The 3 Key Features of a Great 'Letter of Offer'December 11, 2019
Every school has its own unique spin on the enrollment journey, but if there’s one thing that they all have in common, it’s that it can take years to nurture prospective families from awareness to enrollment. You’ve put in a lot of time and resources in the lead up to this moment and now you’ve finally arrived — it’s time to send your ‘letter of offer.’
But the hard work isn’t over yet. Your school’s 'letter of offer' could be the difference between welcoming a new student or losing them to a competitor. The key takeaway here? Never underestimate the power that a great 'letter of offer' holds in the decision-making process. In this post, we'll walk you through how to know if yours a revamp and uncover the three key features that every every 'letter of offer' must have.
Time for a revamp?
If your school’s 'letter of offer' hasn’t been updated in the last couple of years, it’s safe to say that it’s almost definitely in need of a refresh. But if you need a little convincing, re-read your 'letter of offer' and then ask yourself these key questions:
- Does it speak to all of the decision-makers?
- Does it make your prospective families feel like they’re already a part of your community?
- Does it build the student’s excitement and anticipation?
- Does it provide clear instructions or next steps?
If you weren’t able to confidently say ‘yes’ to all of these questions, it’s time to re-think your approach. Remember, most families will apply to 2.5 schools on average, so keep in the back of your mind that your 'letter of offer' isn’t the only one on the table. Nailing your communication at this crucial stage could be your last chance to make an impact and sway the decision in your favor.
Breaking down the great 'letter of offer'.
Now that you’re onboard, ready, and excited to revamp your school’s 'letter of offer,' here are the three key features every 'letter of offer' needs to stay strides ahead of the competition.
1. It’s personal and authentic
From personalizing your email content to running personalized school tours, your audience want to feel as though you’re talking to them on an individual level — and your 'letter of offer' is no exception. Your goal is to build rapport and build an emotional connection, so the more tailored and personalized your letter is, the better it’ll be received.
You don’t need to spend hours creating new content for each and every student, all you need is a template and some key information about your prospective families. Of course, you’ll want to include all of the obvious details (like student names and year levels), but the real key is to add extra information you’ve collected throughout the enrollment journey. Having a school CRM comes in especially handy here — add that personal touch by adding extra information about co-curricular activities the student might be interested in based on what you know about them already.
2. It’s warm and welcoming
Remember, this is a highly emotional time in your prospective families’ lives. They’ve been waiting for years to arrive at this moment, so it’s essential that your communication reflects that. Keep building that emotional connection by inviting prospective families to be a part of your school community. Get your prospective families excited and engaged by telling them all about the latest news and upcoming events at your school.
Invite them to subscribe to your school newsletter, or join the community online by following your various social media channels. The goal here is to showcase what it’s like to be a part of your school’s community and making them feel as though they’re already a part of it. If you can do this, families will be more likely to accept your 'letter of offer' if they feel welcome and can imagine themselves as a part of your community.
3. It’s informative
Finally, a great ‘'letter of offer'’ provides clear instructions on what families need to do next. Take the stress out of the process by including steps and instructions on how to accept your offer and what they can expect in the days, weeks, or months to come. Another important point to note is that your ‘'letter of offer'’ doesn’t need to be a physical, hard copy letter.
If you provided an online enrollment experience to your prospective families up to this point, you should definitely consider keeping it consistent by emailing your 'letter of offer'. Not only is this great for the environment, but you can also easily attach any other documentation that needs to be sent with your ‘letter of offer,’ or include links to an online form or payment gateway.
Keep these three key features in mind and you’ll be on track to creating a 'letter of offer' that’s impossible to refuse and push all other offers straight into the (recycle) bin. Want to learn more about why your school needs a CRM, check out our previous blog post.