Reach Parents with Higher Education Marketing

Oct 05, 2015 | 2  min
author Pyxl Development

Many higher education institutions focus their marketing – especially recruitment marketing – on prospective students. This makes sense seeing as they are the ones who will actually be applying to and attending a college or university. However, their parents are not to be overlooked. Not only can they influence their children’s decisions, but they also tend to foot the bill or at least help with expenses.

Throughout the research, application, and admissions process, there are various ways to reach parents of prospective students and educate them on the many offerings of your institution. It won’t deviate too much from your current digital marketing strategy – just a few tweaks to make sure you also appeal to this new audience.

Research Process

The research process is the initial step for many prospective students in the college search journey. Prospective students are trying to educate themselves on the many institutions and discover what they personally value most. During this time, parents typically try to help their children by introducing them to their alma maters, schools close to home, and any institutions that might specialize in a certain program their child may be interested in.

This is a great time to highlight what makes your institution unique. Maybe you have an outstanding pre-med program or a leading performing arts program. Or, you can play to the emotions of parents by showcasing the available living situations. Parents want to make sure their children will be safe and have a good place to live. Also, promote any financial benefits – for example, the fact that the majority of students receive financial aid or the overall affordability of your institution.  These messages will resonate most with parents of prospective students.

Learn effective ways of email marketing in higher education.

Application Process

The next step in the college journey is the application process. Once prospective students narrow down their choices, it is time for them to apply to their top schools. During this time, either parents or guidance counselors help students navigate the various applications. From managing deadlines to brainstorming essay topics, prospective students will lean on their parents for help. Use this as an opportunity to connect with their parents by presenting this information in a user-friendly way.

It’s been a while since most parents have applied to a college or university, so help them out. Providing a college application checklist with deadlines and necessary materials can make it easier for them to make sure their child is on track. The easier the process, the more likely they will think positively about your institution. Consider other ways you can streamline this process and help out the parents.

Admissions Process

Once the admission, waitlist, and regret letters have been received, it is time for the prospective students to make their final decisions. This is arguably the biggest decision they have ever made, so parental guidance is welcomed. This is where you can send messages to parents with final reminders of why your institution is the best for their child and help guide them through the final steps to enrollment.

The college journey, from research through to admissions, is a long but rewarding process. For prospective students, it can be intimidating and difficult at first, but many turn to their parents for help. This is why it is important to craft marketing messaging to reach parents as well as prospective students. The end goal is finding the right students to enroll at your institution – and this can help you get there. Interested in learning more? Have unanswered questions? Let’s talk.

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

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