Digital Marketing

The Best Way to Engage Prospective Families Earlier in the Recruitment Cycle: Residential Geotargeting

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Calling a home used to be a shared experience.  If a college recruiter called the family phone asking to speak to the prospective student, everyone in the family knew. However, between 2003 and 2018, the number of US homes with a landline dropped from 95% to 40%. Fast forward to 2022 where nearly 90% of 14 to 17-year-olds have a personal mobile device.  Calls to kids are privatized and the majority of parents do not have the same exposure to who is calling their kids and why.  A college recruiter may reach the prospective student on their personal smartphone, but it will be solely up to the student if they decide to include their parents in the conversation. So how can you still involve parents in the college decision process?

Gauging Parent Participation in the College Enrollment Decision

Encoura teamed up with a public research university in the southeast on a digital strategy to include parents in their yield efforts, in addition to their admitted students. Specifically, the school separated admitted students and their parents into two groups.  The Digital Solutions team helped them run the same digital messages to each group: "Congratulations You're In.  Now Secure Your Seat." What they saw affirmed their decision to work with Encoura to engage their admitted student families.  For every 1 click by the admitted student group, there were 4.5 clicks on the messages by the parent group.

Successful Family Engagement Strategies

Universities like this one continue to seek means of reaching families, but often desire to connect with them earlier on in the college planning process knowing that parents are incredibly involved. In response, the Digital Solutions team is partnering with schools to also implement Residential Geotargeting campaigns, drawing a virtual fence around the family home.  Any time someone in the home is on their mobile device with their location turned on, Residential Geotargeting allows an institution to push a message to the mobile user in that home. Higher education institutions can use this surgically targeted approach to reach prospective students—and their families—at any time of the year so that their communications can become the catalyst for those all-important family conversations about college options, college visits, and college applications. Colleges and universities have been able to increase their prospective student and family engagement by more than 5 times by working with the Digital Solutions team to implement Residential Targeting. Rather than waiting to receive parent data which typically becomes available later in the enrollment process, these schools reached out early to ensure they could weigh in and provide direction to their students–direction that would lead them to visit, inquire, and apply to the school. Parents want to be involved in their students’ college search from the start. Using the right digital strategies throughout the recruitment cycle—from inquiry to enrollment—keeps the whole family engaged and connected to your institution, allowing you to make those prospective students part of your institution’s family too. Engage digitally with entire prospective families starting now! Get a quick look at what your ROI could look like for Residential Geotargeting today. ​  

Of 14-17 year-olds have mobile devices

By parents for every 1 click by an admitted student

Higher student and family engagement

Of 14-17 year-olds have mobile devices

By parents for every 1 click by an admitted student

Higher student and family engagement

Vice President, Digital Strategy at Encoura
Contact Reva | Learn More About Digital Solutions from Encoura

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