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3 min read

Operationalizing Your Prospective Student Communications

Operationalizing Your Prospective Student Communications

As former admissions recruiters and communications managers, we know how easy it is to become overwhelmed by the hundreds of messages going out to prospective students from your institution via email, text, and carrier pigeon (kidding, sort of).

The work doesn’t stop with a creative idea and some written content. Some may require more than a dozen approvals before you can hit send while others may require a graphic designer and a programmer to look just right.

Fortunately, Outreach Messaging in Scoir is easy to use and requires no coding or design skills. The focus is on getting the right message in front of the right student at the right time. With Scoir Messaging, you can focus on building meaningful relationships with your interested students with little lift from your team. 

And the best part? It’s working. Student followers who receive a Message are 3x more likely to apply to your institution. 

While Messages can be sent on the fly at any time, we find many partner colleges prefer to have a plan in place. This can help you keep track of which Messages are being sent out and cut down on any administrative work needed before and afterward. To set you up for success, here’s our brief 5-step process for operationalizing your prospect comms.

 

1. Make a Plan

Start by planning out Message topics by month based on your school’s calendar. Be sure to think about what students are interested in and want to know about your school. If you’re not sure what prospective students are curious about, ask your current students for insights. For Scoir partners, use your Insights Dashboard to explore your followers’ top interests and majors, and create Messages accordingly. 

Some of the top interests among high schoolers in Scoir right now are:

  • Scholarships
  • Internships
  • Dorms
  • Career Development
  • Study Abroad

Also, think about where students are in their admissions journey. For example, seniors need to know more about application information whereas that information is less relevant for underclassmen. Be sure to segment your audience in order to personalize Messages based on the unique characteristics of your students. With Scoir, you can segment your student audience for each Message by interests and preferences, first generation status, high school, location, and more. 

We encourage partner colleges to aim to send1 to 2 One-Time Messages per audience per month and set up Automated Messages for students and their parents and guardians. Automated Messages are event-triggered Messages. They are sent when students take an action, including following your institution, indicating they will be applying to your institution, and after they have submitted their application. One-Time Messages can be scheduled in advance and are sent on a specific date and time as determined by you. Consider partnering with others on your team who write emails or social media posts to understand what content is resonating with students. We created this messaging calendar to help you generate topic ideas.

 

2. Draft Your Content

When it comes to drafting messages on Scoir, less is more. Keep your Messages short like social media posts so that students are more likely to read them fully and retain the information. We like to think of Scoir Messages operating more like a Tweet than an email. 

We know it’s easier said than done, but don’t overthink it. We made a messaging playbook to help you strategize a student-centered approach to your Messages.

Once you have your content written, it’s easy to copy and paste Messages into Scoir or draft them directly into Scoir. With our draft save functionality, you can work in Scoir to get your Messages ready to go before it’s time to hit send. Your team members on Scoir can also see your drafts so you can get a fresh set of eyes on your content during the review process and collaborate on any edits. Be sure to test any hyperlinks and call-to-action links before sending your Messages.

 

3. Schedule Your Messages

Set it and forget it. By scheduling your Messages in advance, you reduce the amount of time and effort needed to manage a separate platform. Some partner colleges take less than a week to plan, draft, and set up their Messages on Scoir. When scheduling Messages, remember to think about when students will be most likely to read your Messages. 80% of our mobile app users have push notifications enabled, so when your Messages are sent, you’ll be reaching students where they are.

We recommend scheduling Messages for a few months at a time. That way you can schedule communication for each season and survey Message performance quarterly. 

 

4. Deactivate Your Automated Messages

When you’re done with your Messages for a particular season (think: the application deadline has passed), you can deactivate your Automated Messages. That way you can update and reuse those Messages next year to save time and you won’t lose data on Message performance. Be sure to add new Automated Messages that make sense for where you are in the admissions cycle when you deactivate your older Messages.

 

5. Monitor Your Message Performance

Once you’ve scheduled your Messages on Scoir, you can monitor your Message performance in your Scoir account. Track the total number of Messages sent, their open rate, and their click rate. Students can anonymously share if they like (thumbs up) or dislike (thumbs down) individual college Messages. Connect with your Customer Success Manager to understand how students are engaging with your Messages beyond open and click rates. 

 

Looking for more messaging best practices? Reach out to your Customer Success Manager to book a Messaging Consultation where we’ll review your existing Messages and brainstorm new ways to engage your prospective students.

This article was originally published on November 11, 2021. It was updated on October 13, 2023 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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