In most cases, your school wasn't the only school your accepted student applied to. Once students get their acceptance letters, the very first thing they're going to do is head back to your school's website and social media to see what's new and relevant to them.
Recent trends in private school education and changes in the admission process make effective yield tactics a vital part of any admission and enrollment team’s strategy. With population changes, wage gaps, increasing competition, and different decision-making tactics at play, it’s imperative for private schools to find strategies for improving admissions yield. One way the best enrollment strategies involves creating an effective yield campaign.
Here are five of the top strategies you can implement for your next yield campaign.
Admissions yield strategies for improving enrollment this spring
1. Segment by key personas
When families are looking at your school, they’re looking for fit. They want to be able to see themselves at your school and you can help determine fit by offering personalized experiences throughout the enrollment process.
One common tactic is to identify 4-5 major personas of your admit pool and then ensure all of your messaging is personalized for each of those personas. Whether you’re thinking through relevant content to share with them, email messaging, or events, think about how each step can be personalized for each of the personas at every stage of the process.
Key Benefits of Segmenting by Personas:
- Helps families and students to see themselves at your school
- Helps determine fit
- Creates an emotional response
Ready to get started? Download our free persona templates to start creating your school’s personas.
2. Craft a beautiful landing page for accepted students
Because the very first place students will want to visit (again) is your website, it is much better to send them to a page with content relevant to them than just your homepage. On this landing page, you'll want to include:
- A video, if you made one — or, a photo slideshow can be just as good!
- Reasons to attend your school
- A form to register for a revisit day / accepted student day
- Testimonials or interviews from current students, parents, and faculty
In addition, be sure your landing page is free and clear of any confusing navigation or calls-to-action, like "Give" or "Inquire" which are sometimes automatically added based on your site's navigation and structure.
Looking for inspiration? Thorton Academy does a magnificent job getting accepted students excited.
When you visit the page, you're immediately greeted by "Woo! You've been accepted!" at the top of the screen, and fun, bubbly photos and video below. This landing page is the ideal mix of information and great content: a CTA to "picture yourself here" and the next step to enroll with their enrollment management software.
3. Use social media
While social media can be used to help recruit students or build community with current students, it’s also a fun and creative way to help new students feel instantly connected to your school.
Today, prospective families look to the recommendations of others to make their final decision — and social media is going to play a huge part in that. Encourage accepted students to share that they've said "yes" to your school on social media using a branded hashtag. It's an awesome way to generate authentic content from real students, rather than ask your marketing team to come up with something.
Here are a few ideas:
- Create a celebratory hashtag to excite and create a deeper connection with your school
- Social media takeovers by key new admits
- Social media takeovers by current parents or students during your live yield events speaking to how exciting it is to see new families join
4. Fully utilize your student ambassador program
Ambassador programs are a great way to involve current students in your yield campaign. Get your student ambassadors involved in your social media, welcome events, and video strategy. Don’t underestimate the way they can connect with families and help you learn more about prospective students and their parents. Don’t forget to get parent and faculty ambassadors involved, too!
Here are a few ways to involve ambassadors:
- Welcome/congrats calls/emails
- Panelists at live events
- Hosts for personalized events
- Host coffee chats or welcome dinners with new parents
- Social media takeovers
- Instagram Reels with tours of your school
One way to ensure your program is making a big impact is to set specific goals for your ambassadors. You can set event registration goals and encourage your ambassadors to market your events, which can help increase event attendance. Nice work by the St. Andrew's School ambassadors crew!
Pro Tip: Create a "Welcome" video with students
The "Welcome" video concept is simple: personally welcome your accepted students to campus. So, even if you don't have a full suite of camera gear — grab your smartphone and head out around campus to capture a similar authentic, personal message for your accepted students.
St. Paul's Pre and Lower School had some small but mighty help for its admissions welcome video. What better way to introduce some friendly faces than to have them assist in firmly welcoming younger students and families to the school? Nicely done!
5. Follow-up acceptance letters with targeted workflows
You already know a lot about your prospective students, so now it's time to use that to your advantage. Split your list of accepted students by interest, location, and type of student (day, boarding, international, etc.) and then, send them an email with content that is most relevant to them.
Create separate emails for students interested in different sports or programs, then share content, news stories, and testimonials via email from students and faculty involved in those programs.
Also, consider inviting them to upcoming events on campus to get them to visit before a scheduled commitment day. For example, if you know they're interested in theatre, invite them to an upcoming play. Or, if they're interested in lacrosse, encourage them to attend an upcoming game.
Automation is KEY for running an effective yield campaign. You can increase operational efficiency by automating outreach, deposit and enrollment reminders, event registration, and scheduling 1:1 meetings. Using a student enrollment management system or school admissions software can automate so many processes that allow you to spend more time welcoming families one on one.
A few other pro tips:
- Be sure to include personalization tokens, like "first name" to make the emails feel like it is just for them
- Include a call-to-action to visit the landing page you may have already sent to them. If you haven't created one yet, now is the time!
- In addition to the one-week follow-up email, be sure to send reminder invites for your revisit day/commitment night.
- If you don't have the time to get personal (although, you should!) be sure to follow up with an email communication to accepted students that includes content and information to help them make their decision.
The hard work isn't over just yet! As the acceptances roll out, one of the best enrollment strategies revolves around creating an effective yield campaign. Personalize your outreach, segment your audiences, clearly explain your process and create enough excitement for your school to be at the top of every accepted student's list.