As soon as students start their college search, they are overwhelmed with brochures, letters and magazines that are given to them in person or sent through the mail. While colorful program books aren’t entirely obsolete, you must acknowledge that you’re reaching out to high school juniors and seniors, and they are spending most of their time online. To effectively reach this audience, you must move your marketing dollars to online channels.

If you’re not convinced that your target audience isn’t interested in college mail, consider that some students have started using the hashtag #collegemail on Twitter and Instagram to show their dislike. If you don’t want to be mocked on social media or have your marketing dollars wasted, then it’s time to move your direct mail to digital.

To make a smooth transition from direct mail to digital, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Share information that you would normally print.

The reasons for sending out brochures and magazines is to connect with students and show them what you have to offer. Rather than wasting money sending out thousands of print materials, move these documents to your website.

What are some of the things you can do with the content? Offer it in exchange for a contact’s name and email address. Post the content to your social media channels to drive engagement. You can also use the articles in email newsletters or for online informational sessions for students who can’t attend an event. If you need additional resources for content, check out our post on 5 Resources for Higher Education Content Creation.

Blog about specific areas of study.

Your blog is an important tool for drawing in interested candidates, but you need the right content to be successful. Start with specific areas of study that you want to promote, such as a business or psychology program. Begin blogging about these programs to drive qualified traffic to your site.

Keep your blog topics age-appropriate; you’re writing to high school juniors and seniors. Break up your posts into small paragraphs, use subheadings and bullets and cover practical topics. Young students like to know what to expect within a program, what skills and abilities they should possess and what types of jobs they can get after graduation.

Share your content on social media.

The more content you produce, the more you have to share on your social media profiles. Because each channel is unique, share some posts on Twitter and some on Facebook. This keeps your audiences engaged because the content is unique.

Include visuals in your posts, such as an image, video, meme or GIF. The more engagement you drive, the more likely students will visit your website and give you with their contact information. You can then start the nurturing process.


Going digital isn’t as difficult as you think, and you certainly don’t need to scratch the work you’ve already done. Use the content from your brochures and magazines to create social media posts, blog content, email newsletters and ebooks. Even better, spruce it up with new images and updated statistics and you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors in half the time!