We just finished two major research projects—one involved surveying over 12,000 prospective families and the second surveyed nearly 2,000 high school students. In this blog, I will summarize one of the exciting things I learned from both research projects: Don’t get rid of email!
Let’s start with the kids: They still use email
Nearly 2,000 high school students participated in our most recent E-Expectations® high school student survey. One of the many things we learned from their words, experiences, and responses was that college planning is social and interactive; even emails are part of that social interaction.
However, you are missing part of the picture if you seek to engage prospective students and are still stuck on merely measuring response and open rates to your emails. These high school students made it clear email is still a very valuable channel. Here is what we learned about emails and how high school kids use them during college planning.
- Nearly 90% of all high school students use email at least once a week.
- Nearly all students (94%) will open emails from colleges and universities, but only 20% remember at least one email from a specific university or college. If you want to know why they remembered a specific email from a college, download the report here.
- Email is the second top resource to learn about colleges and universities after websites, with 88% of all students using it regularly.
- Nearly three-quarters of surveyed students chose email as their preferred follow-up channel to receive information from a college or university after they filled out a form on their website.
We can’t forget, though, that email is also connected to other college planning activities:
- 36% of students will email the financial aid or the admissions offices after viewing a virtual tour or virtual reality video.
- 33% of students found links to colleges’ and universities’ social pages on an email.
- 30% find links to colleges’ website in emails.
Now on the prospective families: They prefer email
Nine of ten families prefer email to receive information from colleges and universities, although families with incomes lower than $59,999 were more likely to prefer text messages and telephone.
Eight out of ten families are also open to hearing from institutions once a week. However, content and its relevance to the families matter. Topics, timing, and accessibility are key when communicating with prospective families.
If you want to learn more about the families of prospective students, download our report here.