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Can Technology Help You Strike while Students’ Irons are Hot?

Have you or your staff ever had an experience like this one? You have a conversation with a high school student who’s appears to be a perfect fit for your institution. He/she is responding with enthusiasm to your message. You’re certain that this student will be a member of your incoming freshman class. And then…you never hear from them again.

What happened? Did you say or do something wrong? Often, the answer is no. Everything you said and did clicked with the student. But in the time between your conversation and the time to inquire, apply or enroll, something or someone else got in the way.

 

Technology to the Rescue

Fortunately, as often happens, new technology can help you prevent situations like this one from happening over and over again. That technology is mobile marketing. Mobile marketing allows you to capture a response from students while they feel like responding. Is there an event you’d like them to attend? Tell them about it, and then give them an easy way to register right there on the spot with their mobile phones. Do you want them to visit a website to respond to your college’s offer or inquire in some other way? Mobile technology can allow them to do it while they’re in the mood.

Mobile Rated Effective

The Noel-Levitz report “2011 Marketing and Student Recruitment Practices at Four-Year and Two-Year Institutions” shows that 64% of admissions officials responding rated mobile apps as “somewhat effective” or “very effective” in recruiting freshmen, yet only 16.9% actively use them. Could this be due to the fact that mobile apps must be created by talented but overworked college IT departments?

An Easier Way

Using QR codes (two-dimensional bar codes) can provide an easier way to reap a major benefit of mobile marketing – immediate response – while avoiding the hassle of creating your own mobile apps and getting students to download them. Every smartphone user can download a free QR code reader, and new initiatives by Coca-Cola, Best Buy, Macy's and other major retailers will encourage your prospects to install them on their phones.

Displaying QR codes on admissions marketing materials or posters can allow students to immediately visit mobile websites created and sponsored by qualified partners. There they can respond to an offer, get a customized electronic brochure for the program of their choice or register for an on-campus or online event. This can prove an excellent way to “strike while the iron is hot,” increasing qualified inquiry, application and yield rates.

Is your institution looking to improve in any of these areas? Using mobile marketing and QR codes might just be the way to accomplish it.

The Allied Group is a marketing communications company that offers mobile marketing along with Search, Stealth, Conversion and Yield programs for colleges and universities.

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