campus app

How to boost campus engagement combining mobile with CRM


Student outreach begins with the first recruiting interaction and it must continue throughout the student’s lifecycle at your institution.

The Power of Mobile is in Knowing Your Audience

When it comes to student success tactics, we must engage learners where they are. For many of today’s students, that means mobile devices. However, the rush to “mobile” is also a generalization. Truly successful delivery is rooted in knowing your audience – “where they are” is just as important as knowing “who they are.” Institutions must understand communications preferences and adjust accordingly. If we want to be truly student-centric, the message, action plan and delivery must be tailored to the student.

Another element of the tactic is fitting the method to the message. An admissions decision may be quickly communicated via text or an applicant portal. The importance of that first step on the journey is momentous for so many students. Don’t underestimate the power of a paper letter, one that is proudly displayed in many homes.

Taking together the power of CRM and mobile, ask yourself these key questions as your students begin their academic years:

  • Does the communication method fit the magnitude of the message?
  • Are we cultivating an incoming class with high expectations and then dropping them into the student body with the right “checklist” for success?
  • Does our student-centric approach go beyond knowing their names? Are we putting a holistic, 360-degree view and action plan around retention?
  • Are we heavily focused on the first-year experience, or do plans follow the student through to completion?
  • Do we truly understand the student’s end goal? Or do we rely on expected major and graduation date to tell us?
  • Are we taking the student’s preferences into account in establishing the communication method and calls to action?
  • Are we creating a bridge between students and the institution, helping them to stay on track and eventually keeping them engaged as alumni?

Going Forward

The proliferation of phrases like “enterprise CRM,” “constituent engagement” and “user experience” are quickly becoming overused as vendors race to deliver the right solutions to address these issues. At its core, CRM-driven engagement should help to foster timely action and adjustments on the part of learners and their advisors to keep students on the path to graduation. This requires a more holistic approach beyond academics to include financial aid, housing, social interactions, career services and many other touchpoints in the student experience.

When pressed into service to influence outcomes, CRM should also help students stay aligned with industry expectations. The technology can help them engage alumni and employers in their respective industries, secure internships and, ultimately, transition from graduation into productive careers.

We’re no longer just tasked with transforming students into graduates, but we’re now also transforming graduates into working professionals.

eSchool Media Contributors