A comms funnel to help belongingness, retention
An idea for institutional communicators.
Remember the marketing funnel you used in your recruitment strategy, to get learners to enroll in your institution?
It most likely looked like one of these:
I have an idea.
What if you used a communications funnel — a take on the marketing funnel — filled with targeted messages for enrolled learners? To continue what you started, and now, to help them feel a part of the institution.
We spend a lot of time and resources communicating with prospective learners to inform and interest them in our programs. We send upbeat messages from faculty, current students, graduates, communicating about the benefits and value of XYZ program or college. We invite them to special events and give them branded items to help them make their decision.
And then they enroll.
And we stop sending them upbeat messages.
Instead, we send messages about schedules and deadlines and tuition. We no longer woo them because we have them.
Our upbeat, welcoming, supportive messages become cool transactional messages.
What if we used the same time and resources we devote to recruiting learners to engage and retain learners? To help them feel like they belong at our institution? To support their journey and enrich their experience as part of our community?
My vision of a communications funnel for enrolled learners:
Messages and content developed to hit each of these five areas, communicated throughout the learner’s time at our institution, delivered by various channels.
This includes online learners.
More people are experiencing our institutions as online learners. They need to feel connected to the institution, to faculty and advisors and other supports. In fact, they may need some extra care to keep them engaged.
Consider developing a communications funnel for your online learners as well, that assures them that they are part of the institutional community.