A communication plan is a strategic plan for communicating with families in a targeted and personalized way. Automated communication plans (ACPs) in SchoolAdmin are used to help personalize the admissions or enrollment process and save you time by automating common tasks.
Make sure you review the related content below to learn how to set up ACPs and incorporate examples for both Admissions and Enrollment.
Example ACPs you can use on your SchoolAdmin site:
How-To: Identify Key Communication Messages
When crafting your communication plan, you want to think about what are the most important messages or the key points that you want to communicate out to families.
Informational messages help people through the process and answer common questions. Informational messages remove obstacles within the inquiry, admissions, and enrollment process. Examples of informational messages:
Answer procedural questions
Give checklist status updates
Address concerns (e.g. affordability)
Remind families of deadlines
Interest-based messages connect families with your school's story and are unique to your school. Examples of interest-based messages:
Small class size
Theater or arts program
Academic focus (e.g. STEM/STEAM)
Renowned athletic program
Interest-based messages center around what attracts families to your school. Communicating your school's story helps you stand out and leads to higher conversion rates at every step of the funnel - particularly in applicant-to-enrolled ratios and yield. Interest-based messages improve mission fit and increase re-enrollment retention.
Best practices for interest-based messages with a multi-select field:
Scenario: Let's say you have a multi-select field for athletic interests and you want to set up some automated communications that target each of these interests. You don't want families to receive three separate emails if they said their student is interested in three different sports such as basketball, football, and soccer. However, if you have ACPs set up with additional criteria that are specific to each athletic interest, this is what will happen - the family will receive an individual email for each of those three interests.
Best Practice: The best way to handle this scenario is to work with SchoolAdmin Support to create one email template for all athletic interests, that is dynamic according to the sport. The email could show/hide different content based on the interests that are selected. The result is that the family is only receiving one email communication, but it's still personalized to target that student's interests.
How-To: Identify the Target Audience
The key to personalized communications is deciding who each message is relevant to. Even common informational messages should contain personalization.
Map Out Touchpoints
A touchpoint is a single step in the communication plan. For each touchpoint, you will want to define:
What will we say?
When* will we say it?
Who will say it?
How will we say it? (email, phone call, letter, or text)
*It is possible to schedule a specific date and time that you would like an email or reminder to go out. The default time is 8 AM in your school's timezone; however you may want to consider choosing a different time when the recipient will be more likely to view it.
How-To: Get Started on Your School's Communication Plan
Start with the basics
Pick 2-3 most important informational and interest-based messages.
A couple of touchpoints per message.
Start with broad categories (e.g. sports vs. soccer or tennis).
Build gradually over time.
Talk with your families
Ask them about the process and where they had questions, so that you can address those questions more proactively in the future using your communication plan.
Brainstorm as a team
Team collaboration creates a better result and increases buy-in.
Provides a consistent message to families.