Print Solutions for Education: Implementing Print with Marketing & Fundraising
Printed materials are an important part of just about every marketing campaign. While digital marketing strategies have made it easier to reach bigger audiences, print collateral makes it possible to directly reach your prospects in a more tangible way. When it comes to marketing a college or university, having a solid strategy, with print at the core, can make all the difference when trying to acquire students and appeal to funders.
College students and their parents now have more options than ever before. The fundraising landscape for universities is changing rapidly, forcing institutions to adapt quickly in order to meeting their funding goals. Given the level of competition in the educational marketplace today, you must be willing to go the extra mile to distinguish your institution from the competition—and print collateral offers the perfect opportunity.
Types of print collateral for universities and colleges include:
- Brochures & Marketing Collateral
- Student Newsletters
- Personalized Alumni Newsletters
- Alumni Magazines
- Orientation Handbooks
- Course Packs & Teaching Materials
- Media Kits
- School Directories
- Data Collection Forms
If you’re designing a marketing and fundraising strategy for your college or university, here are a few tips worthy of consideration:
Print with a Strategy
With every outreach campaign, it’s important to have the desired outcome in mind. What exactly are you to looking achieve? Maybe you want to drive student enrollment, or you want to solicit funds from your institution’s alumni. Print collateral for colleges and universities is used to build and nurture relationships – either for student acquisition or for attracting funding. Defining your end goal is the first critical step in coming up with a successful digital and print strategy that will make it all happen.
Messaging and Brand Are Key
How you craft your messages and present your brand are key to winning your prospects over. You want to present a brand image that’s built on caring about the students, alumni, staff, and the public at large. This calls for a creative, well-thought-out marketing plan. You will want to show your audience—whether prospective students, funders or alumni, that your brand is not only professional, but it also exciting to work with. Enlisting the services of professional copywriters and brand strategies will go a long way in achieving this. Integrating this messaging and your brand consistently and accurately throughout all your digital and print assets is critical.
Personalize Your Print and Direct Mail Appeals
In a world where we’re bombarded with marketing messages from all directions, personalizing your message to your individual prospects has become imperative. Blanket messages just won’t suffice. This means print collateral for educational institutions must be tailor-made for individual prospects. But beyond addressing the prospect by their name, it’s also important to gather as much data as possible about your prospects, so you can create more targeted and personalized messages. This will help boost engagement and increase the likelihood that the prospect will take the desired action, be it requesting for more information or pledging to contribute money.
Combine Print with Other Channels
Combining digital marketing and print solutions for educational institutions will help you get more responses for your campaign. A report by Blackbaud indicates that print generates a higher response rate than online channels, with gifts from direct mail accounting for 79% of the total. Gifts from online, on the other hand, accounted for 10%. So does this mean that print campaigns are more effective than online marketing? Perhaps that’s the case for university/college fundraising print campaigns, but there’s no reason why you can’t combine the two for even better results.
Use the Right Printing Method
Every print job needs to be executed with the appropriate printing method. This helps you maximize results while minimizing costs. Two common printing methods employed by commercial printers are variable digital printing and offset lithography. Newsletters, magazines, annual reports, catalogues and other print materials targeted at a wider audience are best done with offset printing, which delivers high-quality visuals. For personalized communications such as direct mail, it’s best to go with variable digital printing. Our experts at Sheer Print Solutions have years of experience in digital print marketing for educational institutions and will help you make the right choice for your needs.
Use the Right Paper
Digital print marketing for educational institutions needs to look good, now more than ever. No matter how well-crafted your messages are, you won’t be able to make your desired impact with the wrong choice of paper. The right choice of paper stock for your print materials conveys quality and innovation in your communication, and this helps increase the effectiveness of your campaign.
New York City is widely recognized as a global center for education, being home to some of the world’s leading colleges and universities. Whether you’re fundraising for or creating digital marketing and print solutions for educational institutions, the stakes have never been higher. It’s therefore important that you work with a printer with extensive industry expertise and experience. Sheer Print Solutions can help you with the production of high-quality prints that are just right for your campaign.
About The Author
Craig Sheer is the owner of Sheer Print Solutions, located in New York City & Portchester, NY. We are the proven leader for affordable, high-quality Digital and Offset, and Large Format Printing in NYC. Sheer Printing Solutions is your single source for solutions to all your printing, binding, warehousing and fulfillment needs.