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Redefining the College Recruitment Strategy

As college recruiters, you’ve probably heard a lot about marketing to Millennials. Perhaps you even feel that you have a solid understanding of this demographic.

Unfortunately, it’s all about to change again.

The “audience persona” spotlight is going to shift to a new generation. They’re the first digitally native generation, have the shortest attention span (8 seconds), and are the most diverse U.S. generation yet.

They’re Generation Z, and they have the amazing ability to ignore traditional advertising better than any of us. And this brings up the question—how will your college recruitment strategy successfully reach them?

College Recruitment Reaches a New Paradigm

Working in college admissions and recruiting, you’re constantly aware of the new ways that the younger generation is consuming information. The 17-year-old members of Generation Z do it much differently than Millennials did at the same age—they’re visiting different platforms, using different apps and speaking in different emojis.

How does this new paradigm affect your college recruitment strategy? The truth is, you’ll still be doing a lot of the same direct mailers and print materials—the big push when financial aid is released and the ever-popular summer view book—but the key is to implement new elements into these pieces that further the conversation with students.

College Recruitment Strategy

Your college recruitment strategy should evolve, just as the way communication has from generation to generation. Be sure to cover your bases when formulating your college recruitment campaign to ensure you’re creating the connection with students—and parents—that translates into future alumni.

 Know Your Audience(s)

You’re recruiting high school students to attend your school, but that isn’t your only audience. The parents of these students are just as important.

Traditional mailers not only reach out to students, but also allow you to reach the parent, and we know parents play an important role in the decision making process. In fact, 60% of prospective college students report that they research colleges with their parents, and 61% make the final decision together.

In most cases, you can count on the parent to be the first to see your direct mail piece—and it’s likely that they’ll flip through the material before their kid does! It’s crucial to design your print materials in a way that connects with both audiences.  

Factors Affecting a Student's Choice in School

Bridge the Gap from Print to Digital

Your direct mail pieces enable you to make the “first move” with a student—you put yourself out there in hopes that the student likes the college well enough to continue the conversation. With any first impression, your college needs to show that you are worth connecting with.

When it comes to Generation Z, virtually everything they do is digital. Your mailer may have gotten their attention for a split-second, but you need to figure out a way to continue to gain their 8-second attention span with future messages. Integrating your digital marketing strategies into your print collateral can help you achieve this.

 College Recruiting Direct Mail Campaigns

Some of the ways you can integrate your digital presence in with your print materials include the following:

Personalized URLs (PURLs)

Personalized URLs can be created for individual recipients, or for a certain subset of your audience. You could implement this into your college recruitment strategy by creating PURLs related to specific majors. If you know what major a student may be interested in, this type of variable printing allows you to cater the story to them. Take them to a webpage that has a video of an alumni—with that same degree—talking about their experience at the University, and how it has helped them get to where they are now.

PURLs are an element of variable printing that Metzgers specializes in. Along with personalized URLs, you are able to set headlines, images and body copy as variable elements, allowing you to create a personalized piece for each audience you are targeting.

Personalized URLs PURLs

Snapchat Code

To capture the attention of Generation Z and help them to envision themselves at your school, you need to inspire them to do so! Snapchat, which recently surpassed Twitter with the most monthly active users, appears to have the most engaged audience with over 400 million snaps sent per day. In fact, of the 100 million users visiting the platform on a daily basis, 26 million are aged 13-17.

If your school has an active Snapchat account, integrate the promotion of the Snapcode into your college recruitment materials. Engaging prospective students via Snapchat provides the opportunity to communicate with them on a daily basis, truly showcasing the experience that students have on campus. While storytelling may not be feasible on a post card or mailer, including your Snapcode is, and that allows you to meet your audience where they spend their time.

Social Media Integration

Including social icons on your materials is in no way new, however the way you are utilizing the social channels may need to be assessed.

The emergence of live streaming on various platforms, including Facebook, provides another opportunity for authentic storytelling. Showcasing the campus experience can be done with the touch of a button, but in order to capitalize on this, you want to ensure that the right audience is watching. Virtual reality 360 video has also allowed social media users to interact with the content being posted, further enhancing the social experience and strengthening the connection. Some schools are even going as far as sending prospective students low-end virtual reality goggles, allowing them to take virtual tours of their campus! While virtual reality goggles may be a stretch for most college recruitment budgets, the example does showcase the shift to integrating emerging technology and tactics into your college recruitment strategy.  

