May 9, 2011

What’s in Your Outbound Mailbox?

The joy of the month of May.  This is the month where all of the wonderful elements of an enrollment process come together on college, university, and independent school campuses.  Student contracts and deposits roll in, triggering an astounding amount of new process activity for the receiving campus.  Soon, registration forms will be on the way, tuition payment plans promoted and selected, roommate selection surveys mailed, and health record forms requested.  Some it this will be online, some in the mail, and maybe even some over the phone.  Before you know it, campus offices will be scrambling to ensure that their piece of the enrollment process is underway before these new students arrive.  It’s hard to believe that one little document and a check in the mail can generate such a flurry of activity.

But, as you know, it does.  The problem is that most schools and colleges don’t have a communication strategy to make this next step in the enrollment process client-centric.  Up to this point, the admission and financial aid office have “owned” the communication with the student.  But, now, the communication team has widened and there are more cooks in the kitchen, which likely will result in the very consistent dish of brand management tasting a bit different to the student.  We once learned of a newly enrolled college student that received seven pieces of mail from his college choice in one day, all from different offices, all with little to no clue that they were each mailing him.

What’s your strategy?  How does your institution handle this communication and process challenge.  The next four months are key to managing relationships.  Has your organization developed a clear and consistent strategy to manage this process?  

A little something to think about on a Monday.  What’s in your outbound mailbox?

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