I hope you have taken the opportunity to enjoy your summer, or at least bits and pieces of it anyway. If not, no worries we still have a month or more of comfortable weather. So make sure you take that much needed break if you haven't already, or take another, I'm sure you deserve it.


Now, where have we been? A very fair question, and one which I'm sorry you've had to ask. I'd like to say something impressive like we were off saving the world from the next zombie apocalypse or making the world a better place by feeding the hungry or off sharing the gospel in foreign lands. Anything other than having to say, "We just didn't get to it last month". But that's kind of what I have to say. "We just didn't get to it last month". And of course I'm referring to our August Newsletter.


Now we did have an absolute whirlwind of business activity the last two months that left us a bit dazed but not confused. And I was busy supporting an outreach event called "Hope For The City" here in Detroit sponsored by Urban Harvest Ministries. (Learn more by going to www.uhm.cc they'd love to have your support too!) But neither are good reasons, at least in my mind, to miss sending out our newsletter. So, (here comes the hard part), I'm sorry I did not get our newsletter out in August. I promise to never let that happen again, or at least I'll try not to.  

Okay, now I think I'm ready to move on. With this short service interruption comes a change in timing as well. Henceforth we will get our newsletter out at the beginning of each month as opposed to the middle of the month which we had been doing. What I'd like to do today is share a case study with you and hopefully a few more in the coming months. Hearing about direct applications of specific technologies are the best way I know of to help communicate their inherent value, so here we go.


Salem College, a small liberal arts college in North Carolina, developed a mailing for prospective students that clearly illustrated the benefits of relevant marketing. The campaign began with a personalized invitation mailer sent to prospective students which encouraged them to visit a Personalized URL.  At the personalized landing page the student was asked to confirm her contact information and complete a short survey on her academic and extracurricular interests. The following day, a brochure was mailed. The brochure was customized (both text & images) based on answers to the survey questions, as well as by ethnicity.  562 variations were possible.


Ultimately the goal was to increase future enrollment while mailing to 20 percent fewer students - all on a marketing budget 20 percent smaller than the previous year.


The campaign achieved outstanding results for Salem!

  • 4.4% of the students visited their Personalized URL  
  • Of those that visited the site, 47% completed the survey and provided additional information about their interests  
  • 717 students requested additional information about the Spring Visit program  
  • Spring Visit attendance increased by 46%  
  • The solution saved Admissions staff labor - counselors no longer had to frantically input data to send out response pieces  
  • 170 new traditional-age students enrolled for 2011, the largest number of first-years and transfers since 2004 and an 11 percent increase over 2009.

This is just one of many case studies which may help you see the possibilities for your organization. A more in depth account of this is available for the asking, just shoot me an email and I'll be glad to send it over. Or, if you'd like to see a case study related specifically to your current situation, let me know. We probably have one we can pass along. Better yet give me a call and let me know what your biggest challenge is, maybe together we can create a plan that will generate noteworthy improvements for your business.

As always, thanks for listening,


Bill Strobridge