Diversity has increasingly become a focus for almost every college and university across America. Both students and faculty are demanding that their institution be one of inclusion, that values diversity and multiculturalism citizens of a global society.
For the university, multicultural student recruitment has become a key focus of these efforts. Positioning the school as inclusive and creating a welcoming environment for all applicants has become a competitive advantage. While many have discounted email's roll marketing innovation, it still remains extremely viable, especially when targeting multicultural students. According to Sleeknote, email still boast a staggering ROI of 3800%, meaning you can earn $38 in revenue for every $1 you spend. With Multicultural Millenials disproportionately outpacing their white counterparts with email usage considering an targeted strategy is a great idea. Here are 5 Multicultural student recruitment email campaigns we think you should be using right now.
The Picture Yourself Email
The truth is that almost half of the minorities enrolling in higher education are the first to do so in their family. In fact, 42% of black students and 48% of Hispanic students are first-generation students, compared to 28% of white students according to PNPI.org. This creates a blind spot for many college marketers and recruiters, who themselves likely attended college and have a frame of reference. Of these first-generation students, the median family income at two- and four-year institutions was $37,565, compared to $99,635 for non-first generation freshmen, nearly triple. This means they're likely to not have the resources to invest in visits and lengthy college tours.
Consider a creative content marketing campaign to offset this disparity and help prospective students picture themselves at the college. West Virginia University (alma mater plug) does an amazing job on snapchat with their student takeovers. An easy way to do this is to crowdsource snapshots of a day in the life of some of your multicultural students so they can visualize themselves in college. Where would they stay, what would they eat, how would they wash their clothes. For many multicultural students, the academics are the least concerning elements of college. Help put their minds at easy with a well crafted email campaign.
The Break-up email
In any kind of relationship, no one likes to be broken up with, especially not by email. Even if its a relationship you haven't been investing any time in, knowing someone is leaving is a hard human emotion to deal with. The truth is a prospective student that is disengaged is harder to strategize around than one that is leaning towards another option. At least, you know what your objective is. Even in the case where the student has selected a school, you at least know you can cross them off your list. But when you don't know where they stand, you need a tool to provoke a reaction. This is why the The break-Up Email is a great tool for re-engagement.
Break-up emails on average generate a 33% response rate when crafted effectively by either confirming a prospect won’t be moving forward or that they’re still interested, but have just been busy or more likely, unorganized. (That's ok, that's what Freshman orientation is for.) Again, for many multicultural students, navigating this process isn't one that the family has a blueprint for. This may lead to, at least on paper, a disengaged prospect. You just need know what they need help with.Here are a couple of things to keep in mind with a break up email.
- Unlike a high school crush, you're not deleting their phone number. Let them know you're still friends and always here to help should they need assistance.
- Don't talk too much. Keep it short, your only objective here is to get them re-engaged. Under no circumstances should you be selling. Now is not the time to introduce that shiny new Biology program.
- Evoke emotion. Your email should generate one of two emotions for the prospective student. Either relief that you won't be contacting them again, which is coo. Or better yet, action to show you that they're still interested and to not shut the door.
- Always add value. Some ways in which to do so is to empathize with the difficulty in making such an important decision and include a link or two to resources that can assist.
The Get Connected Email
It goes without saying that your current and prospective students are deeply invested in social media. It’s very important that you showcause a level of diversity in your content strategy. Use email to further your relationship by inviting them to subscribe to your YouTube channels or admissions blog, follow you on Twitter etc. The more ways you’re connected with prospective multicultural students, the more impressions you’ll make on them, the more they’ll trust your investment in them.
Conversion Based Email
The college decision making process is emblematic of the multicultural marketing funnel.You have an awareness stage, or the process of exploring potential Majors and what colleges might be suitable options. There’s a consideration stage where they weigh and compare the schools that their accepted to and final stage where the student finally select their school. Throughout the process, nurturing emails are essential, but must consider the stage in the process they’re currently in.
For example, sophmores and juniors attending a college fair are still learning and examining their options. Now isn’t the time to send an email talking about financial aid. Think about the likely conversations they‘ll be having with members of their family. For many multicultural prospectives this may be an overwhelming process. Devise an email campaign that assists in making those conversations less stressful on parents and the student. Remember to include calls to action which encourage the prospect to convert further in their decision making process.
The Segmenting Email
Newsflash: email blast are dead. The primary reason email has received a bad wrap is because historically, marketers would compile a list of emails, and even purchase them. Then they would send out one email to as many folks as they could, hoping and praying the volume would yield the results they're looking for.
This gave rise to CAN-SPAM acts and privacy laws that protected our inboxes. Today, effective email marketing requires we are more targeted and personalized in our approach especially when dealing with multicultural students. Each and every group is different and has unique challenges when making college decisions. Understanding them and creating segmented list based on them is a great way to engage and win the confidence of prospective students.
One way to do that is with a segmenting email campaign. In addition to finding out what academic programs interest prospects, find out what time of day they prefer to receive email and how often. Do they prefer Mandarin over English? Would they like to subscribe to a helpful college hints and tips blog, download a handy tuition calculator. The campaign should serve no other purpose than to create value with a menu of content they can either opt-in or out of. It will create trust, mitigate anxiety and improve your overall engagement. Don't be discouraged if they don't opt-in to the bottom-of-funnel content. Keeping them engaged is infinitely more important. Remember to include call-to-actions on every email that entices them to further convert down your buyers journey.
In closing, email is not dead. Its flourishing and may actually be your most valuable tool for recruiting multicultural students if used correctly. By being strategic about your campaigns and understanding where prospective students are in their decision making process you can craft and deliver engaging content that not only converts but helps you close more students.
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