This past week we had the opportunity to present at #NACCAP2015 hosted by Palm Beach Atlantic University. It was a great time with great people! We wanted to share one of our powerful take a ways with you. A lesson from “Emma” on the future of paper.

Paper has a great future!

With technology moving faster and giving access to everything at any time with the touch of a button; Millennials have lived their lives with complete access to the world, while most of them navigate it from the device they are holding in their hand. Many think that printed materials are losing ground to the digital age. We have learned that the students who have grown up with Google and Apple products still desire to experience the impact of a personal printed piece.

We surveyed 2,000 college students who enrolled during 2013-2014 to discover what college material was influential during their college search process. Our survey included questions regarding print, email, digital, and social communication mediums.

One of the results may shock you! The question,
“Did you read any of the following materials during your college search process?

Print Influence Suvey

Contrary to belief, Millennials are reading printed pieces.  Our survey results reveal that everything matters in the recruitment cycle. The questions is, does everything need to go to everyone?

Gone are the days of broad mailings of your viewbook to every inquiry, praying for applications. Understanding your audience and your data base will assist you in designing a strategic communication plan. The viewbook, while a cornerstone of your recruitment materials, only half of the students read the material. Prioritize your inquiries for your larger, more expensive mailings and drive others to an online version. Even during this age of technology, Millennials still anticipate finding that big envelope in the mailbox celebrating their acceptance to the college of their choice! Once a student is accepted, there is a great emotional investment into your institution. A letter delivered in an envelope will have a greater return from the acceptance stage of the enrollment process than at the inquiry stage. 

This is the time of year to assess your communications. Don't be afraid to ask your students what was influential and what went into the recycling bin. There is a right piece at the right time for the right person. Be strategic in your planning, and you will see that paper has a great future!

You can find our entire survey results presentation with Mississippi College from #NACCAP2015 by CLICKING HERE

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