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Student recruitment... 17 Email inquiry responses since August 24

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Email Marketing: A Note on Academic Major for Competitive Advantage

Before reviewing what's arrived in our secret shopper's mailbox since August 24, let's highlight an unfortunate omission from each of the 6 colleges and universities in our group: not a single mention since June of the preferred academic major asked for and received when the inquiry forms were completed. What's with that? 

Academic area of interest is a key factor in why many high school students select a college. Why not make an extra effort to take advantage of this key point and gain an immediate competitive advantage? Instead, we've had a series of emails to get our shopper to visit campus. That's important. Even better is a first response email with links to faculty, course descriptions, and outcomes related to the major of choice.

Since July 24: 17 Emails from 4 of our 6 Schools

Since my last report, the email pace has quickened from some schools... and disappeared from others. Has our shopper been "burned" from some inquiry lists for lack of response? If so, that's a valid reason to stop the contacts. If not, the next response is going to arrive after an overly long hiatus. Our "public honors college in New York," has been absent since July 13. So too has our "private university in Connecticut."

Here's what's been sent to our bright young student, including 8 of the 19 from a single school.

  • August 31: The "private college in upstate NY" asks in the subject line "What do you want to be when you grow up"? That's an intro to telling me the school has 1,200 academic program options. But you already know what I want to study. Worse yet, there's no link to what the 1,200 options are. Just another campus visit link.
  • September 1: My late-starting "private university in Rhode Island" returns with "Tips on the College Essay" and 6 short tips on how to write one and a link to a blog written by an admissions counselor. Still no personal intro or closing.
  • September 4: From the "private college in upstate NY" comes a reminder of the Open House planned for September 23 with a link and phone number to register.
  • September 11: the "private college in upstate NY" returns with a special offer: complete a "Fast-Forward" application and I'll find out if I'm eligible for a $9,000 per year scholarship. An admissions decision is promised in "just one week."
  • September 11: Our "private college in upstate NY" is back again a bit later in the day with a personal invite from the director of admissions to visit on September 23. A flaw... it is "from" the director of admissions. I don't know the school until I open the email.
  • September 11: Oops! The "private college in upstate NY" is back for the third time today with a duplicate of the June 28 "Thank you for your interest" email. An error?
  • September 13: The "private university in Rhode Island" returns with an invite to visit campus, once again not using the name of our student or anyone at the university.
  • September 13: The "private college in Massachusetts" sends an email (with my name in the subject line) to "study what you love" but no mention of my favorite academic program. A link leads to a video from an engineering student... miles away from my major.
  • September 16: The "private college in upstate NY" repeats in the subject line the offer of a "Fast-Forward" admissions decisions in just 7 days.
  • September 18: A reminder to apply before the January 15 deadline arrives from the "most selective university" in our group, with a link to a flattering description of the students who enroll here.
  • September 18: A reminder that I have not yet registered for the September 23 open house is here from the "private college in upstate NY." This time here is a note that I'll get to "meet professors in my field of interest," a first tentative use of that criterion.
  • September 19: A third invite to a chat session from our "most selective university," again just a day before the event. Do they know that late notice like this works best?
  • September 19: The "private university in Rhode Island" is back to announce adoption of Early Decision and a link to a page explaining what that's all about.
  • September 21: Announcement of a late October campus visit day from our "private university in Massachusetts" with a reminder I can visit on another day if that fits better.
  • September 23: The third reminder from the "private college in upstate NY" that I have not yet completed the "Fast-Forward" admissions app (no fee, no essay" introduced by a subject line that this school wants a "clever student" like myself.
  • September 26: A second reminder to apply to join the "talented students" enrolled at our "most selective university."
  • September 26: This email from our "private university in Massachusetts" introduced a new subject: study abroad programs. Featured is a video from a student who studied in Ireland. Missing: a link to other opportunities in other countries.
That's all for now.

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