Capture Blog

#ShockingNotShocking: Belief Drives Desire, Desire Fuels Action

You know that moment when you read a headline, and you think, seriously someone had to prove that?

“Blue skies proven to increase happiness!” Or “Champagne helps improve memory loss!” Okay, so the second one maybe made me think a little bit, but I desperately wanted to believe it, so I bought into it rather quickly.

Have you read, The Business of Belief by Tom Asacker? If not, put it in your queue. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “Belief is a personal construct, an emotionally-colored fusion of imperfect mental processes like perception and memory.”

As a marketer, I love this book for so many reasons. Your belief drives what you desire. Desire fuels your action. And action is the act of you making a decision. So, people make decisions on their beliefs. And their beliefs are comprised of their experiences. If you change their experiences, you can change their beliefs. But not logic, nor proof, nor the smartest human beings on the planet can convince you to change your beliefs. Only YOU can do that. And to do that, you must change your desires and your experiences.

I know what you’re thinking … this is great and all, but how does this relate to higher education? Or more specifically Capture? So glad you asked!

A lot of higher education firms offer up #ShockingNotShocking headlines.

• “Student applicants still read their email!”
• “97 percent of students who will enroll at your school are on your website!”
• “Sending direct mail to everyone is wasteful!”

Boom. Easy to believe. What about these?

• “81 percent of high school students check their mail once per week.”
• “88 percent of accepted applicants visit your website more than 50 times.”
• “The average four-year institution can save $229,000 on direct mail by only sending to the top 30 percent of recruits.”

Maybe a little harder to believe? But yeah, you’re in. Makes sense! Now let me really challenge your beliefs.

• “Email open rates have ZERO significance on your ability to estimate applications. In fact, they are proven to have a negative correlation to enrollment.”
• “After receiving personalized triggered emails, students are 24 percent more likely to visit your web site at least once more in the next seven days.”
• “Digital display advertising is just as likely to enroll a student as is direct mail.”

Now I got your attention. No WAY you believe this.

What if I tell you it’s true? Well, until you experience it you won’t believe it. And one step before that — you have to think it’s even possible to be true. Once you desire that, you will seek out this experience. Then once you experience it — you will believe it.

Well, at Capture, we did desire it to be true — and we have experienced it with our partners. So WE BELIEVE!

We know that buying more names and looking at open rates is a distracting vanity metric that is tanking the industry. We know that spending $124 will yield you one more student with direct mail, but $122 will do the same with digital advertising. We know that students who are visiting your website and receiving a customized experience will apply at three times higher a rate than those that don’t — and will be at least 24 percent more likely to come back and give you another shot at winning their beliefs and achieving their desires.

Another favorite quote from Asacker’s book:

“What most fail to realize, typically until it’s very late in the game is that change happens to us whether we like it or not.”

It’s time for us to think differently about enrollment management. No matter how hard I try, I can’t convince you these things are true. You have to experience them to believe. You should call us; we can make you a believer.

By Ellen Stubbs, Vice President of Marketing, Capture Higher Ed

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