GDA Integrated Services was conceived out of the need for increased integration of the marketing efforts made by colleges. We have always believed the strongest marketing strategies are founded on research. Our goal in forming GDA Integrated Services is to bring market research together with years of administrative experience in higher education to create a unified, comprehensive marketing effort.
With this in mind, we have integrated a number our communications services with prospective students together as Direct Communication. From the initial student search effort to the application stage to enrollment, all of our market research demonstrates that prospective students want and expect personalized and customized contact with colleges. Direct Communication ties all the elements of mass communication with the advantages of one-on-one communication. It brings the best strengths of the print world together with the new digital medium. It is not a quick fix or silver bullet solution (we feel there is no silver bullet out there); direct communication is a strategy that is customized to each individual institution that helps colleges and prospective students learn about each other to see if they are a good match.
Direct Communication has many component parts. Our expertise lies in determining how and when these services will come together to most effectively recruit prospective students.
Technology is changing the way in which prospective students choose to communicate with colleges. One of the strongest indicators of this is the recent decision by the College Board, NRCCUA, CBSS, and other list providers to make e-mail addresses available. We can help you determine a search strategy that involves both broadcast e-mail and traditional direct mail.
GDAIS Direct Mail and Broadcast E-mail go well beyond the traditional services of a fulfillment shop. Our approach to both is distinctive – we strive to generate inquiries who are more likely to apply and enroll rather than simply attracting thousands of “soft” inquiries that cost a great deal of time and money to service. Through list selection, audience segmentation, and copywriting, we’ll maximize your search program to deliver targeted messages to your most likely prospects using whichever method students prefer. Our distinctions include:
GDA Integrated Services surveys approximately 10,000 college-bound students each year. Much of the focus of this research is on the kinds of information and communication students want from colleges. With this information, we can help you target messages to specific groups of students.
Our talented copywriters can assist with the development of your direct mail letter and broadcast e-mail, or, if you prefer, write the entire letter. Because we focus on matriculants rather than inquiry volume, we produce letters that creatively match students’ interests and characteristics with your institution.
One of the important elements of a successful recruitment program is communicating with prospects on a personal level, from the initial search appeal to the deposit acknowledgement letter. Customization through specialized paragraphs, specific references, and postscripts is a hallmark of our letter development process.
The most successful direct mail programs tend to be developed over time with extensive testing and cross testing. We encourage our clients to conduct regular tests within the context of their ongoing programs so they can measure new ideas against previous programs. We’ll help you to develop a more productive and efficient search program according to how your prospects respond best. Similarly, we offer a range of response mechanisms for broadcast e-mail messages in an electronic communication system called Dialog.
Using e-mail and Web portal technology, Dialog establishes a personalized, long-term, one-on-one electronic communication flow with students that addresses their educational interests and answers their personal questions. The interaction benefits both students and the college: students get the customized information they need, and the school is able to track the interests of prospective students and qualify hot prospects.
Students like it, because it provides them with the information they want when they want it. It also allows the institution to shape the experience each student has when visiting its Website – impossible during a regular Web visit. The institution has the added advantage of capturing all the cumulative data provided by the student, which can then be used to further customize and tailor all continued contact with that student.
Because we tailor Dialog to the specific needs of each institution, Dialog can be adjusted to fit into virtually any communications plan. It can help manage the flow of electronic communication with a prospective students over the months or years that lead to his or her application and enrollment. Our team will work with the admissions office staff to create a Dialog program that best appeals to your ideal prospective students and maximizes the efforts of your staff.