John Marshall is an independent law school located in the heart of Chicago’s downtown loop. Since 2010, SimplifiedSolutions has been the school’s marketing agency, creating and helping manage all of their digital and offline recruitment campaigns for the school’s JD, Graduate and Distance Education Programs. We have helped move them from the print and DM heavy age into a digitally-driven strategy. Last year we introduced Text Marketing as part of the marketing mix. The campaign stretched over 10 months but the best test results are starting to come in. Here is a brief overview.
One of the recruiting challenges for any higher education institution is reaching potential students more effectively with their recruitment campaigns. Candidates receive a ton of emails from multiple Admission Offices, scroll through countless targeted ads on Facebook, and throw out a lot of a Direct Mail pieces. Yet it come comes as no surprise that most of them spend their time on their smartphones texting. And 90% of all texts are opened within 90 seconds. Clearly, texting is an ideal opportunity to break through the clutter and reach out in a more direct way.
Another challenge for law schools and higher eduction recruiting in general is that while the goal of recruiting is to get high quality students to apply to your school, it doesn’t stop there. Once someone is admitted that person is still uncommitted until they enroll in classes. Enrollment is the ultimate conversion metric.
As part of a broader marketing campaign, Simplified worked with John Marshall’s communication and admission teams to create a text-based marketing campaign designed to nurture the journey from admission to enrollment. The entire campaign was built upon an affordable SMS text marketing platform used to time and deliver the nurture messages.
Here is how it works: Once a student is admitted, they are given an option to opt-in or out of the text campaign. Just under half of the 1,100 admitted students opted in for this beta test. From that point, each admitted candidate begins to receive a series of automated text messages with links to videos, on-campus news and events, student org and scholarship information, invites to open houses and admitted student receptions, and more. By segmenting the list we are also able to target specific interests. The goal is to make the candidate feel as though he or she is part of the law school community even before arriving on campus. When it come time to making deposits, they are sent gentle reminder texts to keep them on track. And finally, those who make their deposits are encouraged to begin the enrollment process. This journey spans 9 to 4 months depending upon when the student is admitted.