The power of direct mail marketing for education

null

There are certainly a wealth of opportunities available for educational marketing. The marketing industry is continually changing to suit the digital age, with the rise in augmented reality prevalent in 2018. Utilising the mediums is critical to ensuring the long-term success of your school and university, boosting your profile and, subsequently, encouraging students to join. The possibilities are staggering, with the likes of direct mail offering hyper-personalised messages for your prospects. Washington Direct Mail, a leading UK mailing house, are sharing their tips for getting the most out of your marketing campaign, and placing your educational establishment in front of the right people all the time.

Universities, colleges and other educational institutions have the opportunity to latch on to many forms of marketing including, more and more these days, influencer marketing. They can do this by finding their potential influencers like graduates and recruiting them to produce and promote relevant content.

We touched on the possibilities of direct mail, but the marketing medium is in the midst of a boom. While we may spend most of our time online - a staggering 269 billion emails are sent daily, with the number expected to grow to 333 billion in 2020 - the chance of your message getting lost in the sea of online advertisement is huge. In 2018, several huge companies, including online giant's Google and Facebook, have realised the potential of direct mail marketing, incorporating it as part of their marketing strategy. Similarly, well over 87 per cent of consumers said they trust the message in direct mail, while only 48 per cent trust that of email marketing. The difference is staggering and only highlights the necessity for looking into direct mail marketing.

Multi-channel integration

Multichannel marketing refers to the practice by which companies interact with customers through multiple channels, both direct and indirect, in order to sell them goods and services. They use direct channels, or other ways like catalogues or direct mail – or indirect ones in which they push content. Other ways of reaching customers with multichannel marketing include via mobile devices, text messaging, email or through SEO tactics.

The key to your educational marketing is very much not to stick to one medium, but to combine the power of online and offline. Ignoring one for the other will only reduce your reach and eliminate prospects. For example, utilising social media marketing can help to build your existing customer base. With that information to hand, you can then segment and prioritise prospects, delivering hyper-personalised mail messages to encourage them to visit your site or school. It’s a great way of connecting with your local community and engaging people who are interested in you institution.

The sheer number available to target with multi-channel integration is astonishing. The success rate for the communication method is also impressive, with many companies recording a 118 per cent lift in responses and achieving their marketing objectives. Programmatic mail is a buzzword for multi-channel integration, and one you should recognise as part of your educational marketing strategy. For example, you can target those who visit your site and, perhaps, begin to fill out an enrolment form but do not click submit. With programmatic mail, you can send a reminder message straight to their door within 12 hours. With direct mail said to stay in the house for a minimum of 17 days, the method is well worth considering as one of your marketing methods.

Dimensional mail

Dimensional mail is a type of direct mail that can prove wholly successful in the educational sector. As the name suggests, dimensional mail offers dimensions to your campaign, allowing you to think out of the envelope. This medium is renowned for increasing engagement across all channels - especially social media. For example, ATI Nursing produced a dimensional educational booklet, appealing to nurse educators to check whether their students were on track to pass their exams. The result included more engagement and social shares.

Marketing brochures

When it comes to popular forms of marketing for education, brochures sit at the very top of the list. While many companies have turned away from brochures, they are still a useful and interactive method for communicating with your audience. One such great advantage is that the marketing brochure provides interaction and usability. The booklet can be stored, with the information readily at hand, or even passed on to a friend. This is unlike online advertisements, which you may struggle to recall or find again. Touch is a significant benefit to brochures, and it’s proven that we respond better to messages that we can physically hold.

The education sector very regularly faces budget cuts and pressure to increase students, without spending more money. Brochures are extremely cost-effective - especially if prospects hold onto your campaign - and you can also rest assured your message is in the hands of your target audience.

The University of Roehampton produced a brilliant marketing brochure, showcasing their rebranding. They actually produced four different booklets, each representing one of their four colleges: Whitelands, Southlands, Digby Stuart and Froebel. The actual logo was designed as a holding piece for an image that represented their courses. With insights from staff and students, the marketing booklet proved hugely successful. The campaign is also an excellent example of multi-channel integration, with the rebranding rolled out offline and online.

There are many potential customers that are extremely cautious about buying an expensive item from an unknown online vendor. It’s one of the reasons why, in order to help them succeed every online company should have brochures and other forms of printed sales literature to hand out to customers and prospects.

Ultimately, choosing the correct marketing methods will ensure you stand out from the crowd. If you are looking to boost your profile, it’s time to consider the above measures. It’s often best to pick a range of marketing tactics.

Jason Sullock, Marketing Manager, Washington Direct Mail
Image source: Shutterstock/kpatyhka