Personalized Marketing for Higher Education

Personalized Marketing Communications in Higher Ed

Personalized marketing strategies are more important than ever in enrollment marketing. Today’s students expect a personalized experience, from emails and landing pages to individual customer product recommendations. Data collection and third-party data analysis are essential to successful marketing campaigns.

  • According to Conversant Media, most marketers, precisely 66%, are actively seeking to secure internal resources to help them implement personalized marketing programs.
  • In a survey conducted by Adage, one-third of marketers (33%) identified personalization as the top capability that will be most critical to the future of marketing. This underscores the growing importance of personalized marketing in the industry and suggests that marketers recognize the need to prioritize this capability moving forward.

What is Personalized Marketing Communication?

Personalized marketing communications refer to delivering tailored messages and content to individual customers based on their unique needs, preferences, behaviors, and demographics. It involves collecting and analyzing customer data, segmenting them into groups, and delivering personalized content and messaging to each segment.

Many personalized marketing communications exist, including emails, targeted ads, product recommendations, and landing pages. The key is to deliver the right message, to the right customer, at the right time using the right channel.

Effective personalized marketing communications require careful planning and execution, including data collection, analysis, and segmentation. Schools must also respect customer privacy and follow data protection regulations, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), when collecting and using customer data.

Email Marketing with Personalized Content

Email marketing campaigns have long been a staple of higher education marketing. But with so many emails flooding prospects’ inboxes, standing out is vital. Personalized emails that speak to each student’s unique interests and needs are more likely to catch their attention. Universities can personalize emails with the student’s name, major, location, interests, and other relevant data points.

  • According to Campaign Monitor, emails that include personalized subject lines have a 26% higher chance of being opened by the recipient.
  • Experian reports that personalized emails generate transaction rates six times higher than non-personalized emails.

Landing Pages: Personalized for Each Student Prospect

Landing pages are an essential part of higher education marketing. They offer an opportunity to showcase the university’s unique value proposition and provide prospects with the personalized information they need to decide. Personalized landing pages can be created by segmenting prospects based on collected data and presenting them with relevant content that speaks to their interests and goals.

  • A study of 330,000 CTAs conducted over six months shows that personalized calls to action (CTAs) result in 202% better conversions than non-personalized ones. The study found that Smart CTAs, which are personalized, outperformed other CTAs, as shown in the graph below.

Segmented Digital Ads: Tailoring Your Message for Maximum Impact

Paid digital advertising is becoming more prevalent in higher education-based marketing. From Facebook to Instagram and Snapchat to Google, various channels allow for nuanced targeting and personalization through effective segmentation. Segmented ad campaigns that tailor messaging and visuals to each prospect’s unique needs and preferences are more effective than generic ads.

  • Segmented campaigns have a 50% higher click-through rate (CTR) than non-targeted ones.

Website Personalization: The Rise of the Digital Viewbook

Personalized website experiences can go a long way in attracting and engaging prospects. The digital viewbook is an excellent example of website personalization. Universities can segment prospects based on their interests, location, and other data points to provide a personalized website experience that meets their unique needs and goals.

  • According to a study conducted by Instapage, 74% of website visitors feel frustrated when the content displayed on a website needs to be personalized to their interests or needs.

Social Media Marketing and Personalization Strategies

Social media marketing is another effective way to engage with potential students. Creating a social media presence and using personalized marketing strategies can increase your reach and improve the customer experience.

You can use social media to offer personalized communication, such as responding to comments and messages from potential students. You can also use segmentation to create personalized letters and content for each customer based on their interests and needs.

Micro Recruitment Events: Short, Sweet, and Tailored to Your Audience

The pandemic has led to many adjustments in how colleges and universities conduct admissions events. Micro recruitment events are a creative alternative to large-scale events such as open houses and admitted student days. These events are short, sweet, and tailored to a small segment of prospects, such as 30-minute financial aid sessions for FAFSA filers or 15-minute “mini classes” in specific majors to showcase the academic atmosphere.

Post-Admit Communication: Personalized Messages for Prospective Students

Post-admit communication becomes increasingly important after students are admitted to a college or university. Prospective students expect personalized communication that speaks to their interests and goals. Personalized admissions video messages, welcome letters from the university president or college dean, personal phone calls from the department chair or a faculty member of the student’s chosen major, and social media takeovers are all effective ways to personalize post-admit communication.

Building a Personalization Strategy That Works for You

A personalized marketing strategy must be tailored to your audience and the current moment to be effective. By utilizing various personalization techniques such as email marketing, landing pages, digital ads, website personalization, micro recruitment events, and personalized post-admit communication, universities can create a more effective marketing funnel that maximizes conversion rates and attracts prospective students to their institution.

The Importance of Data Collection and Analysis

Data collection is critical for any personalized marketing strategy. Collecting data on each customer can create a more personalized experience and increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Real-time data collection and machine learning expedite the process.

However, data collection must be done responsibly and with the customer’s privacy. Ethical data collection and analysis practices can improve the customer experience and build trust with potential students.

Collaboration Between Marketing Teams and Admissions Offices

Finally, collaboration between marketing teams and admissions offices is essential for any successful personalized marketing strategy. Admissions offices have valuable information about each potential student that can be used to create a more personalized effort.

By working together, marketing teams and admissions offices can develop personalized marketing strategies that effectively target each customer. This can lead to increased enrollment and a more effective recruitment funnel.

Key Takeaways

Personalized marketing strategies are essential for higher education marketing. By using techniques such as website personalization, personalized emails and product recommendations, landing pages, and social media marketing, you can create a more personalized experience for potential students.

Data collection and analysis are critical for any successful personalized marketing strategy, and collaboration between marketing teams and admissions offices is essential. With a strategic approach and responsible data collection practices, you can improve the customer experience and increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.