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Ideas for Digital Viewbooks

In an increasingly digital world, many traditional brochures and multi-page books are being adapted for an online format. Many colleges are following this trend and taking their viewbooks online. There are many benefits to digital viewbooks, including:

  1. Reduce overall print costs
  2. Cost savings on postage for both domestic and international students
  3. Easier to correct online publications with updates

Cost reduction and ease of updates are certainly appealing to many schools.  However, one question often remains before schools make the transition to digital viewbooks:

How will students find the online viewbook?

Beyond simple links throughout the website, many schools are looking for a tangible item that can replace a hard copy viewbook or large printed catalog. One promotional product solution that is ideal for driving web traffic to a specific URL is an item called the webkey.

Webkey in your school colors

Find a webkey in your school color to direct students to an online viewbook.

Similar to the look of a USB drive, a webkey is pre-programmed with a URL that automatically takes users to your viewbook (or whatever site you specify) when plugged into a USB port. While a USB drive could also store many e-publications, a webkey is a more affordable solution with a longer shelf-life than a USB port because the programmed URL can simply be updated with the latest viewbook. To make it easier to handout or mail, a webkey can come pre-attached to a full color postcard, which can provide instructions on how to use it.

More Tracking Options

Want to track opens, and add in survey questions? There’s an upgraded webkey called the iCue that can do that. Since it’s often difficult to track the effectiveness of a printed viewbook, a webkey powered viewbook can provide detailed tracking through an administrators page.

Here are a few highlights of the iCue:

  • Better Tracking – when the webkey is plugged into a computer, data will be sent to the administrator’s page.  This will provide data on the number of impressions or view rate as a result of your webkey.
  • Optional one-time registration allows for collecting additional data about your target audience. From the admin page, you can easily add and customize the desired questions. The collected data will show up in the admin page, giving information on which recipients used the product, making it very easy to schedule follow-up calls or emails with these contacts.
  • Easy Contest Administration – using the admin panel, you can track who opened and registered on your site, which makes it easy to hold a drawing for a prize incentive. Promote the drawing on an included 5×7 postcard to encourage visits. Incentives for students include: coupon to your university book store, waive or reduce the application fee, voucher for athletic events, or branded promotional items.
Green Power paper iCue

Sample webkey with 5×7 full color postcard – promote an incentive on this card to help drive traffic to your school’s website. Ideal for direct mail or handing out at events.

 

Webkey Case Study

msoe-web-key

Drive site traffic with a WebKey

One case study describes how Milwaukee School of Engineering used web keys to successfully promote and drive traffic to a new admissions website.  Web keys were the ideal solution for MSOE – seamlessly directing users their new Bridge site.  Read more about how MSOE Admissions used the webkey here.

If you’re interested in a trackable, engaging promotional item for directing your target audience to an online viewbook, a webkey is THE ideal solution. View the links below for more product information, or contact us to further discuss your online marketing strategies.

Links for More Information

Want more ideas on ways to engage prospective students?  Visit our ways to increase engagement page as part of our admissions resources.

How to Drive and Track Website Traffic

In a recent blog post, we shared our latest case study, where Milwaukee School of Engineering used web keys to successfully promote and drive traffic to a new admissions website.  Web keys were the ideal solution for MSOE – a more affordable option than USB drives that seamlessly directs users to a pre-programmed URL when plugged into a USB port.  Although it COULD have been passed along to another prospective student, the web key is typically only used one-time.

In jockeying for prospective student’s attention, websites are still a top resource for high school juniors and seniors, according to the Noel-Levitz E-Expectations report (here summarized with the Top 7 Most Interesting Findings for #highered at collegewebeditor.com). 90% of students have accessed a college’s website within the past month, typically on a computer, which makes a USB / web launcher promotional item useful for driving traffic. How do you know the number of impressions attained from the web key?  Besides programming a unique landing page on the web key, tracking is rather limited.

Better Tracking for Web Visitors

With additional reporting and data collection features, the all new iCue ups the ante on the webkey, making it a more effective way to drive and track website traffic.

Here are a few highlights of the iCue web launcher:

  • Better Tracking – when an iCue is plugged into a computer, data will be sent to the administrator’s page.  This will provide data on the number of impressions or view rate as a result of iCue.
  • Optional one-time registration allows for collecting additional data about your target audience. From the admin panel, you can easily add and customize the desired questions. The collected data will show up in the administrator’s panel, giving information on which recipients used the product, making it very easy to schedule follow-up calls or emails with these contacts.
  •  Re-programmable: administrators can easily re-direct iCue to another website, so it can be used multiple times. Once registration was completed, a user will no longer need to input his or her information on subsequent plug-ins.
  • Included full color postcard – ideal for direct mail. Since iCue comes attached to the postcard, it can easily be handed out at events without getting lost.
Green Power paper iCue

Sample iCue with 5×7 full color postcard – promote an incentive on this card to help drive traffic to your school’s website. Ideal for direct mail or handing out at events.

Creative iCue Ideas

With new and improved features, iCue can provide effective tracking to help direct follow-up efforts and contribute to calculating return on investment (ROI). Here are a few additional ways to use iCue:

  1. Contest or Sweepstakes – give users an incentive to plug in the iCue again and again. Update content to keep your audience engaged for multiple-visits. Promote contest details and drawing dates on the included 5×7 postcard to encourage repeat visits. Incentives for students include: coupon to your university book store, waive or reduce the application fee, voucher for athletic events, or branded promotional items.
  2. Event Handout for high school counselors (or students) to direct them to a website or the cloud for the latest student guidebook. Imagine how “green” this would be, not to mention cost-effective with savings on the cost of paper and printing.

Additional iCue Options

In lieu of launching a website, iCue can direct users to cloud space. The cloud is hosted by a third-party and can be password protected if desired.  Once again, iCue is still less expensive than a USB drive, so this may be an affordable way to store student guide books, college handbooks, class descriptions, schedules, financial aid information etc.

The iCue can also be made in custom shapes to make a bold statement.  This would be perfect for your school’s initials or mascot.  Check out the Aflac duck shape.

iCue custom duck shape 2 iCue custom duck shape

If you’re interested in a trackable, engaging promotional item for directing your target audience to a specific website or documents in the cloud, iCue is THE ideal solution.

Want more ideas on ways to engage prospective students?  Visit our ways to increase engagement page as part of our admissions resources.

Supporting Admissions with Promotional Marketing

As with anything in life, sometimes it just comes down to timing.

We sent a mailing to our professional contacts with a sample of a unique product: the web key. Though at first glance they don’t look too exciting, web keys are cool and useful for several reasons:

  1. Targeted: web keys drive traffic to a specific URL when plugged into a USB port
  2. Measurable: use web metrics to track results
  3. Cost: web keys are less expensive than USB drives

Dana Grennier at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) received our mailing and sample web key at just the right time. She was part of a team that was launching a new social network platform called Bridge, developed in partnership with 7Summits. The web key was the perfect promotional item to promote Bridge to prospective students.

Beyond traditional marketing tactics, MSOE staff handed out web keys at college fairs, high school visits, open house events, and other higher education meetings.  Read the full story on how promotional marketing supported MSOE admissions’ goals in our case study library.  

Web Key promoting Bridge

Front and back of the Web Key used to promote the new Bridge website: a platform for high school students to interact with admissions.