a simple postcard that doesn’t require any fancy graphics to make its point.