EMU kids of alumni and siblings

Direct mail piece

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An impressive stat about Eastern Mennonite University is that many students who enroll in the university are children or siblings of alumni. This says a lot about the university’s reputation among graduates. We wanted to capitalize on this very specific group of prospective students (children of alumni and siblings of alumni or current students) so developed a piece just for them.

The challenge

  • To create a piece that would initiate conversation about EMU between prospective students and their parents or siblings.
  • To motivate the recipients to take a step toward EMU by responding in some way

The solution

Develop a fun self-mailer which raises curiosity and (most importantly) gets the recipients toopen it up. As the piece unfolds (accordion fold), each panel presents simple questions the kids can ask their parent or sibling. Recipients can receive a free EMU t-shirt by mailing back their answers on the return card.

The results

We created and mailed two different versions of the piece (one to children of alumni and one to siblings) and the results were quite impressive. The response rates were 14% and 17% (the percentage of actual cards returned). This is a far superior response rate than universities might expect on direct mailings such as this.

Some reasons this was so successful:

  • it was aimed at a very focused (targeted) group of prospective students
  • the design was fun/casual, yet stimulated thinking about various important EMU distinctives
  • recipients were encouraged to make contact with someone they knew personally (parent or sibling)
  • there was an incentive to return the card to EMU (free t-shirt)

Mike offers the rare combination of gifted designer, as well as wordsmith and big picture thinker. Mike isn’t afraid to ask the client tough questions about message intent so he can be sure the product does what it is supposed to do: communicate effectively with a target audience.

Andrea Wenger
Director of Marketing and Communications

Eastern Mennonite University