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Stand Out as Students Step Forward

High school graduation is an exciting time. This milestone in life is filled with recognition, celebrations, and photos with friends and family. And in addition to celebrating the past four years, there is usually a lot of discussion about the years that lie ahead, as many of these students will begin an exciting new phase in their lives, college.

But a lot can happen during this three-month transition and some students never show up to the college they planned on attending. While there are many reasons for this summer “melt”, the fact is that the excitement and enthusiasm can wane from June to September.

The Challenge: Maintaining Excitement with Deposited Students

In order to sustain the excitement of starting this new chapter, colleges are finding ways to become part of the high school graduation experience. In addition to making incoming students feel welcomed, giving promotional products to graduating seniors provides a mechanism to express both confidence and pride in their college selection. It also helps integrate the college into the high school graduation celebration in a memorable, fun and highly visible experience.

“This initiative helped reinforce students’ decisions to attend NDSU and provide energy and visibility for NDSU.”

Meredith Sherlin, North Dakota State University

Providing collegiate products to integrate into the high school graduations also helps colleges increase their brand exposure through social media activity. The social media aspect is what caught the attention of Gus DiStefano, Executive Director of Admissions at University of the Sciences, and was one of the reasons they used the welcome packs for their incoming 2018 class, and plan to use them moving forward.

To promote social media activity, students were encouraged to decorate their caps and post hashtagged photos, allowing them to extend their celebration and pride to family and friends.

In addition to online activity, the products proved to be great conversation starters for high school seniors and their peers. As they think about their future, high school students face a wide range of education and career choices, and peer influence plays a big part in their decision making. A single student choosing to attend a particular college can influence how others view it. By letting your incoming students showcase their school of choice, they build awareness and sentiment for your brand.

Smart Design for a Smart Generation

One popular product that colleges send to students is the Tassel Topper. The Tassel Topper attaches to the mortar board with velcro on three corners. The adhesive used is safe and will not mar the cap. This design allows the tassel to be moved from right to left during the graduation ceremony.

Even though some high schools don’t allow students to decorate their caps for graduation ceremonies, the Tassel Topper remains a viable option. The Tassel Topper can be attached for family photos prior to graduation, easily removed for the formal ceremony, and reattached or displayed afterward.

Looking Good While Looking Forward

The Tassel Topper is a cost-effective way to differentiate your college with your incoming students and build excitement, reduce summer melt, and increase social media and peer awareness with high school students and their families.

“We wanted to send a gift to committed students, but not one that everyone else was doing. Working with Magellan (Promotions) was an easy process and the quality of product was high. We are very happy with it and will do this again.”

Rory Dew, University of the Incarnate Word

Magellan Promotions provides a number of different options and mailing solutions to send to students. If you’re ready to find ways to connect with incoming students during their high school graduation, let us know.

Help Students Picture Their Future at your School

Help students picture their future at your school with creative custom frames.

Future-Badgers-case-study

Custom Frame showcases a prospective student on a campus visit. Image credit @uwadmissions

This is a fun, themed promotional item that can easily be incorporated into campus yield events, direct mail, and additional marketing ideas. The custom frame helps achieve the goal of engaging students in a memorable way with a social media component. We created this custom frame for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and wrote about it in this case study. Here’s our guide for how to use a custom frame at your school.

How to use a Custom Frame – On Campus

This oversize custom is an ideal event-related photo opportunity! Here are a few pointers for using the frame:

  1. Pick a favorite spot on campus to have custom frames setup during a campus tour, open house, or yield event. Think of a picturesque, iconic spot on campus.
  2. Assign staff members or current students to have prospective students pose with the frame as part of your event or visit. If staffing is limited, place on a stand to keep it in place.
  3. Another staff member should take pictures with a Polaroid and / or camera phone.
  4. Share digital pictures via social media using the hashtag imprinted on the custom frame. Email, tag, or private message students a copy of the picture. If using a Polaroid, pictures can be shared with students on the spot and posted to a bulletin board.

admitted students custom frame

Check out these #AdmittedBadgers at a yield event. Image credit @uwadmissions

Direct Mail Ideas

Remind students of their on campus experience by mailing a smaller, magnetic frame along with a thank you note. The note can include a generic picture of the magnetic frame displaying a picture taken with the large custom frame on campus, or an actual picture of the student for a more personalized touch.

Direct students to check out pictures of all admitted students on a URL that includes links to your admissions site. Bold, call to actions can promote campus overnight events, invite students to join an incoming class group on social media sites, or instructions on how to secure their place on campus.

For UW-Madison, we created smaller magnetic frames and had them inserted them into envelopes that were imprinted to help streamline mailing of their admitted student packets.

Other Marketing Ideas

“Picture your Future here” themes can easily be integrated into existing marketing. Whether printed or electronic, all communications to students can include custom frame imagery. Emails, posters, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat could feature similar imagery.

Admissions counselors could travel with custom frames to bring to high school visits or events and share pictures via social media.

The custom frame is an ideal product for engaging prospective students, tying in social media, and taking advantage of the #selfie photo sharing trend. To view additional information on the custom frame, visit our admitted student showroom or read our case study.

Products Featured

  • Large Custom Frame – 31″ x 42″
  • Medium Custom Frame – 23.5″ x 35.25″
  • Magnetic Frame for direct mail – 5″ x 7.375

How would you use this campaign on your campus?

Ripon College Class of 2017 Water Bottle Photo Contest

After researching, presenting, and helping our clients select the best promotional items for their projects, we really enjoy receiving feedback on the item and the results of our client’s overall program.  It is truly rewarding to know that we have played a part in an organization’s efforts to meet their goals.  This positive feedback is what makes our jobs fun and exciting each and every day!

Side view of Ripon College water bottle with mascotSide view of Ripon College water bottle

When we reconnected with our friends at Ripon College, we were thrilled to hear about their Class of 2017 Water Bottle Photo Contest program.  This was the first time they incorporated promotional items in their strategy to encourage newly admitted and deposited students to interact with the Class of 2017 Facebook page.  They mailed students a stainless steel water bottle packaged in a red mailing tube, so it would definitely stand out.

This contest was successful in creating engagement with the new class, leading to new interactions and conversations in the social media space.

water bottle mailing tube

 

Want to learn more about the contest and featured water bottle?  Click on our link below to read our case study:

Ripon College Class of 2017 Water Bottle Photo Contest