A guide for building student ambassador programs
The function of the admission office is evolving each year. Aside from fierce competition, admission departments today operate in an online marketplace dominated by sophisticated consumers accustomed to accessing any information they seek quickly and without friction. Prospective students and their families increasingly expect the process of “shopping around” for a school to be as easy as placing an Amazon order or watching a movie on Netflix.
These advances in technology have streamlined nearly every consumer process and yet admission offices are still organizing their outreach with phone calls, emails, direct mail and spreadsheets. In order to achieve modern success, a change is necessary.
Using resources you already have, like word-of-mouth marketing, to your advantage, alongside a digital tool for your student ambassador program is essential for reaching prospective students and their families more effectively.
What makes a student ambassador program successful?
An admission department’s success is measured by its ability to admit and yield students. The process itself involves fielding hundreds if not thousands of requests for further information, and matching prospective students and families with current students and families who are well-positioned to answer the prospects’ questions.
When prospective families are not promptly connected with ambassadors who can answer their questions fully and enthusiastically, the students will likely never apply. Managing these interactions can be challenging and time-consuming without the right tools.
Help prospective students make the right choice
Families and students want to select the right institution where the students’ ambitions can be developed. This means not only finding a school/institution that offers the academic path desired, but also one that is a mission and cultural match.
Traditional marketing materials are great for providing practical information such as the curriculum, facilities, faculty to student ratio, etc. However, they are far less effective at communicating the more experiential aspects of student life.
In most cases, the final decision about whether a student believes they will be happy and successful is only made after talking to parents, alumni and students who have experienced the institution first-hand.
We all in the marketing and communications area know that we can spend whatever we want on advertising but at the end of the day, it’s what our parents are saying about us when we are notNija Meyer, Woodward School
in the room that is going to most influence a parent’s decision of whether to enroll in our school or not.
How to maximize your word-of-mouth marketing through a student ambassador program
In the world of enrollment and admission, word-of-mouth is the number one recruitment channel.
It harnesses the power of your existing constituents to represent your school or institution. By enabling current students, parents, teachers, coaches and alumni to tell their authentic stories, they’re able to promote the schools and institutions they love, and you’re able to take control of the narrative.
Impact of a student ambassador program
Generally, schools’ admission ambassadors are made up of current families while universities tend to include current students and alumni. One of the goals of all universities is to educate and empower the world’s next generation of leaders—and that can start with providing current students a voice in the admission process.
There are many compelling reasons to start an ambassador program, or enhance your existing one:
Grow your reach
As many as 90% of new families enroll as a result of word-of-mouth recommendations from existing students and families.
Augment your team
Student and parent ambassadors can serve as passionate advocates, increasing the potency and size of your recruitment team.
Authenticate your marketing efforts
No one wants to be “sold to” using clever tactics and smooth words. Current students and families are in the best position to authentically represent your school as they are not on the payroll and are unlikely to have an agenda.
With PeerPal from Gravyty, your admission department and student ambassador program can be more efficient, while also making the process far easier and more engaging for prospective students and parents.
Improve your admission efforts
Word of mouth is your #1 recruitment channel and PeerPal empowers prospective families to make relevant peer-to-peer connections with your community of passionate ambassadors. Greatly extend your reach through interactive webpage tools and integrations on popular industry portals.
Streamline your student ambassador program
Add, access, and update ambassador profiles at scale. Effortlessly, request specific outreach, approve video messages and ensure connections are made in a timely manner.
Initiate bulk outreach
Quickly create and execute bulk outreach campaigns directly from the dashboard.
Assign prospects to ambassadors and define the type of outreach in just a few clicks, then leverage messaging templates to efficiently execute your campaigns.
Welcome admitted families
Enable your ambassadors to engage with prospective students and parents through personalized digital messages and powerful video greetings. These meaningful connections can extend through the entire admission lifecycle.
Track key performance indicators
Monitor all of your most important metrics directly from the dashboard. At a glance, view prospect and ambassador sign-ups, while analyzing critical engagement data including page visits, clicks, messaging activity, conversation details and more.
Your force for ambassador programs
Mobilize your passionate community of digital ambassadors to elevate admissions and enrollment with PeerPal from Gravyty. Let’s talk.