The greatest challenge any admissions professional faces is to make a meaningful connection with prospective students. With a sea of competing messages pouring into their inbox – from other higher ed institutions and everyone else – video email may be your silver bullet.

Reaching prospects means delivering a sense that this message is meant specifically for them. That it comes custom-made, bespoke, rather than produced for the generic masses.

One of the best ways to do that is by breaking the mold of text-based email with video.

There is nothing more personally relevant than a video message that is clearly custom-made for the recipient, for several reasons:

  • There is no doubt the message is coming from you (not a faceless committee, or a bot).
  • The emotive elements of facial expression and tone of voice deepen the sense of personal connection.
  • There is a certain degree of vulnerability in being seen that contributes to building relationships.

Agreeing with that idea is the easy part. Execution is another matter.

There are two key points I want to make about how to realistically utilize video email:

  1. Video email platforms help a lot. There are some great options out there to facilitate this, such as BombBomb, which I’ve written about before and use myself. (It facilitates creating video for text and social media as well, by the way.)
  2. This is primarily a lower-funnel tool. While video is a great idea at every stage in the enrollment marketing funnel, personalized video email works best toward the bottom.

The idea here is to do as much to recreate as many of the high-touch experiences you offer on a campus visit digitally as possible. 

Just as virtual tours help students visualize what it will be like to come to your school, video email helps them visualize what it will be like to interact and work with you.

5 Video Email Ideas for Enrollment Marketing

Let’s go over a few ways you might utilize video email to build a relationship with your prospects from pre- to post-application and through enrollment.

1. “I wanted to introduce myself.”

When to use it:

After the prospect has expressed interest, e.g. requested info.

Who records it:

Admissions counselor

Length:

10-20 seconds

This is a message you can deliver early on as the prospect transitions into the active consideration phase.

It’s fairly self-explanatory. We’re talking about a super short video (as much for their benefit as yours – you may be recording 50, 100 of these) that basically says, “Hello.”

In this video, you want to:

  • Use their name.
  • Thank them for connecting with your school.
  • Acknowledge how they connected (recruiting event, RFI form, etc.).
  • Tell them who you are.
  • Invite them to reach out to you directly.

There’s nothing special you have to do visually. By that, I mean nothing special needs to be in the background. Just be well-lit, smile and look at the camera (not down at a script!).

2. “I’d like to introduce you to _____.”

When to use it:

After the prospect has indicated interest in a subject area or athletics.

Who records it:

Recruiter or admissions counselor and “guest”

Length:

30-60 seconds

Just as it is in the “real world,” this is a great way to either perform a warm hand-off or broaden your prospect’s relationship with your institution.

When you’re putting an email campaign together, it’s a good idea to educate prospects about key administrators, instructors, coaches who will be relevant to their experience. But why wait until they come to campus to make a personal introduction? 

A video like this makes those key people much more real to the student.

In this video:

  • Use the prospect’s name.
  • Tell (or remind them) who you are.
  • Thank them for sharing XYZ about themselves.
  • Acknowledge how they did so (at a recruiting event, via an RFI form, etc.).
  • Tell them who the person is next to you.
  • Give your “guest” at least half your video time to speak.
  • Provide your guest’s contact information (if desired).
  • Invite the prospect to take action (e.g. schedule a visit).

It may be a good idea to make this video in your guest’s native environment. Take your laptop or mobile device to their office, classroom, lab, athletic complex, etc. That will add a degree of authenticity, and your guest will probably appreciate you coming to them.

3. “Let me show you around.”

When to use it:

After the prospect has expressed interest in a program, club or sport.

Who records it:

Admissions counselor or facility “host”

Length:

30-60 seconds

You might decide to combine the video introducing the prospect to a “guest” with showing off a facility. That could work. Just be forewarned that you’re likely making a much longer video in that case, which is less likely to be watched all the way through.

The idea here is to create a quick mini-tour of a small space and deliver a personal invitation to visit and see more.

In this video:

  • Use their name.
  • Tell (or remind) them who you are.
  • Acknowledge their expressed interest in a particular program, club, sport, etc.
  • Show them around a small space, e.g. a room (no editing required).
  • Share a few fun facts.
  • Invite them to schedule a visit to see more.

Really think small with this. It’s you, your smartphone or other mobile device, and a quick sweep around the room. 

The idea is to make a bunch of these for a group of students interested in utilizing this space. Do yourself a favor and don’t involve a lot of movement (down the hall, etc.), which you’ll have to do dozens of times and makes for a shaky and potentially unwatchable video anyway.

4. “They asked me to tell you what I think.” (Student Takeover)

When to use it:

After you have made personal contact at least once.

Who records it:

Student

Length:

20-30 seconds

This borrows from the Instagram takeover concept but makes it personal.

Tap a student ambassador (preferably a digital media-savvy one) participating in your prospect’s area of interest to record maybe a dozen videos. The focus is simply on making a personal invitation to join in the fun.

In this video, the student ambassador will:

  • Use their name.
  • Introduce themselves, including their connection to a program or student organization.
  • Use your name, e.g. “_____ asked me to send you a quick video.”
  • Give a quick testimonial.
  • Invite the prospect to get in touch with them directly (if desired).
  • Invite them to come to campus to check it out.

If your student ambassador has experience making videos like this, let them apply their creativity to the task. Ideally, all you have to do is supply the basic info they need to know and give a loose direction for the purpose of the video. Let them do the rest, authentically.

5. “It was nice meeting you!”

When to use it:

After you have interacted with the prospect face-to-face (in-person or real-time video).

Who records it:

Admissions counselor

Length:

30-60 seconds

This is all about keeping up the relationship-building momentum. It is always a good idea to follow up after a meeting with an email. It’s an even better idea to follow up with the kind of message that maintains a high level of intimacy – a video email.

The purpose of your message is to let them know you enjoyed the meeting and provide helpful, general information.

In this video:

  • Use their name (always, as you may have noticed!).
  • Tell them how much you enjoyed meeting them.
  • Mention items you discussed with them, e.g. things they shared with you.
  • Offer relevant information about next steps, e.g. how to apply.
  • Make a case for applying if they’re at all interested, even if they’re not sure.
  • Offer to connect them with resources, e.g. financial aid.
  • Invite them to reach out to you with any questions.

This might be the most effective way to utilize video email. I have personally witnessed the effect it has on people when you follow up in this way after an initial meeting. The chances that warm, open communication will continue goes up dramatically.

And that’s exactly what you need as you work to shepherd applicants through those crucial last steps to enrollment and initial deposit.

Enrollment marketers, let’s get video email on your radar!

This is a tool I’m extremely excited about because it makes so much sense on a human level.

We’re all inundated with email. We read so much text and sometimes struggle to pick up context – that sense of familiarity, warmth and belonging humans only fully pick up from each other when we see and hear one another.

Good for Them

Good for You

It’s beneficial for you because it sets you apart and delivers the message that the person on the other end is valued. That’s why you’re going to “all the trouble” (even though platforms like BombBomb* make it much easier!) to make a video.

You want them to know you care about them as a human being.

And that’s exactly how they want to be treated.

So don’t overlook the power of video email in your admissions strategy. If you want more ideas for how to utilize this incredible tool, let me know. I look forward to helping you build more meaningful relationships and enroll more amazing students at your school.

*Full disclosure, I’m a BombBomb affiliate, and this is a referral link. I get a little something out of it if you decide to use BombBomb. But the main reason I keep mentioning it is that I’ve used it and personally enjoyed the benefits. I hope you’ll at least consider it!


Looking for Enrollment Marketing Content that Works?

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Featured image by Fizkes via Adobe Stock

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