- Cut back on the clutter and put your best foot forward. Students want to look at your materials, but they don’t want to leave with a handful of loose items. You don’t want to risk important information landing beneath their passenger seats, either. Folders will keep everything together, but a better idea may be to place an adhesive pocket on a marketing booklet. If your most engaging visual information is on the front of a booklet, why would you hide that behind a folder cover? Keep that information in the open and slide inserts, brochures, and business cards into the vinyl pocket. The pocket will protect your materials better than a paper folder, anyway. If you have a great booklet with one outdated page, the adhesive pocket is perfect to cover it up. You can adhere a vinyl pocket to the back of a one-page handout, too, but it needs to be a sturdy handout.
- Bring technology to your handout with a QR code. These are free and easy to create. Use them to send students to a key page, video, social media site, or somewhere else that will continue to engage them. What might campus life be like? Oh yeah, the QR code links to a video about it. Get creative in what you want to show this student when he or she is comparing schools. Some schools have current students post YouTube videos explaining what they love about their college. Print the codes on labels to stick to your marketing materials or print them on paper to slide into an insert, ID holder, business card slot, etc.
- Use the old handout to engage students online with coupon codes. Again, using an insert or a sticker, you can give students a code to use on your site to get discounts on books, apparel, food, or other “fun” items.
- Use the handout to get email addresses with a prize-winning quiz. Create an online quiz based on your handout and post a link on your site or social media page. Students can answer the questions using your marketing material, and a score of 100% earns them a spot in a drawing for a prize. Make students submit and email address to be eligible for the prize. Students retain the information from your hand out, spend time on your website, and give contact information for your admissions team or student ambassadors.
- Cater to mom and dad. For a lot of students, parents have a big influence over where they choose to go to college. (Some parents are even looking to go back to school themselves.) Insert something in the material for parents to look at – something that assures them that their kid will be safe, receive an excellent education, and get a great job after graduation.
To stay ahead in this game, colleges have to incorporate technology into their recruitment strategies. Students want to follow company pages, take virtual tours, and accomplish as much as possible online. Then again, recruiters also need to send prospective students away with something. Whether it’s from a college fair, high school presentation, or campus tour, students still need to leave with something in their hands. In fact, students don’t want to rely on the Internet for all of their material. They still ask their instructors for downloaded copies of notes and presentations. Students do not prefer 100% online provisions to physical ones. The handouts you’ve been using are still relevant; you just need to do some tweaking. If your marketing booklets and brochures are still up to date, you can add a few things to them to make them stand out.