How to Do College Student Transfer Marketing

College Student Transfer Marketing

In the last blog we explored the importance of transfer students to colleges and universities. In this blog we will take a look at how to do college student transfer marketing. For the most part, you can market to potential transfer students the same way you would reach any student. However there are a few tactics more effective than others for this particular goal. Blending the right mix of provides an edge in this highly competitive landscape.

The trick in marketing to potential college transfer students is to make sure to reach the right prospect. According to a 2018 CNBC article, the Department of Education reports that around 25% of students transfer. This maybe expected to increase with the uncertainties of the coronavirus. While a quarter of students transfer, a college or university needs to reach ones that would consider their school.

The first step is to determine the type of student wanted. Are you marketing specific transfer program or degree strength? Would science students more likely come to the university or should the focus be more on liberal arts? Narrowing down to a list of top feeder schools also helps concentrate the budget on the right audience. Once the audience is defined, then it is time to examine the appropriate tactics.


Email provides the most effective method to target a specific student. With email one can make selects based on university, year in school, hometown, and major. This allows the ability to build the perfect transfer student profile. An advertiser can target accounting and finance majors at large universities who are freshmen and sophomores to relocate to a smaller more local business school in the northeast.

The other advantage of email is the medium itself. It provides long form messaging explaining the multitude of reasons why to transfer to a particular school. Multiple images and in-depth rational can be included. While we do not recommend a lengthy email for performance reasons, there is technically no limit on size.

Campus Bulletin Board Postering

A tried and true method of reaching college students is campus bulletin boards. This is how students learn about school events, campus club activities, and other opportunities. Transfer options often appear on these boards. Campus postering can also be targeted. A campaign can only hit science buildings or business halls if the focus is on that particular major.

Nearly every 4 and 2 year school has a multitude of boards. Depending on the size of the campaign, a client can run more than one creative to provide variety to their messaging.


Although its’ slightly more expensive, out-of-home provides the broadest reach of any media tactic. A strategically placed ad on a bus shelter or billboard can deliver your value proposition to large number of students. This large format lets an advertiser showcase their key selling point. Most college campuses have some version of out-of-home available on the campus or around the perimeter.

Other Tactics

We only highlighted three main tactics in this blog, but other tactics can be just effective. Digital campaigns on desktop and mobile can deliver messages to students and drive them right to your landing page. Flyering provides students with a postcard or brochure explaining the benefits of your school. We have even seen success with social media focused campaigns to encourage students to transfer.

No matter how you approach a campaign for college student transfer marketing, make sure you define the right student. Once the profile is developed, determine the right method to reaching that audience. Email, postering and out-of-home offer some of the best ways to focus in on your target with the applicable message.


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