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Blog Post | Jan 11, 2022

Connect with Prospective College Students Through Hyper-Personalized Direct Mail

Every year, integrated marketers at colleges and universities across the country are faced with the daunting task of recruiting potential students—while 5,000 other colleges and universities are doing the same thing. Marketers need to find unique campaign ideas for enticing students and convincing them that their institution is the right choice.

Topics: Direct Mail

Connect through Direct Mail
Enter variable data printing (VDP), the digital printing process that lets users create custom direct mail pieces that resonate with recipients. VDP offers integrated marketers a unique and compelling approach when reaching out to prospects and starts a conversation between sender and recipient. These types of personalized direct mail pieces have been shown to boost response by 135%, making VDP the clear choice for senders searching for a differentiator.

How VDP works

The VDP process is data-driven, dynamically filling in the variable sections on a customizable template in a single run, using provided data that reflects the interests or personal qualities of the addressee. Software matches the customizable sections to the data for each recipient and fills in the template. The pieces are then printed, with every piece distinct.

Variables for the mailer might include the headline, address, name of recipient, special offers, graphics and demographic information like age, gender or ethnicity. In the case of a prospective student, variables might include educational programs, body copy that reflects their intended major, as well as photos of students engaged in activities of interest to the recipient, such as sports or extracurricular activities.

Benefits to students

VDP presents several benefits to students. Among them:
  • Students feel more recognized because the messaging is personalized to them, appealing to their interests and academic aspirations.
  • The direct mail feels like an extension of their interactions on social media and through email with the personalized messaging that those platforms provide.
  • They feel an immediate connection to the college or university. Rather than doing a deep dive into research, they have already been given a glimpse of how they would fit into the school.
  • It promotes school spirit and creates a sense of belonging.

Benefits to institutions

VDP offers numerous benefits to institutions. Among them:
  • It allows marketers to hyper-personalize communications to each target.
  • It increases the marketing offerings available to the institution.
  • Customers are happier to receive more tailored content.
  • Colleges are using their compiled data effectively to target specific types of students and can drill down to preferred locations or backgrounds to meet admissions goals.
  • Campaigns are streamlined.
  • Recipients are more engaged and likely to follow up with the sending institution.
  • Marketing campaigns can be produced quickly and without a minimum number of pieces required since VDP is perfect for short print runs.

Right message, right time

With VDP, integrated marketers really can reach the right target with the right message at the right time. Rather than sending potential students generic messaging or advertising, they can send a personalized communication that opens a dialogue between the sender and recipient.

Reach out to us for more details on bringing VDP to your business or educational institution. Our knowledgeable staff will help you get started creating a truly custom outreach solution.