Putting Your College Recruitment Strategy into Place

The typical college recruitment campaign consists of mailers throughout the entire year, making it crucial to have a process in place for maintaining your mailing lists—and a printing company capable of meeting your needs.

Metzgers has extensive experience working with colleges and universities, fulfilling printing needs while integrating tactics to help them meet the right audience with the right messages. If you’re in the process of integrating new tactics into your college recruitment strategy, or you’re seeking a new partner to help your school meet your recruitment goals, contact a Metzgers sales representative at 419.861.8611 to learn how we can help you make your vision into a reality.


Variable Printing: Is the Connection Worth the Cost?

Think about all the people you know, and how you interact with each of them a little differently. Your coworker as opposed to your boss, for example. You might also use different examples while explaining a concept to people in different industries. You take a personalized approach when interacting with people in person, so why should your direct mail be any different?

The good news is—with variable printing, it doesn’t have to be!

Creating a Personal Connection Through Variable Printing

There may be over 7 billion humans on the Earth, but each of us wants to feel like an individual. When other people recognize our individuality, we tend to remember it.

When your coworker notices your new shoes, you feel better about your purchase. The fact that someone noticed a difference validates the extra effort. Imagine if you could tap into this logic through your direct mail campaign—notice what it is about your audience that is unique and capitalize on it. Variable printing can help you achieve this.

It’s Much More Than a First Name
Variable printing is much more than [Insert Name Here] in one or two places within your direct mail piece. This printing option provides the opportunity to create an emotional connection with your audience through the use of several variables, all while utilizing the same template or design.

Personalizing Content Through Variable Printing

65% of marketing executives believe that visual assets are core to communicating their brand story.

Visuals are an important aspect of marketing, and the images you choose are even more powerful when they directly relate to each individual in your audience. Don’t miss out on the chance to effectively communicate because you chose one generic image for your entire mailing list, rather than five or six emotionally appealing images that directly relate to each segment.

Headline and Body Copy
Consumers are constantly being served ads, and as a result, they’ve gotten pretty savvy as to when they can tune things out. We are exposed to more than 5,000 ads each day. Of those, only 12 get our attention. When you’re working with odds like that, it’s important to do everything you possibly can to make your content resonate with your audience.

If the mailing list of your printed piece includes several different audience segments, there may be specific language that resonates with one more than the other. Variable printing allows you to create custom headlines for each audience, enabling you to immediately grab the attention of the recipient, immediately connecting your message to their specific needs. There is also the option to create customized body copy for each audience segment. This can be extremely beneficial when outlining an example specific to an industry.

Personalized URLS
If there’s anything that makes someone feel special, it’s their name included within a domain URL! Incorporating personalized URLs (PURLs) into your print campaign allows you to not only lead the recipient to the next step, but also gives you the opportunity to measure the ROI of the mailer.

You may target a PURL for each individual or for an entire audience segment. Regardless, PURLs provide the ability to measure traffic and conversions related to each URL, allowing you to document the ROI of the mailer.

PURLs also help A/B test content. Using the same measurements, you are able to learn which variables resulted in action by the consumer. Which headline returned the most conversions? Which image resulted in the most traffic? This information is not only valuable for the current campaign, but also when creating a strategy for the next direct mailer.

The Benefits of Variable Printing

As you may have gathered, there are several benefits that come with variable printing. Some are obvious, while others are strategic.

Customized Content
Customized content not only helps you target specific audiences, but helps create a personal connection with the audience.

Saves Production Time
Creating one printed piece that can be customized in multiple ways only requires one template, versus having a designer place each version of variable content in it’s own brochure template. When text and images are variable components of a piece, the template scales accordingly.

And of course, variable printing results in just one print run, rather than multiple, individual runs.

Measure ROI
When certain variables are utilized, such as personalized URLs, the opportunity to measure ROI is available. Since measuring ROI is something that is typically very difficult to do for a print campaign, this is extremely valuable!

A/B Test Capabilities
If you’re not quite sure which headline or brand concept to go with, utilize variable printing and allow the print campaign to help you decide! You can A/B test headlines, taglines, body copy, images and more.

MTZ 001-Blog VariableExample

Create an Emotional Connection
What variable printing comes down to is that with each change in image, headline or body copy, you are able to craft a message that is personal to the recipient.

When content is personalized, it becomes not one of the 5,000 ads seen throughout the day, but a valuable resource to that person. At Metzgers, we understand that your products and services are valuable, and we can help your target audience understand this as well by utilizing the variable printing options highlighted above. Contact a sales representative today at 419.861.8611 to learn how you can incorporate variable printing into your next direct mailer.

