Try this one on your boss.

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Research, Technology, Web, Zinch | Posted on 02-12-2008

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So I’ve been using Zinch for nearly 7 months now, but I’ve never really commented on it here for 2 reasons:

  1. Wasn’t initially sure of how effective it would be.
  2. I want you to stay away from my prospectives. :)

Well, now I have some good data and I think it’s time to share a little chunk of the goldmine with you. So, as the title says, try this one on your boss. (Note: My boss is awesome and enjoys Zinch as much as I do.)

You: Hey Boss, I found this ‘social media recruiting’ site tha…
Boss:
What?  Another one?  Don’t you ever work?
You:
Well, you see, it’ s a site for colleges to find prospective students based on more than test scores.
Boss:
That’s dumb, I bet it’s a bunch of no-brained deadbeats.
You: 
Actually, kids nowadays are pretty smart.  And they want us to find them.
Boss:
I don’t really believe any of this.  Our emails are glorious and amazing.  We get a 10% open rate!
You: Well, this guy at Butler University used it for 1/2 a year, and had a 35% open rate on his messages sent through Zinch, 78% on the ones he highly personalized.
Boss:  So, it’s just another one of those stupid chat sites?
You: Zinch actually lets you export the data, including full name, address email, CEEB code, ethnicity, GPA/test scores, and more.
Boss: So you’re telling me this guy at Butler is finding all these kids that meet their criteria?  What about us? We’re extremely selective.
You: Zinch lets you pull out only the kids you want, based on hundreds of criteria, from parent’s income to location to desired size/type of school to extracurriculars.  We can still be selective.
Boss:  Well, that’s great and all, but this sounds pretty expensive. We pay CollegeBoard and NRCCUA a ton for names.
You: Actually, the guy at Butler hasn’t paid a dime yet, and he’s imported about 1000 students in to their database to be added to the recruitment funnel for the ’09 and ’10 classes. Even more, they’re joining their Forums and becoming a part of that community.
Boss: For free?!? That’s amazing.  I am so glad that I found this site!  I’ve gotta go tell the President!!!
You: Umm….
Boss: Get back to work.

So yeah, that’s pretty much how it might go.      Yep, 35% open rate on our total messages sent, and 78% on the personalized ones I send back to kids who ‘shout-out’ to us. 72% of ’08 kids who shouted out to us through Zinch were accepted.  78%  of those accepted are out of state.  About 10% of Zinched kids in every class (’08, ’09, ’10, ’11) have ignored all previous communication from us, but make the change from suspect to prospect after getting a message through Zinch.

In the 2010 class, we already have over 100 prospects through Zinch.  42% of them fall in a minority ethnicity, and 86% of them are female. With anticipated enrollment drops on the horizon, you better get ahead of the game.

It’s all about meeting them on their own turf.  Now get out there and play!

Comments posted (2)

Thanks for the tool… Actually we’ve been getting 12-13% open rates this year thank you! I’ve spent a good part of the last week sending out email to 55,000 student search emails so this definitely hit home.

My emails have been doing remarkably well for some reason lately. I think it can be attributed to the fact we are almost out of the search season and are now gearing towards admits and yielding. Here are open percentages for our last 10 emails:
57%
73%
68%
8% (Search)
47%
17%
9%
48%
36%
17%

Much better than the 4-8% we were experiencing when I first started. I had a thing or two to learn about mass email :-/

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