check5 mins read

Take your prospectus to the next level


Make your prospectus work harder for your school

There’s something very dependable about a prospectus. 

They take more or less the same form each year, one which varies very little across different schools despite superficial differences in layout, and between print and PDF formats. They’re produced on schedule, an annual exercise with a familiar pattern to it that causes a minimum of fuss for a marketing department. They’re a nice, reliable extension of your website, well designed but generic. Expensive (and not particularly environmentally friendly, as every printed prospectus will ultimately find its way to the bin) in print, but forgettable in PDF – a cost you budget for, but one that can work harder, and be more of a talking point with the parents you are trying to convert.  

Parents considering your school expect to be given a stack of such documents, and plan to leaf through them when they have a spare moment. They sit neatly in a pile of similar prospectuses, waiting to be read. By the time they are, many parents will have formed an impression of your school through other means. 

They tell the story of your school in impartial, impersonal tones – outlining the experience an ‘ideal’ student can expect to have. The images, statistics, and quotes from staff and students are presented as equally relevant to every reader. If you have detailed questions as a parent, they can wait for the next Open Day, when you might get five minutes to ask them if you’re lucky – and if you’re able to travel to that Open Day without any pandemic-related disruption. If something is missing that has risen to the top of the list of parents’ concerns this year, well, perhaps next year’s prospectus will include something on that topic.

When you really think about it, perhaps a prospectus isn’t as dependable a marketing tool as it might seem? In today’s world of interactive, personal marketing for everything from buying a house through to your supermarket shop, does a traditional prospectus really make the most of the opportunity to influence and inform parents thinking about your school? Does an impersonal prospectus really provide the compelling information parents expect when making an enormously expensive choice of service for their most prized possession – their child?


Personalizing the prospectus


The key issues with a traditional prospectus are clear to any modern marketer reading through the above. A print or PDF prospectus:

  1. Isn’t tailored or personalized to individual parents in any way
  2. Offer little opportunity for interaction, or connectivity with other marketing activities.

If you’re worried about whether your school’s prospectus is doing enough to reach the parents your school is looking to cultivate, you should know there are alternatives.

Virtual School Experience brings your school to life for prospective parents by providing each family with a unique microsite URL where they can access personalized information – a dynamic, trackable, changeable, and living digital prospectus just for them. VSE lets you easily curate and manage your online content including video and audio files, and update each family’s microsite with the most relevant pieces of information, based on how they’ve interacted with your marketing collateral. Cross-platform integration means you can show them relevant messages based on their interactions across your website, email, and social media marketing, and dovetail with in-person events using QR codes. All of the above is achieved without the need for a full time web-developer, via a simple drag-and-drop interface. 

A powerful suite of analytics tools lets you understand in real time how parents are engaging with the content in your new tailored prospectuses, letting you adapt your campaigns as issues rise and fall in prominence, and allowing you to react quickly to unexpected insights or challenges. Instead of a document sitting untouched in a desk drawer, your prospectus becomes a powerful window into parents’ decision-making process, and one you can use to develop truly influential follow up messages.

Instead of a static prospectus that takes parents on the same tour of your school’s strengths, you can zero in on the particular concerns each family has regarding their child’s unique situation. With 24/7 availability, live webinars, personalized parent tours, and social media integration, you make it far easier for parents to ask you the key questions that will determine where they look to place their child. 

With VSE, turn your prospectus into a powerhouse that drives your marketing to the next level. 

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