*Disclaimer prior to the disclaimers – it’s come to my attention that there’s been some indirect concern with this story about college recruitment techniques that upset people who went to college. Not sure who, but whoever they are, take comfort in knowing that I think people who accomplish great levels of secondary education – whatever method they be be – should be celebrated. Considering most scholars enjoy the discussions of philosophy and ideas, this, is one of mine. So please, if anyone is hurt by this story, don’t read it or seek me out anymore. Refer to my home page of more than four paragraphs of further disclaimers to cover my free speech. Thank you!
For those that know I support all continued learning and mastery of all the mysteries of this life were in, especially if they choose the fantastic path of college, please – read on 🙂
Back to the story:
A few years ago, this search with our youngest son to find his secondary education wouldn’t feel as bittersweet of sending him out there today. As we approach the fall of his senior year and a decision to come before May, I noticed that we get alot of mail and contact efforts. Like, alot.
So after a few weeks of my mind noticing a pattern in campaigns, I got curious. Maybe it’s because I worked for a firm that had college lead gen department. I wanted to see if it was the same style back then as today. Now I am on the receiving end of it.
This is not the whole picture of the mailbox efforts.
I clean out our mail basket every few weeks, and it was about 6 weeks in to this cycle that I realized, “I got a story here” and noticed the patterns and amount we get daily/weekly and it’s progression to stand out amongst the plethora of noise called SO Many Choices.
I uncomfortably started to let the mail basket overflow with the point of having enough of a sample to write my story and break down what I believe to be the recipe all have leaned into. When you see so many repeat the same process of communication through mail and email, and know from experience some firms have specific industry expert advertisers who work for leads and conversion values.
I’ve wondered – does this really work or is this why tuition is so flipping high regardless of where you pick?
Is this just because of the segmentation filters my son went through because of his high school grade performance and test results? Does every senior household receive this much?
What is their investment and response rates and what could the alternative outreach be?
Here’s the pattern I think they are all following, to my assumptions. The high school’s give out student name, GPA, transcript of classes, athletics background, address, parent names, parent and student emails, cell phones for military additional. This was disclosed online in school enrollment, so it is accurate.
And he doesn’t know yet for sure where he wants to go and probably won’t til early spring, if that. Its a big decision and very expensive one so there’s already pressure to get it right. One shot.
Here goes the path as of November 1st.
- A general flyer/postcard introducing their campus of dreams, future and belonging.
- An official letter with #10 envelope window that congratulations them and tells them information about making it official. AKA a soft acceptance letter.
- A packet of information, testimonials and/or highlights of classes particular to the segmentation they achieved when purchasing the high school data base. Some have folders, others opted for the saddle stitch catalogs.
- Email drips to parent and student throughout inviting them to Open House, tours and/or complement direct mail campaign.
- Some use pURLs, and I give them kudos for dusting off that 2010 gem. Still has influence.
- Token gifts mail showing camaraderie to reinforce mail #1 and #3. Banners, flags, pins and stickers for laptops and bumpers.
- Letter or flyer with sense of urgency – decision time, deadlines are approaching to get ‘in’, with a final line in the sand of January 1, 2024.
We’ve still got two months to go, so I will be paying attention for my own weird curiosities of randomness. I’m all about seeing the simulations to apply to theory now. hehe.
The in-state schools clearly use their own state data of high school kids, so their efforts are probably smaller quantities allowing more custom gifting. The out of state schools sending us info are more conservative and specific to what they read from his available for purchase transcripts and STEM prep classes. They must cast a 3 hours or less radius around their efforts and wait for a response before turning up the bigger engagement efforts. Even though I am curious if their quantities are the same when dialing down to the niche of high SATs and STEM direction versus anyone graduating in your state with a high GPA. They do probability to stay closer to home, plus the cheaper tuition of in state residents. Still, all said and done and with scholarships, this to me is like investing in a Lamborghini of promise to earn it back in employment one day.
He graduates in May, he doesn’t know yet. He’s got a couple he’s leaning towards and the funniest part of that is they are not in the pile. Once he applied and we paid the $75 fee to even do that, which is basically throwing your hat in the ring to say you’re a contender. ($300 deep now in ‘Maybes’).
They now mail us letters, and I get emails letting me know what steps in the process they are in to marketing to my son and at the next point, they only speak to him. Interesting but clearly communicated.
I suppose they are saying, we’re going to take him inside now, we’ll circle back when we’re ready for your check book and half your house. Sorry that made me chuckle to type. I am a wee extreme in my sarcasm these days.
This is serious, and his dream. Let’s continue.
The funding for these drip campaigns which I am fairly certain are outsourced to education focused marketing firms who do this for a living. They’re are many out there and their client list are universities’ and colleges from all over. Similar to auto and healthcare firms, they do better when they run the campaigns where clients do not compete. Keeps it more ethical I guess to not share trade secrets by market.
