Seamless student recruitment: integrating print and online marketing channels

Seamless student recruitment: integrating print and online marketing channels

Print is, by its very nature, a pretty static marketing medium. For brochures, postcards, flyers, etc, to fulfill their purpose, each piece should lead prospective students to the next step in the recruitment funnel – which usually means getting them to your website. By implementing a thoughtful communications strategy that transitions people smoothly from your print materials to your website, you can create a clear path that leads students to enrollment.

Send visitors straight where they want to go

Sure, slapping your institution’s homepage address on a brochure could get some students to visit your website. But that leaves the next step out of your control. Will students be able to find the program they’re interested in? Or will they struggle to find the information they want and lose interest? Instead, consider printing links to key pages within your site where students can find specific information. For instance, if students want to know what scholarships are available, they can go directly to a link like “”. But remember to keep those URLs nice and short – they look nicer on your brochure and are easier to type into a browser without error.

Or better still – to customized landing pages

Even better than sending brochure readers to existing subpages of your site is creating customised landing pages. You can tailor them to specific groups, and they can be especially useful with print pieces that are tied to a certain event or campaign. For example, if you attend a recruitment fair in China, print an event-specific factsheet that tells readers to visit a landing page in Mandarin, e.g. “”. Include some form fields on your landing page to capture lead data. Plus, you can easily make them mobile-friendly – even if the rest of your website isn’t!

Consistency counts!

It can be tempting to get creative with individual publications, but in order to build strong brand recognition, your institutional look and feel should be consistent across all materials. This not only means displaying your logo on all print pieces and webpages, but also being consistent with your tone of voice, color scheme, and visual style. If your brochure is bright green and makes your institution look fun and friendly, students may be confused or turned off if they visit a website with a blue/gold color scheme and a serious academic tone. The transition from print to web should feel seamless for visitors.

What about QR codes?

Some institutions have started including QR codes on their printed materials, which allow students to scan the code with a smart phone to pull up a website or specific page. However, a recent survey showed that 75% of college-bound students in the US are not likely to use QR codes. Usage of QR codes certainly varies in countries like South Korea and India, where the technology is more popular. But since the technology hasn’t yet proven its worth in all markets, if you do use QR codes be sure to check your website metrics to determine whether the codes are really being scanned or if they’re just wasting space. And make sure your codes link to mobile-friendly pages!

If you want to expand your knowledge in reaching international audiences via the web and get equipped with tools and methods to measure the effectiveness of your website, make sure you sign up for the EAIE Academy course in Tallinn, 18-19 November: ‘How to optimise and maintain an international website’, by 28 October!