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Beyond acceptance: How to increase enrollment with effective communications

StudentBridge Staff April, 11, 2022

3 strategies to level up your admissions communication strategy to stand out, generate excitement, and boost enrollment

You’ve made the announcement: Your accepted students know they’re in! Now what? 

Too many institutions rely on that one message to excite students and get them in the door. But, amid increased competition for a dwindling pool of college-bound students, is that approach doing enough? 

Recent research shows there are a million fewer students enrolled in college now than pre-pandemic. Not to mention those who are pursuing post-secondary education are applying to an increasing number of institutions. A recent Student Voice survey from Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse found 40 percent of undergraduate students planning to graduate in 2025 applied to 6–10 institutions. Talk about competition! 

Ensuring a special acceptance announcement is an undoubtedly important step when looking to generate excitement and stand out from the crowd. But institutions aspiring to stay top of mind and boost enrollment need to examine what happens after that moment as well. 

Below, you’ll find three ways to round out your communication strategy for accepted students. We also share examples of how to take action on each approach using our Accepted Student Experience, which helps institutions amplify the moment of acceptance to spark excitement, increase engagement, and drive action (including enrollment and matriculation).

1. Customize your strategy for different audiences

Personalization is a powerful way to make accepted students feel special while highlighting why your institution is a good fit for them. This includes adding a recipient’s name to a message, but also requires institutions to zoom out and ensure the entire message is tailored to that students’ needs. 

Segmenting your audience is a great way to do this at scale without overtaxing your team or limited resources. Consider various audiences you have among your accepted students — such as first-gen students, adult learners, transfer students, and out-of-state or international students — and then think through their journey from acceptance to enrollment. What information do they need and when? Do certain groups require more frequent or tailored support? Are there different next steps for various groups? 

Paired with timely two-way communication opportunities (especially via text message), this segmented approach helps ensure everyone has easy access to what they need to make an informed decision. With the Accepted Student Experience, institutions can accomplish this and more with unlimited text message and email campaigns for unlimited audiences — spanning every stage of the decision-making process.

image2-png2. Provide clear next steps

With accepted students potentially considering multiple institutions, clarifying the next steps and deadlines is particularly important. Ensuring students have the right information at the right time can be the difference between them joining your community or selecting a different education option. Some touchpoints to consider: 

  • Surface key opportunities, such as financial aid
  • Remind students when their deposit is due
  • Highlight tour offerings, including virtual visits
  • Keep building excitement with branded social media filters
  • Showcase on-campus housing and how to sign up
  • Remind students of special events, like admitted student days or orientation
  • And more! 

The Accepted Student Experience extends beyond the acceptance announcement and ensures students have access to important information directly from their smartphones. Institutions can create curated content cards and send unlimited campaigns via text message and email while opening the lines for timely, two-way communication. Options to add quick pulse surveys help you understand where individual students are at in their decision-making process, so you can continue providing relevant information and support. 

3. Engage parents and other supporters

Families often play a key role in the application, research, and decision-making processes. And their involvement doesn’t stop with the acceptance letter. Research shows students strongly consider parental input when deciding what institution to attend, with more than 60 percent of students reporting their parents were the most important influencer in their enrollment decision.

Engaging parents and guardians throughout the acceptance process is a great way to continue building excitement and share important information that can help students and their families determine the best educational option. However, most institutions don’t have access to parent or guardian contact information, especially for recently admitted students. 

The Accepted Student Experience makes engaging families and other supporters easy. With a simple tap, accepted students can share their good news with family, friends, and other supporters — welcoming families and taking them to a mobile content card with relevant information like details about upcoming events, campus tour offerings, and ways to stay connected. The solution also makes it easy for institutions to collect parent and guardian contact information to continue engaging with them throughout the process.

Ready to tap into an Accepted Student Experience that helps drive real results? StudentBridge can help. Sign up for a free, no-obligation demo to learn more and see our solution in action.


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