A Message From The CustomViewbook Team

On behalf of all of us at CustomViewbook, we hope this message finds you safe and well. As we all do our part to inhibit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our communities and campuses, we want to be of help to Higher Education in any way we can.

We are grateful to see our clients taking the right precautions to mitigate the spread of this virus, and to keep students, faculty and communities as safe and as informed as possible.

We are fortunate that our parent company, Antech Systems, Inc., puts health and family first and provided a work-from-home policy, allowing us to continue the high level of service our clients expect.

As we all navigate through the months ahead, virtual tools will be especially vital to your Admissions and Recruitment efforts. And you may already have powerful solutions at your disposal to support student engagement – including CustomViewbook’s ability to safely reach students around the world when you can’t be there in person. We’re ready when you are to help engage prospective students – together.

Wishing good health to you and those around you,

The CustomViewbook Team

5 Ways to Help Your Email Campaigns Avoid Spam Filters

News flash from the future (aka 2020): email campaigns are still one of the most effective components of a college’s admissions marketing strategy. In our GenZ Labs user testing sessions, prospective students point to email as the most trusted form of communication from Admissions offices. But they also report that their inboxes are flooded with messages and they quickly determine the good, the bad and the “hit the spam button!”

Whether you rely on a sophisticated CRM or a more basic email software to reach them, prospective students are acting as real live spam filters. Fortunately, they’re candid about what turns them off or earns their focus. Combine their insights with tried-and-true best practices for email campaigns, and you’re on your way to open and click-through rates that sing “ROI!’

1. I’ll pass on a weak subject line. Both your recipients and spam filters begin with the subject line of your email to judge its worthiness. Choose your words with care — you want concise subject lines that are personalized in a natural-feeling way, relevant to the student’s expressed interests and offer a compelling reason to open. Keep spam filters happy by avoiding all caps (WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING?), excessive punctuation (…, !!!, and ???), and overly “spammy” words and phrases (free, act now, guaranteed, be amazed, etc).

2. Make it personal and keep it simple. While spam filters can be triggered by an imbalance of images and text or excessive links in email content, prospective students have their own criteria. Emails that are generic, obviously cut-and-pasted, too “salesy” or simply irrelevant to their actual interests are a big turn-off. “Generic cut and paste. Ewwwww.” Students feel the same about complex or confusing content that isn’t quickly consumed. Whenever possible, focus on the recipient’s known interests, speak to them by name, and make it clear how they can learn more with a singular call-to-action. Simple, visually interesting content is far more likely to achieve high click-through rates – use it to gain their trust and keep nurturing!

3. Don’t be redundant. These digital natives move quickly across media (email, websites, social media, texts, chatbots, instant messaging) and devices (smartphone, laptop, tablet, desktop), all in one day during their college search. They pick up on and are turned off by repetitive messaging, so make sure yours is varied. Consider decreasing your planned push communications – a less is more approach – and be sure to exclude students from receiving duplicate emails.

4. Let me unsubscribe. Offer a link to opt out of future emails and honor unsubscribe requests within 10 days – it’s a good practice that will keep you compliant with the Federal CAN-SPAM Act.

5. I get a ton of emails – are you even sure I’m getting yours? Test your emails to ensure deliverability. There are various tools to help you pull a report on how email providers view your IP address, and ensure deliverability. Knowing where you stand will help you focus on what needs to be improved.

Quality is King! Having the most highly qualified leads available is the foundation for creating the most compelling – and spam-proof – communications. We’d love to show you how! Contact mary.pannullo@customviewbook.com and schedule a demo to learn how the CustomViewbook platform will help you capture leads that are 4.5X more likely to become enrolled.

Holiday Gratitude List …

This past year at CustomViewbook has been one of continued growth, collaboration and innovation.
We are grateful for so much!

Our clients’ success. Working with the best Higher Ed clients on the planet has been an honor and a pleasure. We love hearing about their every success, including more effective engagement campaigns, increases in yield, and more cost-effective, targeted use of print materials.

