This is a story about how the President of a college, the college where I currently work in Norway are doing an interesting piece of marketing. I am helping her with a marketing campaign, and the great thing about it, is that people don’t think of it as a marketing campaign… but it is (at least to me it is).
The first one
The President of the college is writing a personal letter, yes, it’s not an e-mail, it’s on paper. This is sent two times a year, one in each semester, to all active students at the college. One letter is being sent in late November or early December, and the content is first and foremost about the exams and that she (the President) wishes every student good luck and that she hopes that the student will get great results on the exams. Finally, she wishes a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
The second one
The other letter is sent in late May or early June, and it’s about the exams as well. Finally, the President wishes every single student a great holiday. It’s always on one page, and it contains the elements of exams, happy holidays and something else that she think is important to include at the time when we send it. It’s all up to the President to write the content with her own words.
Why are we doing this?
Let me tell you why I believe that this is very powerful marketing.
- It’s personal
- It’s different
- She cares
Every single letter starts with Dear John (the first name of the recipient) . This shows the student that it’s to that particular student and not some mass produced letter that they should just throw away. They probably understand that they are not the only person receiving this letter, but because of the personal words and her signature (I have scanned the handwritten signature and attached it to the letter), I think that they will feel that the letter is addressed to them personally and that they won’t think of all the other students that might be receiving it.
The letter is sent to their personal address, not on campus. They will receive it along with the rest of their traditional mail. For many students, this means that their parents might be the ones receiving it. This way, it stands out from the rest of the information they receive. They will (hopefully) open up every letter from their college, and when they open this one, they’ll understand that they should read every single word of it.
The letter shows every single student that the President really cares about them. She is really hoping that every single student will get great results on his or her exams, and she really does hope that they will have great holidays, every single one of the students.
message tells every student that she is hoping to see them next semester… so, hopefully most students will not attend another college, or leave this college before they are all finished with their courses. It’s a great way to promote the college to current students. I am not sure about the results, if less people have quit the college after the President started sending out the letter… but hopefully this kind of marketing works.