Personalized vs Bulk Communications Pieces

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Personalized vs Bulk Communications Pieces

A fellow member of an industry list serve posed this admissions-related question for the group, “For Admissions recruitment these days, does a personalized letter carry as much weight as a pretty publication amongst the high schoolers who receive them?” Great question!

Personalized communications have a demonstrated higher ROI than bulk messaging. Doing some research on integrated marketing for higher education some years ago, I came across this in some CASE books on the subject. Personalized pieces do cost more to produce each piece, but the yield on prospect to matriculation is higher. If you do the math, your costs per … actually go down if you compare the cost per matriculant versus the cost per prospect. So make fewer, personalized and targeted pieces for high yielding prospect profiles.

Side note here and good example of the effect of personalized marketing… I’m taking my grand-daughter to Disney this month and reserved a motel on property. In the process of registering online, Disney collected basic demographic info of the folks in my party. I just received a personalized email with links to the exact motel where we’re staying – with pictures and highlighting activities for 4-year-olds (the age of my grand-daughter). There was also a link to a personalized video welcoming the Huff party and getting us excited for our upcoming trip. It showed a map with a balloon leaving our town and ending up in Orlando … and selling the Mickey Mouse hats and T-shirts with Huff written on it. This is brilliant!

What if we could take some simple info from our recruitment databases and merge in personalized info like this … getting prospects excited about our institution. Do we collect hometown info and areas of interest (clubs, programs, extra-curricular, etc.). Could we merge in personalized info into our emails that go out to prospects? What about print? What other ideas could branch off this?

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