Side note, I rallied for how cool STEM schools are and was excited the kids took that path. They had to choose in the 8th grade. Now, my son isn’t quite sure what direction to take and even if STEM is for sure what he wanted. His answer to start his convo in his head to make it a sure decision was that he already invested high school into it so it would be a waste to start over in a field he may care more about now that he’s almost 18 and more comfortable in his years in his skin. Discuss. Either way, he’s spent a few months mulling it all over and is more and more confident in the direction of study he has chosen and the 3 schools he has researched and considering.
Why do I bother gathering up all the awesome mail my son is getting daily because they all want him. He is fantastic after all. I totally get it.
Red Rover, Red Rover, Please Come Over.
He’s the first child of our 3 that wanted the college experience and live there. We want to support him as he knows all the other options. There is no doubt he can achieve whatever he decides and his talents are inspiring to us. Hands down going to be a better writer than me and able to learn and retain way faster than we could achieve.
Our older two highly awesomely gifted people we created are choosing more of the trade concept to second education learning. They learn and work their way through the employment route and grow in responsibility and profitability that way. Doing very amazing I may add. Happy kids make us happy parents. Wherever the path leads.
Military was discussed, although today is a different story with current leadership who seems to like strong muscling other countries with human toss shields. Like Pokemon for genocidal maniacs. Trading cards and squid games.
Yeah I went there. Always have to. Can’t stop won’t stop when the context is applicable.
It’s gonna take all of us to truly get an American dream into reality. We give them over half of our earnings and struggle with full on working families to make a decent living with life’s ‘comforts’. Yet we’re one illness or one economical downfall away from losing it all anyway.
Now that they are showing off their endless check books of our earned money that never ends, from dumping $85 billion worth of military equipment in the bad guys land to keep from $120+ Billion to Ukraine and on and on to all these countries – we have to be strong and know that they are stripping away everything from us as indoctrinated selfless and ill people who are going to have to defend ourselves from way more criminal activity than any of us have ever seen in movies or anywhere. Well, ok maybe in movies – they do predictive programming to normalize the wildest shizz we could imagine in our own happy, joyful seeking minds – but anyway, you cannot tell me that people illegally running into our country and back out again and back in again – I mean think about this – open borders equal open trade of very bad things – and they drop them all into the city centers, you know, to help clean up the homeless problem they created with their evil ways – and then fund them, ID card them for voting, and send them out into suburbia with rent vouchers.
They really have collected enough money from us to make America one heck of an amazing place to live well and prosper, but they choose to treat us differently for funding their games. They really don’t know who we are or care. I believe that now. It’s like Sixth Sense. I now learned the real plot so you have to replay your whole movie of your life to see it through the new lens of Oh My Gosh yes, these are all the reasons why we are sick and they know it!!!!!
If you remember the game Red Rover, that’s my analogy. We are playing a massiv game of that and we all have to stand tall against the government that has been playing us like one massive Truman Show of Lab testing that we ourselves pay for them to do – oh the irony!
All we have to do is seek truth, be truth and discipline that ole critical thinking brain of discernment we slowly stopped using with the fluoride experiment we live through and question every thing from every side. If it’s a platformed media message of a collective – get all the facts and go past the headlines and same celebrities. Look around you and think about it. Imagine it’s like you have a husband who is a serial cheater and yet you always let him back in. Like that, you gotta always check his phone and think twice about what their intentions are. That’s our government and all the media and corporations that are paid well to keep the charade going on all of us, the majority. Purple haired and all, we gotta come together and see the truth and what makes absolutely no sense at all except to make us all squabble and fight and take more of their pills and shots.
Deny it all and seek truth.
Protect your kids. College scares the shizz out of me with them producing people who want unvaccinated to die, drop bombs on innocent people and lest not forget the riots, burning, destruction and shitting in their own beds spoiled leftists.
I read the mail and check out the schools he wants to check out. He made it through Covid and the teachers that ran with it and showed their conditioning from the schools they went to.
And he’s a cool guy. Well rounded and yet young. Just learning and forming stronger values of what his world is all about to him. Similar to when he got his license and you hold your breath when they drive out there among all the driving and traffic and rage out there.
So too shall this experience be.
No accidents yet. Although he’s told us there have been some angry honkers, and when he knows what his mistake was and when he still can’t figure it out.
We have many more months of togetherness and grounding to be truth, see truth and know truth.
Thanks for reading,
PS, Cleveland State’s advertisers get the best effort in overall approach. They clearly invest more in the campaigns. Yet, looking at that blue city of Cleveland – even LeBron’s got murder at his ball court there that was minimized – murder tolls climbing. Through our research of the school, there were YouTube videos of city – yeah. Who wants to go there? (The buildings look like they were once gorgeous though. What character!)
I say no one should ever live in a city where there is a NBA stadium in it. That’s always a red flag. They play along with the charade. Right Adam Silver?
Sorry Cleveland University. Well done though!