Ashford University

Increasing attendance for first-time students

30% of new students weren’t showing up for their first day of class. As an effort to encourage their attendance, our team was tasked with creating a campaign that would give them the tools they needed to feel successful.

Skills: digital design, print design

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Our challenge was to create a welcome mailer that makes first-time students feel that they have the tools to succeed while sticking to a low budget. We started by researching other welcome kits and met to brainstorm our ideas for affordable swag items.

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Once we determined a list of low-cost swag items for the mailer, we then brainstormed potential concept themes. We then put everything into a concept deck and presented to the client.

Welcome mailer swag options

  • Welcome letter from President
  • Tips for success checklist
  • Branded keychain
  • Branded pen
  • Branded popsocket
  • Magnet with key phone numbers
  • Branded folder clips
  • Branded decal or sticker
  • Branded thumbdrive
  • Mini university flag

Concept themes

Number 1 icon


This concept focuses on recognizing that the student has joined an amazing community with tons of resources and support. They should feel like they are part of an elite society and for that reason should be excited to start their first day of class.


Option 1:
Welcome Home.

Option 2:
They Say ‘It takes a village.’
Welcome to Your New Tribe.

Number 2 icon


This concept focuses on making the student feel empowered and encouraging them to start their first day of class. We’re boosting them up by telling them how impressed we are by their drive for education and for improving their life and career.


Option 1:
Dream Big. Act Boldly.

Option 2:
The Wait Is Over. Let’s Do This.


This concept focuses on the rewards that come with taking the first step. Nothing great comes easy and students might feel apprehensive. But we’re here for them and they should feel proud that when they work hard now, it will pay off for their future.


Option 1:
Thank You. Love, Your Future Self.

Option 2:
Choose Your Own Adventure.
What Will Your Story Be?

Initial mock-ups presented to the client

Option 1 mocks
Option 1 mocks
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The client chose the theme of empowerment and decided on a letter from the president of the university, a welcome check-list, a decal sticker, and a magnet with important contact info. In the coming weeks to their start date, new students were also targeted through a series of encouraging display ads.

Welcome mailer featuring letter, checklist, decal and magnet
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Welcome mailer landing page


Our team created a successful welcome campaign for first time students encouraging them to attend their first class. I helped facilitate brainstorm sessions and designed all of the tactics. The campaign resulted in a 3% increase in sit rate which translated to roughly $500,000 profit. Due to the success of the campaign, they extended this welcome kit to the Forbes School of Business.

Marketing campaigns for an online university

When Ashford University became a non-profit university they wanted a campaign to relaunch themselves. Our team worked with an illustrator to create custom illustrations that captured the tenacity of our students and the Ashford brand. I then created a series of digital ads for social and display as well as emails and a direct mail piece.

Skills: digital design, print design, art direction

3 illustrations of school related concepts
Illustration credit: Christopher Delorenzo
Facebook ads using illustrationDisplay ads using illustrationEmail using illustrationDesktop and mobile view of landing pageLetter and envelope featuring illustrations


Through the work of many team members and one very talented illustrator we were able to launch the Tenacity Made campaign via a multitude of tactics. I designed the initial tactics and then oversaw production of all the various headlines and illustrations within each tactic. The university faculty was extremely pleased and we saw a small lift in conversions in display and on social.

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