Marketing & Recruitment, Research

E-Expectations: 5 Facts to Help You Market to College-Bound Students

iphone graduation pictureCollege-bound students can be fickle – on Facebook one day and Snapchat the next. Abandoning email, and then getting back into it again.

This is probably no surprise to those in higher ed who market to students. What worked last year is “old news” today. So, we surveyed 1,000 high school seniors about how they prefer to be reached online.

What's great is that your college admissions officers can leverage these findings to better allocate their marketing dollars with confidence. But, more importantly, this incredible data should be shared with everyone who is involved in developing and maintaining the website at your institution. This is what we discovered:

  1. Students said they prefer the web over print. In fact, 62% of college-bound high school seniors said they prefer web-based resources over phone calls and traditional print materials.
  2. social media graphFacebook remains the most widely used social media outlet among high school seniors, with use increasing after a drop among teens in 2013.
  3. Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat showed
    big gains in use among teens compared to 2013. And, YouTube had the biggest climb in use of nearly 43%.
  4. Email continues to be highly effective in reaching teens. Of high school seniors, 93% say they use email at least once per week, an increase of 11% over last year.
  5. Two-thirds of students are checking email at least once per day via mobile devices. This has two important implications for colleges and universities that use email in their marketing campaigns. First, campuses should make sure their recruitment emails look good and work well on mobile devices, especially on the small screens of smartphones. Second, any links should send students to landing pages that adapt to mobile screens, so that students can easily read the content and complete the call to action.

The 2014 E-Expectations Report, The Online Preferences of College-Bound High School Seniors and Their Parents, sponsored by OmniUpdate, Noel-Levitz, CollegeWeekLive, and the National Research Center for College & University Admissions (NRCCUA) is a survey of 1,000 high school seniors and more than 500 parents nationwide that provides an in-depth look at mobile and web trends.

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