Last-Minute Checklist for Final Days of Yield Period

As the May 1 deadline nears, consider some quick new initiatives to boost your yield efforts. 

April 24, 2018

It’s here. The end of yield season. After years of hard (and smart) work and relationship building by your admissions and marketing-communications colleagues, it’s finally time for your admitted students to make their decision. With only a week left before the big deadline, what else can you and your team possibly do to move the needle? 

Claim space on your .edu homepage.

College and university homepages can be lightning rods for internal competition, but during this critical business time, it’s essential that enrollment plans for and stakes a strong claim on this prime real estate. Make it easy for students to make their deposit with a link on the most prominent place on the homepage that leads them directly to the payment form.

Be proactive with answers to top questions.

Keep tabs on the top recurring questions front-line staff are fielding from prospective students. Chances are pretty good that at least three core themes are emerging from these conversations. What are the major roadblocks or concerns they are hearing about? Are they hearing hesitance about cost, fear of going far from home, or uncertainty about a part of the process? Get out of reactive mode and develop a supplemental communications flow that proactively addresses these questions and concerns. 

Even when answering transactional questions, remember to look for opportunities to couch your responses with meaningful value proposition that remind students why they put you on the short list in the first place.

Create a multi-channel countdown.

Countdown the days with them until May 1. Go beyond email and phone calls and provide students with a variety of paid and organic access points. If you are on their short list they are more likely to be following you on social media, so mix in some practical pushes among the fun ones. 

  • Video content is easy to make and share. Engage your community to contribute to a campaign that welcomes students to your community and lets them know what to do next, and push those videos out via digital platforms.
  • Remember that social media isn’t a one-way street—be prepared to answer questions and provide service as part of your campaign.
  • Texting is the perfect medium for communicating about deadlines. If you have it at your disposal, now is the time to use texting to provide an easy call to action.

​​And don’t forget parents—if you have their information, be sure to communicate the countdown to them as well.

Provide excellent, institution-wide service.

  • Consistent, timely response and top-notch student service is mission critical in these final days.
  • Make sure the rest of your community knows that this is an important time of year and you need their support. In the academic silos, some colleagues may not be aware that it’s yield season, so be sure to let them know how they can help.
  • Extend your service hours. Invite staff volunteers to provide service in the evenings during this time, and let your students and their families know that you are available with extended hours to help them finalize their decision.
  • Consider hosting virtual family counseling sessions via Facetime or Skype.
  • Open up your service access points if you haven’t already. Facebook Live is a great forum for directly connecting with students to deliver information and answer questions. Announce regular sessions through May 1 and bring in “experts” that can address those top questions in depth.

Take care of your staff. There are few things more impactful to bringing in your class than top-notch, friendly student service. It’s tough to do that when you are feeling burnt out or overworked. And at this time of the year, your front-line staff is working overtime. Stay focused on keeping them sane in the midst of the madness. Keep morale up, celebrate successes, give shout outs on a regular basis—it’s important to keeping the tone of this essential outreach work as upbeat as possible. 

Suzanne Grigalunas is the Enrollment Marketing Strategist at Lipman Hearne.


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