Friday, August 26, 2011

The reality of Click Through Capture Program

We have a click through program that allows Colleges and Universities to receive 100% of the click throughs when an e-mail campaign is completed. This is a wonderful time saving program that eliminates YOUR need to capture names and addresses on your end. But, there are a few limitations to this program.

First, and foremost, our e-mail files that we send to are double opt-in files. What this means, is that the person receiving the first e-mail (that generated the click through) has given permission for us to send them e-mail messages on a given topic (in this case educational opportunities). The difficulty with this is that when you take possession of the list you are not sending e-mails to them from an "approved" source, but from whatever source you are using to distribute your e-mails. (As a side note, do NOT send from your school's servers. This is a good way of having your school black listed and even though the people have created a business relationship with you by clicking through, you can be perceived by a machine as spamming.) Because you are not sending from our servers, you may, or may not get through the prospective student's firewall, or filtering system. In my experience you can see a 35% to 55% bounce rate for ANY e-mails provided to you using the click through program.

It is for this reason we provide the postal as well as e-mail address of all the click throughs. It allows you a secondary channel to reach these prospects.

Second, People have short memories. They may or may not remember requesting information, or confirming that they want to receive information if time has passed. So, you may have some issues with people complaining or expressing concern that they received mail from you. Out of 4 recent campaigns where we provide click through names/addresses to University clients, we found that fewer than 8 (out of an average of 1400 click throughs) complained. They may be vocal, but they are a very small minority.

Finally, for any given campaign, you need to offer them something substantial to peak their interest. Waiving application fees is nothing in this day and age. Find something of value that a prospective student would feel "supports" their educational goals. Scholarship, book discount for the first semester, free daycare if you offer it are just a few of the options available to you that just might set you apart.

Click throughs are a tool to a goal. Understanding their positive points and limitations will help you better achieve your recruitment goals.

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