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Making Direct Mail Work to Grow Your Educational Institution

Sep 05, 2012


According to a recent study by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, nearly all surveyed higher education institutions used print direct mail as their main channel for marketing. When schools contracted out print and mail services, they had an increase in enrollment and in alumni donations. K-12 schools had similar results.


The results make sense, because direct mail works. In part, it can be an effective way to emotionally engage with potential donors. It can also be a great way to keep in touch with students and parents (and when you maintain engagement, it’s easier to grow your institution).


Direct mail for K-12 education

Use a flyer newsletter to stay connected to your students and parents. Your monthly newsletter (a booklet self-mailer is ideal) can feature the month’s calendar of events, highlights from the school play, profiles of students and/or teachers, and other community-oriented content (don’t forget pics!) to keep your students, parents, and teachers engaged. For your next event, order some magnets featuring your school’s mascot that parents, students, and teachers can use to post the newsletter to the fridge each month.


If you want to get a quick word out to the neighborhood about your school’s fall student Jack-O-Lantern display (or any other kind of open community opportunity to raise money for your school), use Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) to reach every household in the postal carrier routes around your school. Include a colorful photo of last year’s event, and don’t forget to say when and where families can enjoy your event and how much it will cost.


Direct mail for higher education

Soon-to-graduate high school students. Use a postcard that shows what college life looks like (maybe a student studying in a dorm room or a group of students playing soccer in the quad). Have your school’s website, admissions phone number and mailing address prominently placed so that students and parents can easily reach you. But remember this can be a scary time for students – make sure you don’t overwhelm with too much information.


Prospective non-traditional students. Because non-traditional students are often older than high school students (and may already have some college credits), consider a mail piece that is more sophisticated. In these challenging economic times, demand for community college and other forms of “non-traditional” higher education increases. Consider a letter to unemployed professionals looking to hone their skills for a leg up in the job market.


Alumni. For most higher education institutions, alumni are a top source of donations. Design a booklet self-mailer as a combination quarterly alumni update newsletter and request for donation. In between, send a series of reply letters (which allow recipients to mail back a donation in the same envelope you sent).

When writing your “ask” explain where the donated money will be used (Does it go to a scholarship fund? To construction of the new student union?). Use images that will reinforce a sense of school pride and nostalgia in your alumni. Ask them to reflect on how they’ve benefited from their education. And make it easy for your alumni to make donations – prominently list the website URL and mailing address (and who to write the checks out to).

For your biggest donation requests (where your research has shown you that the person has the capacity to give a large gift), consider Priority Mail for a highly professional, personalized, more inpactful mailer. When you really need to stand out and impress, Priority Mail is the way to make it happen – it’s eye-catching, urgent, and surprisingly economical.


Whether you’re looking for donations, to recruit new students, or simply to keep students, teachers, and parents engaged, direct mail works. Click2Mail makes it easy. Get started today at  


This is the last in our article series on making direct mail work to grow your business. We’ve combined this with 13 other articles on making direct mail work for different types of businesses. For your free copy of the full white paper complete with all 14 articles, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).