Research, Marketing & Recruitment

Recruiting Parents: Where Early Engagement Pays Off

Eager to get a head start on your recruiting efforts? Target the parentsthat’s what the data suggests in the new 2017 E-Expectations Trend Report.

mom and daughter using laptopCollege admissions counselors lament the increase in parents who overtake the admissions process for their children, but according to the latest E-Expectations report co-sponsored by OmniUpdate, this trend is growing stronger. Of the 2,138 parents surveyed, 80-98% admitted early involvement in the college planning process, contrasting only 60-74% of students.

What does this mean for your institution? “Parents are not only primary influencers for prospective students, but they are actually doing preliminary research and weeding out institutions before having conversations with their children,” said Court Campion, Director of Marketing for OmniUpdate. Targeting parents sooner than later with relevant information could increase campus visits and potentially boost applicants.

For an effective content strategy aligned with information-seeking behaviors of parents, consider these tips:  

  • Welcome parents into the recruiting process with a targeted campaign specifically for them—and schedule your campaign earlier in the process. Parents begin researching during their child’s sophomore year and actively at the beginning of junior year.
  • Meet parents where they are comfortable. Unlike students who use their mobile phones for engagement, parents are more likely to learn about a school from Facebook, your website, and print materials. Emails are also popular with parents, and 59-69% of parents are open to receiving informative text messages.
  • Create an emotional bond with the parent to increase the student’s interest in your institution. Parents appreciate when you anticipate their questions (security, cost, etc.) and provide answers upfront in the process.
  • Provide practical information. The study found that online calculators like the Ruffalo Noel Levitz TrueCost Calculator are as much of an influence on parents as websites.
  • If you want parent information, ask the parent, not the student. According to the study, students are less likely to share their parents’ personal information.

With customizable enrollment tools and measurable data about parent behavior, a tailored campaign is simple to create and track.

Interested in boosting your recruitment? Consult with our web content management experts at OmniUpdate on powerful tools to help you manage your website and increase traffic.

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