Recruitment & Retention

Ivy Tech Wrangles Double-Digit Growth with New Recruitment System

Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana has bolstered its recruitment and retention efforts with a new Web-based application designed by marketing firm The Jackson Group and powered by software from e-mail company ExactTarget. The multi-response system triggers personalized e-mails, direct mail, and phone calls featuring requested materials or updates on enrollment status to prospective and returning students.

The college system, which spans 23 campuses across Indiana, saw enrollment grow 33 percent this spring to nearly 120,000 students statewide. In December Community College Week listed the college's Indianapolis site as the second fastest-growing community college campus in the country.

The automated system known as JUMP, or the Jackson Ultimate Marketing Platform, assigns prospective students a media code based on how they first interacted with the college--at a high school visit, online, or on campus. Using that code, the system begins an automated "lead nurturing" campaign triggering e-mails, direct mail, and personal phone calls to prospective students based on their completion of admission requirements. As the student provides additional information on educational interests, degree goals, and location, the system automatically refines the marketing campaign and tailors messages to the student's situation.

The system also triggers ExactTarget-generated e-mails to students upon completion of the enrollment process and in the event that the student fails to enroll in an upcoming semester.

"Jackson Group and ExactTarget took the time to understand our unique requirements and developed an application that allows us to spend more time serving the student and less time worrying about the logistics of fulfilling requests for marketing materials and information," said Jeff Fanter, Ivy Tech's vice president for communications and marketing. "By centralizing and automating our communications, we've improved our response times to students, realized a tremendous amount of efficiency, cost savings, and increased brand and messaging consistency."

In addition to the automated campaigns, the system also enables administrators at each of the college's campuses to generate one-time e-mail or print-on-demand communications, such as open house or student orientation invitations. Administrators can segment and filter lists of current or prospective students by attributes, including enrollment status, major, geographic location, or preferred campus.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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