WE INQUIRED AT 80 DIFFERENT BUSINESS SCHOOLS: After submitting 80 RFI and RMI forms, only 25% of email communications that followed said anything about COVID-19. Schools have been slow to update comm flows to recognize the complex situation that prospective students (especially) are facing and provide unique value during this time. We also found that 75% still use bulleted lists in emails (a sure way to make your email look just like the competition). Open rates on trigger emails (the email that is sent out right after a prospect inquires) have an 80% open rate, so take advantage of it! Don’t just thank prospects for inquiring. Instead of a call to action to contact your school or request more information (remember, they just contacted you), provide student stories, send them a thank you video, be unique and conversational.
Why you should care: Every single touch point in the prospective student journey is important. And this touch point after a contact requests more information is absolutely vital to sustain a prospect’s attention. You’re selling a $20k - $80k service – and if your email quality is more on par with a $20 product, and provides little to no helpful content to prospective students, you’re probably not effectively nurturing them through the applicant journey.
WHAT DO CONSUMERS WANT TO SEE IN ADS DURING COVID-19?:
Twitter’s recent survey of platform users uncovered what consumers want to see from advertisers during the pandemic:
- 64% said brands should continue to advertise products as normal
- 77% agreed they feel more positively about brands making an effort to support society
- Only 7% said brands should continue using their normal brand tone of voice
- 70% said brands should boost positivity and share positive stories
Why you should care: Prospective students are looking for signs of normalcy. If you are planning to advertise your program or school, your ads should have a positive tone, while acknowledging the reality of the situation we’re all in. Consider highlighting the success your students, faculty, or alumni are still having despite COVID-19. Promote app fee waivers or even one-on-one financial aid meetings to show sensitivity and empathy towards prospective students..
WHAT IS CONTENT AUTHORITY AND IS YOUR CONTENT AUTHORITATIVE?: Content authority is one of those SEO measures that Google uses to rank one page over another. Like most SEO topics, what makes content authoritative is not 100% clear to those of us not in on Google secrets. For the best shot at writing authoritative content, produce writing that focuses on answering a question. Keep content information-dense, that is, writing not just to meet word counts, but to produce fact-heavy information with less fluff (think about how information-dense Wikipedia is). Many also believe that inline citations, fact lists, datelines, and AP style formatting contribute to content authority.
Why you should care: Maybe you’re in the middle of a website revamp or writing new content in light of COVID-19. Are you thinking about content authority and writing with Google in mind? Not all content needs to be a scholarly masterpiece, but consider being more information-dense on blogs, using citations on pages that promote your research-heavy programs, and avoiding clickbait writing that lacks substance.
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