Once again, it is admissions “yield season” at colleges and universities across the country as enrollment offices try to land their classes. This is easily one of the busiest times of the higher ed recruitment cycle … one often complicated by staff turnover and other springtime distractions.
And the stakes have never been higher for institutions as the college recruitment landscape changes physically. The projected “demographic cliff” for higher education is coming to the United States in the form of a dramatic drop in the traditional, college-aged population. As declining enrollment and fierce competition for students become the market norm, improving your admissions yield is vital?
How can behavioral intelligence give you the edge when it comes to increasing yield and reducing melt? Here are eight effective strategies:
1. Check the Viability of Your Pool
Use marketing automation to find out how many admitted students have been on your site in the last week or 30 days. This gives you an idea of which students are still looking and thinking about your institution.
2. Focus Your Efforts with a Predictive Model
Use an enrollment model to concentrate your marketing resources on admitted students who have not yet deposited but who have a high predicted probability of doing so. These are the students most interested in your school who may just need a nudge.
3. Employ a Multi-Channel Approach
Use a multi-faceted behavioral intelligence platform. Your yield strategy must include multiple ways to engage your admitted or deposited student, so you’re not just reaching out to students in one shape or form.
4. Invite Deposited (and Admitted) Students to Register
Use digital ads and behavioral emails to promote on-campus or virtual registration events. Students are less likely to melt if they have to cancel their classes. (Also, invite your admitted students as well as your deposited. This can create a sense of urgency if they know you have registration events coming and they haven’t deposited yet.)
5. Handwritten Notes
Some might think this approach has gone by the wayside in the age of electronic everything, but handwritten notes to students show them that you value them. You can use an enrollment model to determine which students — the ones most likely to enroll — should get a handwritten note.
6. Guide the Conversation
Use behavioral intelligence to speak to students about what they’re showing interest in — what it is they’re actually looking for on your site. This is especially valuable as you go through yield season … when you feel like you’ve talked to a student about everything you can.
7. Set Up Counselor Alerts
Use marketing automation to alert counselors when admitted students are visiting certain pages on your website, i.e. researching financial aid and scholarships.
8. Monitor and Build Community with Deposited Students
Use behavioral intelligence to help solidify the interest of your deposited students and help them feel like a part of the campus. A good way of doing this is to connect them with other deposited students as much as you can.
Yield season is all about revalidating your value with your admitted and deposited students — getting them to understand the value of your education and then getting them to commit to your school. They need to see that, even though it may be costing them something, it will be worth it in the end.
Capture’s Behavioral Intelligence Platform has the solutions your institution needs to increase admissions yield, avoid melt and overcome the challenges of yield season. Contact us today to learn more!
By Gretchen Bree, Senior Enrollment Advisor, Capture Higher Ed