- Increase applications, especially among students for whom Cheverus High School may not be top-of-mind.
- Craft a brand identity for Cheverus High School that differentiates the school from its public and private school competitors.
In 2013, after reviewing historical application and admissions data, and reviewing research projects conducted by Cheverus, Rinck identified specific demographic and geographic target segments which, while representing an attractive prospect source, had not historically represented a significant application base for Cheverus.
Rinck developed an integrated media plan designed to reach both students and parents in these target segments. First, we developed a highly targeted list of segment-specific households in the greater Portland area. Rinck then created and launched a multi-element direct mail piece that highlighted specific qualities of Cheverus that would be especially compelling to the targeted segments.
The call-to-action for the direct mail piece was to encourage families to register for the annual fall Cheverus High School Open House. Since attendance at the Open House had proven to be a key indicator for future application to the school, driving attendance to the Open House was a high strategic priority. Rinck also developed and designed a microsite to capture online registrations and information about the registrants that would allow Cheverus to more closely tailor its Open House programming.
Additional media supported the direct mail piece, including broadcast television and 4-color double page spreads in regional consumer magazines. In addition, Rinck designed digital display and search engine marketing ads that also drove visitors to the Open House registration page. A series of reminder postcards were also mailed to the original Direct Mail household list, generating a compelling frequency-of-message contact with the desired segments.
Open House attendance was a historic high for Cheverus High School in 2013, and because Rinck had instituted a rigorous tracking system as part of the Direct Mail effort and online registration platform, it was determined that over a third of attendees had come from the targeted Direct Mail list. And later, a sizeable portion of these students became Early Decision applicants – a pool that has proven to be highly likely to be admitted and matriculate at Cheverus. The direct link between the Direct Mail effort (and supporting broadcast/print campaign) and the Early Decision applicant yield resulted in a marketing return on investment for Cheverus that was significantly above projections, and brought a previously untapped segment of students to the school.