Personalizing 1.2 million communications with students? No sweat

With the right technology, colleges and universities can bolster recruitment efforts, become more efficient, and focus on personalizing communications.


Almost any institution can send an eMail blast that reaches tens of thousands of perspective college students. It’s the schools that can put the pivotal personal touch on those electronic mailings that have a provably better chance at recruiting its recipient.

Personalizing such a massive number of messages seems somewhere between tedious and impossible, especially for colleges with small enrollment and recruitment staffers. How would one even begin to sift through the mass of potential students and add a small but critically important personal aspect to each eMail?

And what about the communication after the initial eMail? Many schools then get in touch with students via U.S. mail or a phone call. This process called for automation, and that’s precisely what some campuses — including Becker College in Worcester, Mass. — have done.

Becker officials turned to an innovative technology made by Ellucian — a  program called Recruiter, which helps schools automate recruitment communication with a host of analytics tools designed to find, engage, and eventually enroll more students without increasing recruitment staffing.

Becker College, a school of about 1,800 students, used Ellucian Recruiter during the 2012-13 recruitment season to dispatch more than 1.2 million communications with prospective students in 145 eMail campaigns. And it was all with a personalized touch, including students’ names and other personalized information that has proven critical in establishing contact with recruits.

See page 2 for just how much money Becker College saved using the Recruiter technology…

Each eMail included a link and an invitation to create an account and apply to Becker College online, where they can update contact information. The Recruiter technology also allows admissions staffers can push out dynamic content, such as spotlighting a prospect’s area of interest through copy, photographs, and links.

The results spoke for themselves: The school saw a 25 percent increase in the number of applications it received, along with a 21 percent jump in the number of students who were accepted.

Automating the previously arduous process of reaching potential students saved Becker $300,000 during that school year, along with 200 hours that would’ve been required to coordinate and execute such a wide-ranging recruitment plan.

Even the acceptance of perspective students targeted in the personalized eMail campaigns was automated for the small college. That also saved tremendous amounts of time for campus staffers, officials said.

“We have built functionality that calculates award information automatically and then sends this personalized information to the prospect,”  said Patty Patria, CIO at Becker College. “The process was entirely manual before.”


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