The first three weeks are the most important of the whole school year in terms of reaching and connecting with new students. So, why do they come the first time? Here is what students in 5 states said.
7. Website - 10%
6. Mail - 12%
5. Social Media - 17%
4. Advertising - 34%
3. Food - 35%
2. An Appealing Event - 46%
1. Someone invited me - 77%
A personal invitation is huge. Having an event your students feel comfortable inviting someone to is key. So, should you NOT do mailings, Facebook posts, and advertising? I believe that often those things are what helps prepare a person to respond positively to that personal invitation. Many students have told me throughout the years, "I've been wanting to come, but I did not know anyone who came".
I believe you must spend "wisely extravagantly" during these first three weeks. Have events that your current students WANT to invite others to attend.
Finally, most students are not automatically "inviters". Teach, train, and encourage your students to invite.
This survey was done in 5 states by Kentucky Baptist Campus Ministers. The percentages equal more than 100% because students were allowed to give multiple responses.