19.Apr.2021

Kirsten Fedderke
Senior Vice President

How to Help More Students Choose You

A campaign idea to help boost yield by decision day

May 1 is approaching fast, and every college enrollment professional knows what that means. As we stare down the deadline for students to put down deposits, you’re no doubt projecting how many admitted students will convert into enrolled ones. By the end of the day on May 1, that decision will be over and done with for many families.

Even if you anticipate your own enrollment numbers will continue to shift all summer long, this lead-up to May 1 is a crucial window.

Early spring is a suspenseful time for enrollment teams. After all, the power is in prospects’ hands now, not yours. But there’s actually plenty you can do to influence their decisions.

One possibility: a fast-and-furious social media yield campaign. A compelling Facebook or Instagram ad that communicates what makes your culture special can help undecided students see themselves on your campus—and that emotional connection (particularly in this moment!) can be just the thing to cement a final decision.

Step 1: Compile assets. Gather testimonials from student ambassadors (short videos or punchy quotes). Collect snapshots of the college experience—moments great and small—from a student’s point of view. Round up your greatest-hits campus beauty shots. If you can create simple, persuasive infographics around value or financial aid, now is the time. If your yield efforts included mailing items like hats or flags to students, look for celebratory posts students might have tagged you in so you can repost those images.

Step 2: Target! This is the easy part, since you already have an email list of all admitted students. You probably have emails for their parents as well—and since parents are often the ones inputting the actual payment, it never hurts to target them too.

Step 3: Execute. Just input these email lists into Facebook, Instagram, or whatever media platform you prefer and use them to set your targeting parameters. Just like that, you’re putting timely information in front of your specific audience, right at the tipping point for their decision-making.

Bonus Step: Enlist alumni, students, faculty, and maybe the president or chancellor to reach out to students by phone while these campaigns are in market.

You can do this! After spending all too long seeing nothing but Zoom screens, students and families want to know the college experience they’ve dreamed of is, in fact, within reach. Make it real for them!

If you’d like to learn more about Lipman Hearne’s experience with yield campaigns, drop me a note at kfedderke@lipmanhearne.com and let me know. I’d be happy to connect!