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Helping Higher Ed Communicate with High School Prospects, An RNL Partnership, and Holding Your Marketing Agency Accountable

Helping Higher Ed Communicate with High School Prospects, An RNL Partnership, and Holding Your Marketing Agency Accountable
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Welcome to Halda Insights, Issue #7. Before we get into the issue, the information we've been delivering on the graduate student journey is now available in our full-fledged, at-your-fingertips, 2023-2024 Grad Student Engagement Report for 2023-2024:

Full Grad Student Engagement Report 2023-2024

After delving into grad student preferences for the last few months, we’re now working with RNL to conduct a similar survey for prospective undergraduate students. We'll deliver consistent in-house data on what undergrads are looking for in their recruitment and enrollment process. Our in-house data insights are in bold.

Undergraduate prospects want answers faster than ever


69% of undergrad prospects expect a response within 24 hours of submitting an inquiry


58% of undergrad prospects claim a slow response would have a negative impact on their enrollment decision


The trend continues with undergrads: Students want more personalized responses quickly. If a school takes longer than a day to get back to inquiring students, they have likely already sabotaged their attempts to make a meaningful connection.


These numbers get even more severe as students get closer to decision day. 72% of seniors expect a response within 24 hours, while nearly 1 in 10 claim that a slow response completely eliminates a school from consideration. The closer students get to school, the more they value a fast, personalized response. What does this mean? It’s often the relationship-building efforts that provide that final nudge toward a school. Schools that don’t establish strong systems of service early in the process are likely to leak more students as they move closer to a commitment.

Respond quickly, but make it personal

39% of 11th and 12th graders claim that impersonal communication somewhat decreases their interest in a college.


Speed obviously counts, but it’s most effective when paired with a personal touch. This usually means clear responses to students’ specific questions. However, with more applications than ever from an ever-shallowing pool of potential students, this creates a serious workflow problem. Fortunately, a few perfunctory personalization steps do make a difference. 


For instance, 83% of students claim it is very important to include their first names in emails. That’s an easy lift. Some lifts aren’t so scalable, like putting their names in a follow-up video, but every little bit seems to help with this population.


This is likely because younger students have a higher expectation of personalization than ever. A generation used to Netflix algorithms and Amazon suggestions expect more tailored service. Implementing some level of personalization, even in small ways, helps create connections that get students over the finish line.

Halda has partnered with Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Joint Webinar with RNL

Many of you have already heard about our newest partnership, but just in case you missed the announcement, we are now an official partner of higher ed search and enrollment experts, Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL).


RNL is a highly-respected, trusted provider of marketing services for higher education. When they connected with us to see if we could help their higher ed partners engage their website traffic, we thought we could help. Now, we’re a key part of their Intelligent Web Solutions, a new initiative to make the website experience more personal and conversion-oriented.


This is not an exclusive partnership. It doesn’t change our relationship with our current schools, or our ability to work with other organizations. We are, however, excited for how we can work with a great higher ed organization to make the experience even better for schools and prospective students.


We held a joint webinar with RNL on Thursday to announce and explain the partnership. You can access that webinar here:

Access Webinar with RNL.

And if you want to learn more about what this means specifically for our partners, check out our RNL Partnership FAQs!

A Halda Conversation: Are you holding your marketing agency accountable?

We knew we could have a meaningful partnership with RNL because we’d already created a solid connection with Viv Higher Ed, a marketing agency started by Suzan Brinker. A couple weeks ago we sat down with Suzan to talk about how to buy smarter from agencies and how to hold them accountable for their role in your success.


It will help you know if you’re ready for more agency services or if your relationship with your agency has turned a little toxic. The cool thing about this conversation with Suzan and Dallin is that in the process of hearing about agencies you get a ton of insight into effective higher ed marketing in general.

Quick and snappy video editing with Opus

First, this is NOT a sponsored post, we just found a product we really like. Over at Halda, we’ve been playing with some new AI-powered video editing tools. Opus might be the best one. The tool analyzes your video and automatically cuts it into conveniently shareable clips with punchy subtitles to make the experience accessible and impactful. Here's a clip of Dallin talking about the Search Cliff during our webinar with Viv:

You might still need to do a little bit of your own clean-up editing on the back-end (the in-app cutting isn't perfect right now), but this is an amazing starting point for turning a single event or video into dozens of content pieces perfect for different social channels.

As we learn more about the conversion power of video, higher ed needs more tools to help scale its video production, editing, and distribution. This does some of those time-consuming tasks quickly and effectively.

Thanks for checking in, and stay turned for more student and AI insights!

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