Automation can often bring forward images of cookie cutter, mass produced products or services that are designed to be one size fits all. Perhaps, you’ve received an automated mailer about baby clothes even though you have no children, this is one instance where automation without personalisation fails. However, marketing automation doesn’t have to be this way.
With thousands of students to market to, we discuss how can you strike the perfect balance between marketing automation and personalisation considering how important personalised messaging is to Generation Z.
First, let’s discuss the benefits of automation and personalisation.
Automation allows your marketing department to spend more time on more important tasks rather than painstakingly sending an email to every prospective student or individually mailing a prospectus each time a student submits a request. Automated marketing is the ultimate in time and money savings.
Personalisation on the other hand, allows your marketing department to craft messages and design campaigns that resonate well with students in order to increase the success rate of your outreach and recruitment activities. Personalisation works particularly well on Generation Z, a generation that has experienced personalised marketing and has been proven to respond well to it. Check out our previous blog post, “Innovative or invasive? Striking the balance with your personalised marketing” to find out where to draw the line to come across genuine rather than creepy.
The results of combining these two marketing practices should be two fold, but can they go hand in hand?
Depending on the quality of the data you’ve collected, you can implement automation and personalisation simultaneously to reap the benefits from both practices. An example of this is setting up an automated email based on a prospective student’s registered interest in order to automatically send them a personalised email with clubs and societies they may be interested in.
The key to making automation and personalisation work together, is to organise your data and get creative. Utilise the data you have to the best of your ability and develop a method of obtaining more details and preferences from students over a period of time in order to make the relationship build naturally and to make sure the automated campaigns are deemed useful by prospective students. The more helpful you can be to students the more willing they will be to provide you with their personal information.
Whil personalisation is hugely important to Generation Z, these same practices can be used for other higher education marketing audiences such as alumni, donors, guest lecturers and more. If you have the right data, you’ve asked for more details over an appropriate time period and you’ve set up your data in a way that’s useful to your marketing objectives, then you can make automation and personalisation work together seamlessly.
At AlphaGraphics, we specialise in helping higher education institutions deliver data-driven, personalised and automated marketing campaigns with a full service strategy to improve student recruitment. To find out more, visit: www.education.agnortheast.com