What is a Student Ghost?

By: Nicole Hughes, Campus Coordinator

All study abroad advisors have experienced it – student ghosting. A student comes into the office or to an event excited about expanding comfort zones and exploring the great unknown. They leave with a smile and a plan. Then…you never hear from them again. You email. They don’t. After awhile, you email again. Radio silence. And now you’re left forever wondering what became of them. While we may not be able to save all lost souls, we do have some tried and true tips for receiving a higher student response rate for emails:

  • Use a question as a subject line.
      • In a mini experiment on one of our campuses, we put this theory to the test. The result? Subject lines with a question received a much higher response rate than those without.
      • A few of our favorites:
        • Where Are You Headed?
        • Australia or England?
        • Looking for adventure?
  • Keep it short.
      • Big blocks of text are sure to be glossed over. 1-2 paragraphs of 2-4 sentences is the most effective. Remember 60-70% of emails are now opened on a mobile device, and no one wants to be scrolling for days.
  • Have ONE clear call to action.
      • Think of your email as a page in a book. You want students to “turn the page” to hear the rest of the story.
      • Typically, we encourage students to come in for an advising session or click the apply button!
  • Find a carrot.
      • Do you know the program your student is interested in?
        • Example: Check out this blog post from Katie who is in Namibia now! They just finished exploring Cape Town!
      • Are they worried about finances?
        • Example: Did you know we have 12 programs that are similar in cost to a semester here on campus? Check out Thailand and Peru!
  • End the email with a question.
    • A few of our favorites:
      • When are you free next week to come chat?
      • Are you still deciding between Thailand and Ecuador?
      • How did your chat go with your academic advisor?

Put some of these tips to test and watch as your interested students start to reappear right before your eyes!