How a college used SMS-Text, variable direct mail, email and the web to energize their student search.

Case Study

A for profit college that is over 100 years old was looking for an innovative approach to market to prospective students.  The campaign goal was to drive prospective students to a micro-site branded for the college or to send a text message with a simple response code.  The college had been executing a survey based search campaign for many years but was disappointed with the fact that it had been trending down for 5 years.  Beanstalk Data was contracted to implement a multi-channel campaign that would drive responses and automate the follow up by mailing a personalized poster to the first 250 recipients and sending daily reports to the admissions call center for outbound calls.  The goal of 250 respondents was aggressive in that it was more than double their previous campaign results.

Direct mail campaigns often fall short in several ways: traditional direct mail does not engage the prospect to interact with the client, there often is not a mechanism for tracking responses and the call to action is often non-existent or weak.  Beanstalk Data had to find a way to engage the prospects by offering a strong inducement to interact with the client’s micro-site or send a text response and identify interested prospects for future marketing efforts.

Beanstalk Data implemented an integrated direct marketing campaign centered on a personalized poster coupled with a follow up call from admissions. A variable direct mail card was sent to 30,000 prospective students. The card featured an opportunity for the first 250 recipients to receive a personalized college poster and to find out about limited financial aid. To capture response rates a unique code was provided on each postcard. These direct mail pieces drove prospects to the micro-site or they could simply text the code using their phone (which most high school students have in their hands). 7,839 of the records had an email address.  An email was sent to the list twice.  Beanstalk Data’s marketing automation platform cross-referenced contact data and matched it with each recipient’s unique code. Beanstalk Data automated the follow up by fulfilling a personalized poster in a tube via first class mail and a daily report was transmitted to the admission department’s call center for follow up calls. 

More responses were received during the first 48 hours of the campaign than during the entire 90 days of their previous survey based campaign.  All 250 of the budgeted personalized posters were fulfilled and the end result of 287 was just over three times their previous campaign results. 

Beanstalk Data was able to provide daily automated reporting to the college. among those metrics:
  • 30,000 total prospects reached via direct mail
  • 7,839 prospects received an email twice
  • 287 unique responses
  • 55.23% responded via SMS-Text from the direct mail piece
  • 26.13% of the responses were from email
  • 18.64% of respondents used their mail code from the direct mail card with the web landing page
  • 250 personalized posters were fulfilled
  • 287 people were queued up for calling in the call centel
  • Received more responses in the first 48 hours than the entire 90 days of their previous campaign
  • Overall campaign response was just over 3x previous campaign
Do you need a creative solution to reach your target market?  Let us help you find one.
Jim Thomas and JC Thomas Marketing Communications help businesses increase revenue through creative marketing
solutions and intuitive software. (cool work here).  You can reach Jim at 704-377-9660 ext. 2521 or


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  1. Ben Waugh

    Where did you get your blog layout from? I’d like to get one like it for my blog.


    1. Jim Thomas

      Ben this is a WordPress theme called Vertigo. Thakns for reading.


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