New ways to innovate. We became a Slate Preferred Partner in 2019 and launched our latest innovation, CRM YouBlast. It’s been thrilling to watch as it works right from Slate and other popular CRMs to achieve fantastic engagement rates with prospective students.

The best collaborators. We have much gratitude for our Advisory Panel, each member a seasoned expert in Higher Ed Admissions or Marketing Communications, for providing clear-sighted feedback and insights that are gold. And we are grateful for the steadfast support of our vision and efforts by our parent company, Antech Systems, Inc.

Big things ahead. We’re excited to continue to evolve and deliver a product that improves Admissions and Recruitment practices, helps our clients stay on track with changing needs in the marketplace, and meets the needs and wants of prospective students.

We wish you Holidays filled with laughter and joy, and an outstanding, successful New Year.

Onward to a wonderful 2020!


NACAC 2019: Louisville, KY – Here We Come!

The CustomViewbook team is headed to Louisville, where we will be exhibitors at the NACAC National Conference, (September 26 – 28). 
If you are headed to NACAC – please stop by Booth #229!

Jenna, Ginny and Mary will be at the helm with warm greetings and demos to show you how CustomViewbook helps our clients get the most highly-qualified leads available, and soaring campaign engagement rates.

We are now a Slate Preferred Partner.  And we have great new features to show you:
• CRM YouBlasts™
• New Client Demos
• Rock-Solid Client Results

Participants will receive the latest reports from our GenZ Labs user testing sessions – “Generation Z College Search Report” and “Generation Z and CustomViewbook.” And of course, one of our famous, super-soft t-shirts.

Want to know more, now?
Check out our brand new video and learn how CustomViewbook can help you capture the Most Highly-Qualified Leads Available and amplify Engagement Rates throughout the student recruitment journey.

Can’t wait to connect with you soon!

Reduce Print Costs: Striking the Balance Between Print and Digital in Higher Ed Admissions’ Marketing

The trends vary. While every institution has their own take on the strategic use of print pieces for prospective students, each grapple with the same considerations. What is the right balance between print and digital? Where in the recruitment cycle? What kind of pieces? Does Generation Z even look at print? Is it really just for parents?

In our Gen Z Labs user testing sessions, the students are pretty adamant. They only prefer print pieces:

  • if they asked for it
  • if the information is specifically relevant to their interests
  • if it’s brief, factual – not too ‘salesy’
    *Oh, and they like stickers, too.

Our CVB Clients tell us that print is here to stay, though how they use it is evolving. Many are shifting away from expensive, one-size-fits-all print viewbooks. Instead, they start the recruitment cycle with inexpensive print pieces (postcards, tri-fold brochures) inviting prospective students to create their own CustomViewbooks. Once more qualifying information about the prospective student is captured, a targeted print piece is sent, with content relevant to the prospect’s interest. For many of our clients, this streamlined approach has resulted in reduced print production costs.

“CustomViewbook has played a significant role in reducing our print costs. We don’t use very much print anymore, and are making our main piece even smaller. Our bigger main piece is for out-of-state. Our smaller bread-and-butter pieces are driving students to create their own CustomViewbook. When we have VIP visitors to campus, we print out the Viewbook itself.”

“Print is here to stay but its purpose is changing. Because there is a big shift to digital, we use print pieces as something special and extra-personal to get. We use them less often.”

“There are shifts happening but not as quickly as you’d might expect. People are still using quite a bit of print, maybe shorter pieces and not as frequently.”

We get it – print and digital communications should work hand-in-hand!  CustomViewbook has two customizable print designs available for our clients, (a hand-out piece and a self-mailer), each working to build awareness and drive prospects to create their own CVB.  And, we can help clients track the effectiveness of these print campaigns with specific source URLs.

Want to learn more about how CustomViewbook can help make your print strategy more effective? Contact Mary Pannullo (mary.pannullo@customviewbook.com) and schedule a demo, now.


