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Inquiry responses... email recruiting since June 26

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Email responses to an online inquiry... slow recruiting steps continue

OK, time to revisit the email that have been arriving since I first made my secret shopper visits to 6 college and university websites the evening of June 20 and the morning of June 21. If you read the second entry in this series, you know that the first email response (after two immediate ones on June 21) arrived on June 26. Rapid response is not in vogue.

What's been happening since June 26?

June 26: The second email from my university in Connecticut arrives, using my first name and "campus visit schedule" in the subject line. The email itself includes upcoming visit dates without having to visit the website.

June 28: A second email from a private college in upstate New York that says "Thank you for your interest" in the subject line and includes strong prompts to schedule a campus visit.

July 11: A third email from my update New York private college, with a subject line that asks me to "Get a head start on the education of a life time." Curiously, the return address now does not include the name of the school but only "Admission." Without opening it, I have no idea who sent it. That risks a "this is spam" reaction.

July 13: The first response arrived from my public honors college. The subject line is the name of the school. And the email is prompting a campus visit.

July 16: The first response from my private college in Massachusetts is here. Like the others, the push here is to get me to visit the campus. Unlike the others, the visit link from the email leads immediately to a video to show me the campus I might want to see in person. Nice touch, delivered a bit late.

July 17: The first response from my "most selective of the group" private university arrives at 3:03 PM. And this one isn't prompting me to visit campus. This is an invitation to an online chat event that night starting at 7 PM. While a late afternoon reminder is good practice, even better practice is sending a first notice a wee bit earlier than this.

Does email marketing work?

Well, not so well if you don't use it better than what's happening here. The emails themselves have not been bad and some have tried unusual elements. But as a direct marketer, I'd be concerned that the relative long times to first response decrease the impact.

Next: responses by regular mail show the view book lives

So far we have responses from 5 of the 6 schools receiving my online inquiry. One private college in New England hasn't responded at all by email, although I have received their printed view book. Look for an update soon on what's been arriving by mail.

That's all for now.

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