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This is the fourth article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your school or university. Printing school marketing materials is only part of the process. Next, you have to distribute them in order to attract your target audience and motivate a response. The following details some popular distribution channels for school and university marketing.
Direct mail in the form of postcards, brochures, booklets, information packages and flyers is without a doubt one of the most powerful and efficient ways to market your school. It starts with selecting a high-quality mailing list full of your target audience - high school juniors and seniors, adults returning to school or alumni, depending on your campaign goals and type of school.
Here's a sample direct-mail marketing campaign for schools:
Week one: Send a postcard soliciting visits to your school or offering a return form or URL with which to request additional information.
Week six: Send a flyer announcing an upcoming career day and a special offer for early registration.
Week 12: Send a multi-page brochure or booklet that details the experience of earning an education at your school.
Week 18: Send a calendar that features your school's activities.
Week 24: Send a complete information package to prospective students who have expressed an interest in your school and who meet your target demographics.
Week 30: Send another postcard inviting potential last-minute students to speak one-on-one with a career adviser.
Advertise with flyers and posters on bulletin boards, billboards, walls, under windshield wipers, and as inserts in newspapers, magazines and other publications. Take out ads in radio, television, print and online programs. Deploy a street team to hand out flyers and stickers. Also, host or sponsor an event or publicity stunt to get free PR.
Test, track and tweak: These three Ts will help you develop winning school print marketing campaigns. Always test different variations of your marketing materials on small portions of your mailing list before launching the full campaign. Sometimes a single word change can make a big difference in your return on investment. Keep a database of your students, potential students and alumni; and evaluate recognizable trends so you can customize your pitch, which will allow you to make intelligent marketing decisions based on honest, proven statistics. Remember that marketing is a business, and if you treat it as such you'll vastly increase your chances of building a sustainable reputation as the premier school in your education niche.