GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

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Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | July 15th, 2021

5 steps for creating an automated email communications strategy

Email communicationsAs you plan for the upcoming recruiting year, you’ll want to make sure you have one critical element in place – an automated email communications plan.

First, you’ll want to respond as quickly as possible to a submission or request for information; automating this step can ease the burden on the admissions staff and give your prospects confidence that they can expect good customer service from your program.

After the first contact has been made, it’s up to you to stay “top of mind” and “top of inbox”. Sending consistent messages over a set period of time can allow you to slowly disseminate key information and answer your prospects’ questions so they can make decisions.

Here are five simple steps to creating your automated communications strategy:

Segment your programs

Many marketing and admissions departments are responsible for recruiting for multiple programs at one time. Although it may be tempting to send out blanket emails that include links to all programs, it can actually hinder you being able to communicate critical information. Be sure to create a separate communications flow for each program, or develop sub-groups based on program type. For example, if you have an in-person MBA, hybrid Executive MBA and online Professional MBA program, each should have its own set of emails. However, if you have an online MBA with 3 different concentrations or tracks – it may make sense to start out with one flow and then supplement with additional information as necessary.

Segment your audience

Just as you will have different audiences for each program, you may also be able to break out your audience based on certain criteria. For example you may have one communications flow for all MBA prospects, but within that flow add extra emails for key demographics like women, URM and military.

Aim for a slow, targeted build of information

The way you structure your communications is ultimately up to you, however, we suggest these key areas as a starting point:

  • Introduction from your program manager or dean
  • Student life
  • Program structure
  • Key program benefits (although these can also be infused into each email)
  • Program differentiators, such as a client project, internship, international immersion, etc.
  • Career paths
  • Support
  • Inclusion
  • Call to submit an application

Create a simple format

Your prospects are likely receiving communications from several schools. Make sure your sender is consistent and that your branding is clear. Make key decisions on greetings, intro paragraphs, how you will present information and how you will give your prospects a clear call to action each time. Try to develop a word count max so each email is similar in length.

Create a schedule

Depending on what works best for your program, spread your emails out over a period of weeks or months. You could opt to send one email per week or bi-weekly. Many schools benefit from sending emails on the same day at the same time (for example Tuesdays at 10 a.m.). Your prospects know when to look for information from you. Setting a clear plan ahead of time can minimize panic sending and eliminate jamming up your prospects’ inboxes

It’s important to develop your automated email communications so they can be sent at any point during the year. You will want to avoid any time-stamped information and reserve this for your event and application emails.

With a clear plan, you can develop a robust email communications flow that can yield applications and give your prospects the information they need to make decisions.

GPRS is your communications partner

If you need help developing an integrated automated email communications strategy, GPRS can help. Our team of experienced writers and strategists can develop a plan that works for your team and provide guidance for disseminating your message to your prospects. Start the conversation today.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Alicia Lyons | December 15th, 2018

3 Ways Consistent Marketing Can Save Your Graduate Program

Do you feel like you are constantly paying for digital marketing and garnering little results? Most programs are unsatisfied with their Return On Investment (ROI), but when they try to fix it, they don’t know where to start. What most programs don’t know is that it’s likely your marketing plan that’s to blame. But it isn’t the plan itself that’s the problem, it’s that you’re not following it consistently. The majority of marketing plans fail due to inconsistent posting, overextending platform use, and reactionary responses.

Stick to a Consistent Marketing Plan

At the beginning of each academic year (before the start of the semester) your team should create a marketing plan. The plan should be consistent and utilize a marketing and social media calendar. You should know what and when to post no later than a month in advance. Try to stay consistent.  This is key. Marketing efforts consisting of events, networking, newsletters, speaking engagements, and deadlines are considered targeted marketing and create a sense of immediacy that attracts leads and creates conversions. This doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute to market them. As soon as an event is scheduled you should include it in your marketing plan.

Don’t Overextend Your Platform Use

Another trap most graduate programs fall into is overextending their platform use. Efforts pay-off when you use a level of constraint. It’s easy to want to post on all of the social media platforms. This heightens awareness, right? More platforms, more leads! If your marketing department cannot handle this workload or if you don’t have the content to support the plan this may end up hurting your program. Try to stick to one platform at a time and work your way up. Consider your audience personas and choose the platforms that best suit your prospective students. Also, remember these widely accepted rules:

Facebook = Awareness

LinkedIn = Connections

Twitter = Spreads the Word

Instagram = Is Hardly Ever For Over 25-Year-Olds

Don’t Fall into the Trap of Knee-Jerk Posting

The three pitfalls that can lead to reactionary posting are:

  • There are so many new inquiries, you no longer feel the need to market. A few weeks or months later, there is not a single prospective student in sight.
  • You are not receiving the ROI that you expected, so you utilize a knee-jerk response by randomly posting everywhere. Here, you lose the consistency that we spoke about before, and this leaves your audience confused or bombarded.
  • You didn’t plan accordingly for an upcoming event or deadline. At the last minute you post anywhere and everywhere to increase exposure.

Reactionary posting leads to marketing plans that are never executed. At the beginning of the year, you spent a great deal of time and effort formulating the perfect marketing plan. Why abandon it now?

Inconsistent marketing can confuse and frustrate your audience. It may leave them feeling unsettled and as a result they may find your program untrustworthy. A thoroughly planned and consistently executed marketing plan will result in more leads, more conversions, and more students.



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For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

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