You’ve undoubtedly been working on marketing your award programs to reach the highest number of potential applicants this year. That’s a great start. Once you’ve reached potential applicants, it’s important that you keep them engaged through application completion.
So, how do you do that? As a leading scholarship and grant management software platform, we’ve worked with thousands of programs like yours and have three tips for boosting your scholarship and grant application completion rate.
1. Send reminders through different methods
Programs that don’t use scholarship or grant management software tend to communicate with applicants after submission. If your award program has access to the applicant’s contact information pre-submission, ensure you’re using all the communication methods you can to remind them to submit. This can include email and SMS text messaging.
Emailing potential applicants is an excellent first step in reminding them of important deadlines. Email is free to send and is typically the go-to method of communication when sending official information. Sending a reminder straight to an applicant’s inbox, with the essential links right in front of them, will be the helpful nudge that many applicants need. Remember to nudge them frequently, as nearly 60% of applicants wait until the final 24 hours before a deadline to complete their applications.
In addition to email reminders, SMS text messaging is effective, considering it’s the preferred form of communication for many Gen Z-ers and millennials. By sending a message directly to applicants’ phones, you are getting information to them where they are most likely to open and act.
It’s a no-brainer that your award program should take full advantage of free ways to reach potential applicants, so post regularly about deadlines and other important dates or information across all your social channels. You can improve applicants’ chances of seeing your posts if you use keywords they may be searching for. Try terms like “(your program) and deadline” or “(your program) dates.”
If your program has room in the marketing budget, paid digital advertisements can increase potential applicant reach. Getting your program’s name in front of potential applicants on popular platforms like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more, can be that reminder they need.
2. Reach the right applicants at the right time
When communicating with potential applicants, be effective, not excessive. There’s a fine line between sending helpful deadline reminders and becoming spam. Hold off on sending reminder communications to applicants that still need to submit one week before the deadline. A final reminder the day before your application window closes is your final push to get those last-minute submissions. Remember, SMS text messages and emails ensure reminder visibility for all applicants.
Kaleidoscope’s scholarship and grant management software makes it easy for organizations to build more innovative applications. The platform arms them with features like saving applicants’ contact information as soon as an application starts. This makes contacting them about reminders possible.
Your program administrators should also use data to segment applicants into groups, such as which applicants have completed their applications, and which have not. Having segmented applicant information ensures that you always reach out to the right individuals, in this case, only your applicants who have started their applications but have yet to submit them.
3. Say it loud and clear
Reminding applicants to complete and submit their scholarship or grant applications is essential, but so is how you word the reminder. Keep your messaging clear and concise. This part of the process aims to get applicants to submit their applications before the submission window closes, so your messaging needs to focus on the most important information, the deadline.
Include the deadline and other important date information in the subject lines; consider making it the headline of the communication and mention it again in the body copy. If there’s a possibility that applicants could experience technical issues that would make them miss the deadline, include supporting information.
Kaleidoscope’s scholarship and grant management software makes application completion easy
Kaleidoscope scholarship and grant management software can help your organization check off every step of the awards process, from the start when you create the application to managing your program and application completion, all the way to the final disbursement. Applications on Kaleidoscope have a completion rate of over 83%, whereas manual applications only reach a completion rate of about 33%. With Kaleidoscope, your program has the proper tools to get as many applicants as possible and encourage them to submit their applications before the deadline.