On the Road Again…

A big part of why we love what we do is the great people we meet along the way. Our fearless leader, James Horigan, EVP, will be hitting the road for the first half of June, demoing the CustomViewbook platform as well as doing some presenting. James is super-cool and we love meeting you guys – so be sure to stop and say ‘Hello!’

First stop – The 50th Annual Conference of the Western Association for College Admissions Counseling (WACAC) from May 31 to June 2 in beautiful Monterey, California. This year’s theme is “Thriving in a Changing Environment.” We’re thrilled that the CustomViewbook platform had helped dozens of clients do just that. Stop by our booth for a chat with James and a demo of CustomViewbook, the Recruiter App for iPad and ViewbookBlasts. Participants will get one our famous, super-soft GenZ t-shirts!

Next stop – The first ever joint New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC) and New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC) Super Conference from June 6 to June 8, at the Marist College campus in Poughkeepsie, NY. James will be demoing at the Super Conference, as well as co-presenting with Robert Wyant, Director of Admissions at the College at Brockport.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 6 at 3:15PM. You won’t want to miss “Engage Z: Effective Digital Communications for Higher Ed Admissions and Marketing Professionals.”

Coming Soon! Our recent GenZ Labs User Testing Group with college-bound juniors and seniors yielded fantastic feedback and insights.These GenZ students were impassioned, specific and quite certain about their likes and dislikes with the college search process. We’ll be sharing insights soon!

Want to check out the whole enchilada now?

Email Mary Pannullo (mary.pannullo@customviewbook.com) and she will schedule a demo of CustomViewbook, the Recruiter App for iPad and ViewbookBlasts for you.  The demos are  fun, fast-paced and provide great food for thought.

Travel safe and light!



Don’t Miss out! Free Webinar: How To Improve Your Web Content Strategy

Mark Your Calendars!  As part of our ENGAGE Z Webinar series, we will have a presentation of
“Going All In on Prospective Students: How to Focus on Your GenZ Users Without Alienating Everyone Else.”

Hear from Executive UX Strategist and Partner at Digital Wave Technologies, Tony Rose.
With Tony, and our own James Horigan, EVP of CustomViewbook onboard, a depth of good information and insights will be shared! And, we’ll leave plenty of time for Q&A.

Thursday, November 9 at 11:45AM
See more and be sure to Register Here!




Announcing ENGAGE Z!

It’s summertime and the weather is HOT.
We hope you’re taking some time for a well-deserved break.

In between sips of ice-cold lemonade, check out Engage Z – a quarterly newsletter / webinar series that
is free, fun and will help college admissions and marketing professionals learn how to better understand, reach, inform, and get GenZers actively engaged.

First up, our webinar on Thursday, July 27: “3 Essential Things College Admissions Must Know About Generation Z.”

If you would like to attend, please contact me at mary.pannullo@customviewbook.com

Can’t wait to talk with you!

Stay cool!


The Journey of Future Leaders from Widener University… Starts with CustomViewbook!

We’re stoked to have Widener University onboard as one of our newest CustomViewbook clients. With a beautiful main campus just outside of Philadelphia, PA, Widener provides its students a living laboratory to earn practical experience through internships and co-ops.

Widener has more than 60-degree options, and offers top-ranked programs in nursing, engineering, social work and the arts & sciences. Whether on a journey toward an associate, baccalaureate, master or doctoral degree, Widener students and alums are poised to make the grade in learning and life.

We’re looking forward to the launch of their great-looking CustomViewbook.

And, the transformational results that will follow.  Stay tuned!

The Right GenZ Equation: Immediacy + Personalization = Recruitment Success









Client data shows that CustomViewbook users are 4.5x more likely to apply and become enrolled than the general population of student prospects.

We’re excited to be at the Super Conference and have you check it out for yourself!

Stop by the CustomViewbook Booth, meet James Horigan, our EVP, and demo the CustomViewbook Digital Platform™, Recruiter App™ for iPad and ViewbookBlasts™. 

You’ll see why CustomViewbook is an easier, more effective way to actively engage student prospects throughout the recruitment funnel.

Looking forward to seeing you in San Antonio!