The most successful programs are programs that are fit into everything else that you do. For the user it should feel like it is all one process and everything is connected. This makes users more comfortable in the program, makes them see the program as a source for information and a place to making connections, and it gives the program more credibility - making it and other efforts you may be promoting through the program more effective.
Suggestions for promotion:
When potential program users see information about your program on your website or with your other materials it allows them to see the program as another step in the process of becoming a student at your school, making them more perceptive to invitations to join your program.
- Website ad and information: having some sort of visual presence along with a link back to the program and/or some information explaining the program to prospective users is key.
- If you are already doing mailings for admit packs, event promotion, or any other type of general outreach then the program should be promoted wherever possible. The most common way that this is done is through postcard inserts in inquiry or admit packs. (We can create the digital materials for you to print).
- Events: Banners, posters, and handouts can all be used at events or during student visits to create program awareness. When students or parents at these events ask questions they should also be reminded that this resource is available should they have more questions going forward (the same is true for people who may call the admissions office with questions). At the Yield level, it is also helpful to remind users about features like the Friend finder and members pages, where they can find and connect with other users – allowing them to continue relationships they started at that event.
Program integration is not just promoting the program to drive activity on the program, it is about utilizing the information the program gathers to inform your other efforts. Your S360 program can help you to determine which users are most interested, what specific people are interested in, and if their interest is fading or intensifying. Early on, this is always a challenge because there is no simple base line for what activity level is good for your school because every user base at every school will be different in some ways. But below are some notes on how best to address program integration and utilization of program intelligence:
- App/Deposit statuses: Whenever possible, statuses for outcomes (application, deposit) should be included in your data uploads. This information can be used to specify messaging (for example if you wanted to make a hard push for more apps and wanted that outreach to only go to those who hadn't applied yet) and it can also be used for program intelligence. When this data is provided it lets us know who has reached what outcomes and we can then use this information to find a baseline for engagement or activity indicative of someone likely to also reach that outcome. For example, if the average engagements for someone who has applied are 5 logins with 3 article views, then we know that anyone within a certain range of that average is more likely to apply.
- Engagement scores: Engagement scores are weighted scores for each user based on their activity. When we know who has reached an outcome we can also begin to see average engagement scores at a particular outcome. This benchmarking can then be used to help you to prioritize your outreach to those users who may be "on the fence," or likely to apply/deposit but just haven't done so yet.
- Individual user information: Once users are identified to be targeted or even if users are not identified but they are on a contact list for any reason, the program intelligence should be used to inform your communication. Each user has a profile in the program showing their activity, this information can be used to guide your outreach. For example, if you have a counselor calling students who have been identified as “on the fencers” then that counselor should look at their activity. If they see this user has logged in 7 times and they have read every article on financial aid and scholarships, they then know a likely barrier that user has to taking the next step and can frame their conversation in a way that addresses their potential concerns.
Note: Similar to receiving regular uploads, we can also provide exports back to you both manually through the reporting center and automatically via the SFTP site for importing into your existing systems.