Our Thoughts.

6 Direct Mail Tips to Grab Students’ Attention

Direct mail may seem like an outdated strategy for enrollment marketers, especially in today’s digital-first world. But research shows that direct mail is still an effective way to recruit students—as long as you’re doing it right. 

So, we put together our best direct mail tips to help you avoid the trash can and get into students’ hands. 


1. Use personalization across content & images

Personalize wherever you can using the information that’s available to you. Incorporate the student’s first name, major, and extracurricular interests into your content and images—anything that will grab their attention. If your direct mail piece looks like it could be for anyone and everyone, you’re doing it wrong. 


2. Include “Social Proof”

When it comes to direct mail pieces, you don’t have a lot of real estate to work with—so, make sure your content packs a punch. A good rule of thumb is to include “social proof” over fluff content. 

Think student testimonials, quick facts, and rankings—this is the kind of information that sticks out to students. Hard facts and numbers that serve as proof of your school’s value, rather than long-winded sentences and mission statements that students tend to skip over. 


3. Make it quick and easy-to-scan

Make sure to utilize white space, headings, bullet points, and boxes to organize your content and make it easy to scan and read.

You should also use high-quality images, fonts, colors, and logos that align with your brand identity. 


4. Have clear calls to action (that are easy to act on!)

You’re obviously sending direct mail with a goal in mind—whether it’s to get students to sign up for an open house or nudging them to complete their application before the deadline. So, make sure that’s clear in your content. 

Utilize QR codes and personalized URLs that make it easy for students to take action. The fewer steps the better!


5. Complement other multi-channel efforts

An easy way to nudge students to check their mailboxes is to plan call-outs across your other communication channels. Estimate the date when students will most likely be receiving your direct mail and push email messages and social media posts urging them to “be on the lookout” for a postcard about the FAFSA or an invitation to your open house event.  

Not only will they be more likely to search through the pile of mail on their kitchen counter, but when they’re being hit with the same information from a variety of channels—there’s a greater chance that it will stick with them and get them to act.  


6. Knowing that “Print is for Parents”

Let’s face it—we’d love to imagine that prospective students are carefully reviewing each direct mail piece that we’re sending them, but it’s more likely that parents are your main audience. So, use this to your advantage! 

Parents crave communication and don’t want their student to fall behind. So, give them information that’s tailored to their student’s status. Details around admission requirements, application deadlines, and key events are all must-haves!


Make Every Touchpoint “Waybetter” 

Direct mail is a critical touchpoint with students (and their parents). But, it’s just a small piece in the larger enrollment strategy puzzle. Want to talk about a comprehensive communication plan from sophomore year to census across all channels? Get in touch with the team at Waybetter!

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