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Bridging Physical and Digital: How NFC Technology Enhances Recruitment Marketing

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Smart NFC Branded Merch
Smart NFC Branded MerchBranded merch has been a marketing vehicle since the first time someone etched their name into the side of a pen. Fast forward a few hundred years, and we find ourselves using technology to amplify marketing messaging, creating more engaging, interactive, and powerful branded merch.

When our team visited the PPAI Expo this past January, they learned about a technology called NFC, or Near-Field Communication. This is not a new technology – NFC has been in development since the days of Thomas Edison. But it didn’t become popular or widely available until this century, with the emergence of contactless payment systems in the early 2000s. You might not recognize the term NFC, but you likely use it frequently. NFC is the technology behind Apple Pay, hotel keys, and tapping your credit or debit card to pay at the grocery store. Technically, NFC is a form of wireless data transfer that allows users to access information by touching their smart device to an NFC-enabled product or chip. This technology is already embedded into most smart devices and available to most smartphone users. NFC can instantly connect you to websites, apps, social media, forms, videos, and more. 

Now pair this capability with branded merch, and you have endless possibilities to create and provide information to your recruitment audiences, bridging the gap between physical and digital spaces. Here are a few reasons why having NFC paired with merch can help you elevate your recruitment campaigns:

Information Transfer: Driven by a URL, NFC provides an easy way for you to transfer information to your audience. By showing students how to tap their phone to a pen or notebook, they can gain access to your enrollment viewbook or bring up a form to fill out. Embedding your marketing materials into a useful product such as a water bottle or luggage tag can increase the likelihood of these materials being kept and revisited, and gone are the days of toting around heavy boxes of printed materials.

Sustainability: NFC technology can also complement your sustainability initiatives. When needing to update your messaging or change dates for the next cycle, you often need to reprint your lookbooks or brochures. With NFC technology, it’s as simple as updating your URL, thus keeping your branded merch evergreen and reducing the amount of printed marketing materials needed. 

Available on hundreds of branded merch, NFC technology will help you stand out, be sustainable, and connect with a generation that expects everything to be available at their fingertips.

Here are some great uses for NFC technology embedded in branded merch:

  • Pens: Launch a form to collect student information while giving them a giveaway at college fairs.
  • Notebooks: Give to parents at admitted student days, linking to important dates and financial resources.
  • Luggage Tags: Send to out-of-state students, embedded with a virtual tour in case they are unable to visit campus.
  • Bags: Gift to counselors, demonstrating fun facts and statistics about your institution.
  • Journals: Include in admitted student packs with a welcome video message from the Dean.
  • T-shirts: Worn by your tour guides, which can be tapped to provide a follow-along transcript for visitors.

This trackable form of marketing can elevate how you’re using branded merch. It can be a tool to gauge the success of a campaign and help build affinity and excitement among your audiences. 

As we continue to head into the future of bridging physical branded merch with digital interactions, we challenge you to uncover how to elevate your current campaigns with the power of interactive branded merch.  Smart NFC Branded Merch

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Postage Permits

We are happy to mail using a client’s USPS non-profit number. Here are a few best practices for this to go smoothly. Let our team know up front on the project so we can make sure to get the information we need right away. 

While our mail house does prefer to use their permit number for the mailing, we can use the client’s permit, If using their permit number, ensure there is enough postage to cover the mailing.

The information we need to in order to use a client’s nonprofit number includes the following:

Formatting the Mailing List

Our account team will advise on specific requirements for your project’s mailing list.  We generally recommend these best practices to format the mailing list: