Slow and Steady Wins the Race: How Snail Mail Can Give Your School an Edge

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Everyone understands the importance of making a good first impression. Be on time, make eye contact, shake hands, don’t forget your manners and always send a thank you letter. While a handwritten thank you letter could help you land your dream job, personalized notes and letters can also play a significant role in higher education marketing — a point of major differentiation between one school and other.

Ad Age estimates that the average American consumer receives somewhere between 500 and 1500 brand messages every day. Forty percent of those same consumers are receiving more than 30 emails per day. Let’s be honest, that’s a lot of competition — especially when the person you’re trying to reach is a seventeen-year-old high school senior with extracurriculars, homework and a part time job.  So, how do you ensure that your message is memorable enough to rise above the rest? The answer is simple: take the time to make them feel like a priority.

Over 90 percent of Americans say that they have a positive reaction when receiving personal letters or cards. The United States Postal Service survey estimates that the average household received a personal letter once every seven weeks in 2010. If we all enjoy getting personal letters in the mail, why don’t we send more letters?

Harvard Business Review writes, “Handwritten notes are unusual… they indicate investment, and that very costliness indicates value.”

Taking the time to write a personalized, handwritten letter or note to a prospective student following a campus visit will not only ensure that your message is received, but it can also make a student feel important. Students who experienced personal interest from colleges are often able to recall who, what and how that interest was conveyed.

At Elliance, we advocate for personalized letters. Our client, Saint Francis University, utilizes personalized notes and letters throughout the recruitment process. They’re dedicated to ensuring that each student experiences a level of personalized interest during their college search.

It’s been a few years, but I can remember that my alma mater took the time to write a special note at the bottom of my acceptance letter — I can’t say the same for the other schools I had applied to.

“Hey Krystal, We hope you enjoyed your campus visit today. Can’t wait to see you wearing orange and maroon in the fall! Go Crusaders!”