Newbury College is a small, career-focused institution of 1,300 students located in the picturesque neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts, just minutes from downtown Boston. Despite its excellent location and long-standing reputation for its continuing education and culinary arts programs, Newbury continues to compete with the vast number of colleges and universities in and around the Boston region. As such, building stronger name recognition and developing communication materials that capture the Newbury experience are primary goals for the College.
In the summer of 2009, Zone 5 was engaged by Newbury to develop targeted communications to promote its fall open house events and to help its conversion rate of accepted to enrolled students. To meet these objectives, we first developed a personalized invitation to prospective students to attend one of two scheduled open house events. Our work then continued with the development of a personalized yield piece sent to students as a follow-up to their formal acceptance to Newbury. The yield piece consisted of multiple components including: a personalized cover note addressed to each student by name and signed by the VP for Enrollment; a general brochure/folder encapsulating the Newbury experience; an academic insert targeted to students interested in one of Newbury’s three schools or undecided in their academic program of choice; and a mailing envelope with a compelling call to action. Following the positive momentum Zone 5 achieved with these first projects, Newbury then asked us to develop institutional-wide T-transit and billboard advertisements.
Response to the new communications was quite positive. Their open house RSVP rate increased 39% and attendance to the November open house event increased 19% from the previous year – the largest attendance recorded in the College’s history. The transit and billboard ads were honored with a Silver Medal in the Higher Education Marketing Report Advertising Awards.