Enrollment Blog

Pop your response rates with a pop culture interactive offer

by Emily Bauer

Pop quiz! Which of the following movies most closely reflects your institution?

A. Good Will Hunting
B. Animal House
C. Harry Potter
D. Higher Learning

No perfect match? No problem.Chances are the question made you smile and think about how all four answers could sometimes reflect your school.

For most people, quizzes like this are fun. We are a self-reflective bunch—we like to be asked about ourselves and are invested in our answers. At Royall we’ve learned that the college search process lends itself surprisingly well to this kind of engagement tactic.

Royall’s latest recruitment innovation, the pop culture interactive offer (IO), is a path to an answer. Imagine inviting a prospective student to consider this:

A carefully crafted questionnaire is then offered to students. Their answers are calibrated and the resulting categories are given personality-type descriptions. Ever mindful that assigning any label to a teenager is a tricky task, indeed, our writers have ingeniously crafted each personality type to validate students and connect them to the college. Each outcome demonstrates how kids like them belong at a college like this one.

Not Just Fun and Games—Highly Effective Too

While the idea of a fun quiz is, well, fun, what enrollment leaders really care about is results. Our pop culture IO is just one example of a deeply customized, creative student communication approach that has a tangible impact on applications. What makes this so effective? Let’s break it down:

Many college websites merely enumerate their own virtues and then prompt students to contact them: “This is a great college. Click here to learn more.”

However, Royall research clearly and consistently confirms that messages are most effective when they’re framed from students’ perspectives. We see a 50% increase in response rate when we rewrite marketing copy to place students—not the university—at the center: “You are the architect of your education. Let us help you build it.”

Interactive offers like quizzes take this second-person, “you,” address to the next level by requesting responses from students. When students think—and physically click—through the back-and-forth of a quiz, they are not only the focus of literature by a school, but they also are in a kind of dialogue with the school. Our movie quiz is eight questions long—that’s eight warm-up clicks that might make “Click here to learn more” a little easier, and as we have proved, more likely.

Texting or email: Which method is more effective in engaging teenagers? Find out here.

Pop Culture “Talks the Talk” to Bring Students to Your Institution

While still benefiting from the student-centered give-and-take of quizzes, generally, our pop culture IO produced Search response rates that were 26% higher than that of the control sample; a pop culture IO gets 26% more students to opt in to an interaction with the school.

Amusing topics drawn from students’ life experiences drive much of that lift, of course, but the voice of the quiz probably also fuels engagement. Our gifted team of writers (including one member who is part of a local comedy group) deftly captures teen-speak. Check it out:

Question: You’ve been asked to join an Inception mission, and you’re so in. What role do you play?

A. Building a dream would be an absolute dream. Sign me up.
B. I’m the fearless idea person with a plan for success. Just call me Leo.
C. Put me down as Inception coordinator. Let’s make sure each kick runs smoothly.

As you can see, this conversational quality transforms a questionnaire into something more like a friendly chat between the college and the prospective student, and by “chatting” with students about something fun, our IOs cultivate something important: enthusiasm for the college.

The end of the quiz capitalizes on that enthusiasm by emphasizing the special partnership of student and school. Because every Royall interactive offer is tailored to communicate the unique identity of an institution, Royall’s quizzes ultimately reinforce brand and encourage buy-in.

"You’ll find countless ways to hone your skills at our college. Whatever your movie preferences revealed, we hope it sparked some excitement about our school."

Royall’s pop culture quizzes facilitate playful—but meaningful—conversations that ultimately provide a competitive advantage to enrollment leaders looking for innovative communication tactics to increase applications.


  • Manage Your Events
  • Saved webpages and searches
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Update personal information
  • Invite a colleague