Tuskegee University’s College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences (CAENS) offers an education that prepares future professionals and leaders in the agricultural, environmental, and nutritional sciences, as well as veterinary medicine through course work along with internships, research, and outreach activities related to their chosen majors.
TU’s College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences (CAENS) offers a wide array of specific majors that provide opportunities for students to succeed in the work force, but they were not reaching their ideal numbers for student recruitment. They sought an agency partner to effectively communicate to prospective students, increase enrollment in quantity and quality of students, and increase retention rates.
Recruitment efforts in the field needed to be supported by consistent follow-up communication through automated digital messaging.
The college sought not only to increase the quantity of numbers in student recruitment for CAENS majors, but also to increase the quality of student applicants who would best fit the programs, which would increase retention rates.
A specific content strategy would need to be put in place to create messaging that would properly educate prospective students about the majors offered within CAENS and which ones would best fit certain students to pursue specific careers.
Stratagon proposed to create a microsite built on HubSpot specifically for CAENS information featuring an RSS and social feed for prospective students to be well-informed on deadlines, scholarship and grant information, and specifics regarding each major and its internship, research, and career opportunities. We also created a landing page specifically for new prospects that recruiters could use in the field to capture student information and send them digital communications as a combined effort of agency partnership alongside in-person and in-the-field recruitment efforts.
The content strategy involved specific messaging and list segmentation for students interested in specific majors and a separate strategy for guiding students who were undecided in order to increase both applications and financial commitments to attend Tuskegee University. Email automation would include messaging about general communication and education about CAENS and its offerings per major, along with specific scholarship information (both internal and external scholarships and links) and timelines for housing applications. The content would supplement recruitment and leverage automation, paid promotion, and frequency of communication to move students further down the recruitment funnel.
Email automation and content support is one focus of a multifaceted campaign that Stratagon implements for TU. Other parts of the engagement include print, direct mail, video, and supplemental paid advertising to amplify automation and recruitment efforts.
Email automation, along with on-the-ground recruitment and specific content, has proven to be an effective marketing strategy for higher education recruitment to increase quantity and quality in applicants. It also increases retention due to consistent communication and stronger relationships. CAENS has recently opted to increase engagement through video, social ads, and blogging efforts to provide more resources for prospective college students.
The partnership between Stratagon and CAENS at Tuskegee University initially flourished due to competence and fit because the teams understood the goals and utilized the content strategy and HubSpot tools to effectively engage prospective students. As the partnership has grown, other colleges within the institution have noticed and are making plans to adopt the model.
"When we partnered with Stratagon, we wanted to increase the number of students we admitted, and also wanted to increase the quality. Over a two year period, we did both. We nearly doubled our numbers and increased in quality, no question about it. Now, we're expanding to the other parts of the university. We hope that will impact all of the majors at Tuskegee University."
Dr. Walter Hill