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When Should You Send Personalized Gifts to Your Prospective Students?

It’s never too soon to start talking to prospective students in ways that matter to them.

Personalization is one of the most important tactics that recruiters can leverage to build emotional connections with prospective students. But personalization is more than just the customized digital messaging we have grown accustomed to — personalized printed products can show that you know and appreciate who this person and what they are interested in, while simultaneously expressing your own interest in them.

A robust print-on-demand (POD) strategy will make it possible for you to raise awareness of your school at every critical touchpoint in the sales funnel, and build a lasting connection with those students.


Adding Personalization Throughout The Admissions Funnel

Recruiters begin targeting prospects during the sophomore and junior year of high school. From that point on, there are several key milestones when they can leverage personalization to create a one-of-a-kind experience and stay top-of-mind.


Higher ed recruiters will actively market to high school prospects two years before they are scheduled to apply to colleges. An abundance of student data is available to personalize gifts and set your school apart from the rest.

Adding basic personalization to print and digital materials even when you’re casting into the widest part of the admissions funnel is important for general awareness in this stage of the process.

POD Gift Idea: Help your prospect start their journey with a place where they can organize their notes and thoughts about their college-bound future, with a customized journal-style notebook that has your school’s logo and their name on it.



Students entering the inquiry phase of their higher ed journey will begin to speak with admissions professionals or attend campus tours. As recruiters and admissions teams learn more about a student’s area of interest and goals for education, personalization can make it possible to retain their interest in the year before they plan to enroll. As your recruitment team develops a connection with a given student, POD products can become a great way to develop a deeper connection by gifting them something that helps them imagine themselves at your school.

POD Gift Idea: Is your prospect a student-athlete? Gift them an insulated water bottle with your school’s athletic mascot on it.



Remaining top-of-mind is important from September to December of a student’s senior year of high school. Personalized gifts help schools stay connected with their leading prospects during this critical phase of the decision process.

POD Gift Idea: Show them you’re serious about their prospective application by gifting them something of both value and utility — wireless earbuds with your institution’s logo on them.



Celebrating this big win in a big way can also help thwart “summer melt.” In fact, 10 to 20 percent of students that are accepted will pay a deposit, but back out before school starts. A personalized gift can help reinforce that choosing your school is the right decision. It can instill confidence and prepare students and their families for the next phase of their journey.

POD Gift Idea: It is fitting that acceptance offers are mostly offered in the spring, a time of promise and new beginnings. Help them see themselves on your campus, starting their new journey and enjoying a sunny afternoon on the quad with a Bluetooth speaker with your college’s logo printed on the speaker’s face.


At The Time of Admission

Only 60 percent of students who enroll complete their four-year degree. Colleges and universities who recognize their incoming student body and take steps to personalize their experience can help these students feel welcomed and ready to conquer their programs.

POD Gift Idea: Help them get ready for their busy life as students on your campus with a wireless device charger that has your school’s logo and their name on it — all the better to clarify whose is whose in their freshman dorm room.


How POD Delivers a Personalized Experience

  • Raise awareness and pique interest while targeting impressionable high schoolers

  • Stay top-of-mind during the application process

  • Celebrate accepted students

  • Close the loop with memorable activations at the start of the school year

Spoke Custom can help you target prospects with high-quality POD products to create lasting impressions.

How Personalized Products Make Your School Stand Out

Print-on-demand enables sophisticated integrations that make it possible to personalize items with unique data, like students' names or degrees. And it works:

Why Spoke?

More than ever prospective students expect high-quality, personalized experiences and branded goods.

Spoke Custom enables marketing teams to:

  • Efficiently print and ship one-of-a-kind premium gifts

  • Avoid acquiring unnecessary inventory

  • Streamline their fulfillment processes

And at the same time, you will be:

  • Delivering gifts to prospective students that they’ll actually use

  • Creating trust and a sense of shared appreciation, as a result

  • Building an emotional connection with prospective students that increases their chances of applying to your institution

See how Spoke Custom can help you plan your next POD strategy that will help your school stand out throughout the entire admissions funnel.

Let’s talk.

+1 855 837 5014



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