Coming together to support Enrollment Management

With COVID-19 impacting every aspect of our daily lives, colleges and universities all over the country are turning toward the fall semester and prospective students who may be hesitant to commit to attending an institution when so much is still unknown.

Several groups in the Washington State University community got together to decide what they could do to assist Enrollment Management (EM).

It was at a dean’s meeting that Dean Chip Hunter from the Carson College of Business and Dean Mary Rezac from the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture appointed members of their teams to help support EM.

“It’s all about amplification,” said Sarah Druffel, strategic marketing and communications director in the Carson College of Business. “Between our two colleges, our marketing and communications departments, we’ve got some different expertise…. Whatever we create, can this easily be used University-wide? It was very much WSU focused.”

…we really wanted to give students and prospective students that touch point where they physically got to get something in the mail that was addressed to them.

—Sarah Druffel

The goal of this campaign was to reach out to incoming freshmen and help them continue to feel connected to the University. In the current climate with so much uncertainty, it was important to remind these students why they chose to apply to WSU.

The campaign

“Our first piece was a larger, folded piece in which we had a personalized letter from our respective deans really inviting them to stay connected, remember why you chose WSU, what we had to offer our incoming students,” Druffel said.

Design and Printing Services was asked to assist with 2 pieces of this campaign, the initial letter to prospective students, and a follow up letter with a fun mini Butch cutout that can stand on its own.

The initial piece was designed in such a manner that would allow for any of the other colleges to work off of the existing piece and customize it easily with their own letter, information, and student testimonials sharing what it means to be a Coug.

Druffel also explained that the mini Butch cutout was meant to act as another touch point that these students would receive right before the June 1 confirmation date, the date they would need to confirm they plan to enroll at WSU.

“It was also a leave behind,” Druffel said. “There was a lot of fun you could do with it; it was that spirit piece by having Butch, and with the customizable data, we were able to remind them which college.”

The importance of print and variable data

For this campaign, Druffel also touched on the importance of creating printed pieces with variable and customizable data. With the current climate leaning extra heavily on technology, she was feeling “burnt out on the electronic pieces that I’ve been getting over the past couple of months,” Druffel said. “With having to live on my computer, having to talk through my computer, we really wanted to give students and prospective students that touch point where they physically got to get something in the mail that was addressed to them.”

The circled areas are custom data that was swapped in for each individual college.

“It wasn’t just ‘dear current resident,’” Druffel continued. “It had their names, it had their colleges…there was thought behind it, and it was customizable to them.”

Working with Design and Printing Services

Druffel and the Carson College team work with Design and Printing Services on a regular basis for design, email, and printing services.

“For the Carson College of Business, we have done a variety of campaigns,” Druffel said. “It’s been a great experience…Particularly with this one, I was interested in working with Design and Printing Services because we were working closely with Enrollment Management, and I wanted to make sure all of our design elements fit in with what they were doing.”

Druffel also said the Design and Printing Services team has provided high quality work and a lot of different options for their campaigns.

“If I had just gone to my in-house designers, which are great, they wouldn’t have known about pop up mini Butch,” Druffel said. “It’s just not something that we really look at doing or have the resources to turn it on the amount of time that we needed to. It’s probably something we could have figured out and done, but actually being able to get it done in time wouldn’t have been feasible.”

Besides having the resources to help create items like the mini Butch cutout, Druffel mentioned that the members of Design and Printing Services are fun to work with.

“I like the excitement and creativity that comes out of the team,” Druffel said.

Would you like to plan your very own spirited mailer to your college’s incoming students? Contact your project coordinator to get started.

You can also purchase your own mini Butch in the promo shop! Complete with a sign that says “Go Cougs!,” this 5” mascot comes with 2 perforated pieces that can be punched out so he can stand on his own. A fun addition to any mailer!