Set Your Trade Show Up for Success

tradeshowOne of the hardest parts about attending trade shows is choosing the right promotional products to give to attendees. Unique, engaging promotional products can attract traffic to your booth and yield a greater number of viable leads and new customers. In fact, 52% of trade show and conference attendees are more likely to stop at your booth if you have an intriguing promotional item.

But how do you know if you are choosing the right item to give to attendees? Here are a few things to consider when choosing promotional items:

• Will it compliment your company’s image?
• Will it boost public perception of your brand?
• Is your item unique compared to those you’ve seen previously?
• Is it something you would like to receive?
• Are you able to put key information on the item, such as your logo, tagline or web address?

It is also important to choose a promotional item that people will use after the trade show. The more someone uses your promotional product, the better chance your brand name will be seen. This will also lower your cost-per-impression and make the most of your investment.

To help with future marketing initiatives, consider having customers complete a lead form before offering a giveaway. This will ensure that the right people are receiving your product and give you insight into your audience.

With millions of products to choose from, the task of choosing the right promotional items can be overwhelming. Let Metzgers help you select promotional products that will have the best impact on your customers and budget. To speak with a Promotional Products Expert, call 419-861-8611.

Promotional Products for Golf Season

gold dewaltSpring is in the air, and golf season is just around the corner! Golf events provide the opportunity for you to promote your brand with promotional items used at tournaments, golf outings and charity events.

Golfers will repeatedly use the right promotional product throughout the golf season, showing your message time and again. This will create top-of-mind awareness with the golfers who receive them and build your brand with anyone the golfer interacts with on the course or in the clubhouse.

We hear time and again that the most important factors to consider when selecting golf items are functionality, quality, and style. Metzgers partners with the industry leaders in traditional golf-related items, providing you with the brands you know and trust in the following categories:

• Golf balls
• Golf Bags (including ditty bags)
• Apparel – polo shirts, wind shirts, socks, shoes and more
• Hats and Visors
• Accessories ranging from tees to range finders (and everything in between)
• Cooler bags, beverage insulators, cups and shot glasses
• Umbrellas

Branded items leave a positive lasting impression on end users. In fact, more than half of the people who receive a promotional item have a more favorable view of the company that gave them the product. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box and use your brand name on unique items, such as:

• Mobile chargers
• Bluetooth speakers
• Eyewear
• Personal Care items, including sunscreen and lip balm

When you consider that 47% of people who receive promotional products keep them for more than a year, you can generate thousands of impressions throughout the golf season.

To speak with a Promotional Products Expert, call 419-861-8611 today and our team will help you choose the right items to appeal to your audience. We can even assemble a package that will help your brand standout at the next golf outing you sponsor!

What’s Your Print Marketing Strategy?

Fotolia 99422233 Subscription Monthly XXLMore and more businesses are funneling their marketing dollars into their digital strategies, but in an age where online marketing is abundant, well-done print work stands out in the crowd.

Long Live Print Marketing

Even with the rise of the “digital age,” print marketing is far from dead. Print is a versatile medium that has continued to grow and change with technology. First and foremost, print marketing is a tangible representation of your company. No matter how user-friendly an online campaign is, there is something about being able to physically hold a piece of marketing that connects a consumer with your brand. Consumers also spend more time with printed marketing, and they’re more likely to remember a stand-out print piece than a stand-out email.

The key to effective print marketing is using your brand identity to separate yourself from traditional print marketing. One way to do this is using variable printing for a more customized piece of media.

Print marketing is more than just paper products, too – promotional products such as t-shirts, keychains, and drinkware fall under that umbrella as well.

Integrating Digital and Print Marketing

We’ve already touched on how print pieces offer a unique connection with consumers, but uniting your print and digital strategies can make for a winning combination. Online campaigns have unlimited space to be filled, while print marketing forces you to be selective about the information you include. To combine the two strategies, grab your customer’s attention with a print piece that drives them to your online presence where you can further your relationship and strengthen the original impact of the printed materials.

Social networking is an integral way for companies to interact directly with their customers. Incorporating your social media contact details into a print campaign satisfies the need for a tangible marketing touch, but also provides a way for customers to interact with you online.

Personalized URLs and QR codes can track media crossover and show how many people are engaging with your strategy. Use these tactics to send customers to your social media page, special offer landing page, app, or other online asset you want them to engage with. The best part? They can be printed on nearly anything.

Determine the right mix of digital and print media for your business by listening to what your customers want and how they prefer to be reached.




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