You may remember a few weeks ago when we introduced you to The College Program, and talked about the comprehensive email campaign we’ve created to gain new subscribers as well as nurture existing clients. Want a quick refresher? Check out the post here.

In order to achieve our goals, we formed a nurturing strategy including pre and post surveys to engage and understand both parents and students who have attended The College Program seminars. Let’s take a look:


The goal of pre-seminar surveys for students and their parents was to find out more about them, their needs, motivations and concerns in relation to college education. That information was then used to tailor further communications to best fit their needs, and eliminate any information that might be irrelevant or not interesting to them.


Survey for parents: we wanted to get an idea of who is attending the seminar, what their needs and expectations are as to the content and presentation style of the seminar, what they wish to learn, what their concerns may be about college education and its impact on their child’s future, along with the financial aspect of it.

Survey for students: our expectation was to learn what their true motivation and interests are as far as college education and college athletics are concerned, as well as what factors influence their decision most.


We decided it would be best to have two separate surveys – 1) for parents, and 2) for students, since parents are in most cases the ultimate “sponsors” and decision-makers, while their children will obviously have their own point of view. We knew that ultimately both would be helpful to really understand the motivations and needs of people who were going to come to the seminar and essentially were potential users of the College Game Report.

The surveys were not anonymous for the purposes of incentives introduced. The incentive was an attractive discount on an order of a College Game Report. The main survey, for parents, was a follow-up survey after parents have registered to attend the seminar (automatic redirection was set up), and its friendly interface allowed for it to be filled out on a computer or a mobile device.

The parents survey had 6 questions (5 out of them were multiple-choice questions), and the survey for students was only 3 questions (2 multiple-choice). As the parents finished their survey, they were prompted to share their child’s email address so that the student survey version could be emailed to them.


We received 16 complete responses to the parents survey version. Although the responses of the survey cannot be representative of all potential users of the College Game Report, they provided great insight on the seminar attendees and potential clients from that particular seminar, and will be invaluable in making communications tailored to their interests. The information from the responses was also helpful in preparation for future seminars, due to knowing the common concerns and interests that parent attendees have. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, we were not able to receive any responses from students.

Specifically, a short summary of answers to 6 questions is provided below:

Most participating parents (81%) were expecting to learn in the seminar how to best pick a college for their child based on their major and sports played, as opposed to, for instance, identifying the real cost of college. They were not completely confident that they would make the right choice themselves based on the information they already have, and they were also not sure that their child’s choice of major would pay off. Most of them find the cost of college critical in the college search process, and most think it would take them more than 8 hours to do the research on their own, with half estimating it at more than 20 hours. In the end, most parents (88%) do expect their child to go to college.

Goals for the future:

– add question on year of high school to the pre-seminar survey for parents to be used as filter for future lead nurturing campaigns in ExactTarget

– execute the surveys before future seminars (as a regular part of registration)

– get feedback from both students and parents (as opposed to the pilot project where we only got insight from parents)

– execute the surveys as part of reengagement campaigns for those who haven’t taken the surveys yet and to gather more information on where they are with their college search process

– do ongoing analysis of the target audience of seminars, and monitor differences between groups and any trends


We’ll discuss outcomes, including specific numbers that show how our goals have been achieved.