How an Admissions Office Got a 70% Click-Through Rate With Personal Video Emails

Will Trapp
April 6, 2021 · 4 min read
How an Admissions Office Got a 70% Click-Through Rate With Personal Video Emails

Enrollment has become a competitive process. With more options for students and parents, it’s no surprise that admissions offices are feeling the pressure to stand out. 

Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, CA was looking for a way to add a personal touch to the admissions process. They were tired of all the automated emails that felt impersonal and needed a tool to help them stand out from the crowd.

Enter Gratavid. 

Gratavid is a tool that allows organizations to create personalized videos at scale and send them via email or text. Admissions offices use Gratavid to thank students/families after campus visits, congratulate accepted applicants, and communicate throughout the admissions process.

Archbishop Riordan High School partnered with Gratavid to create personal videos congratulating students on being accepted. The campaign exceeded expectations.

Danny Curtin profile pic

We love that Gratavid brings the human connection without making our students feel like another name on a spreadsheet. The overall Gratavid experience has been revolutionary for our admissions team."

Director of Admission logo
Danny Curtin
Director of Admission

The campaign objective

Danny Curtin, Director of Admission at The Archbishop Riordan High School wanted to congratulate students who had just been accepted to high school in a unique and personal way. The school decided to create a personalized video for each student who was accepted.

“We wanted to make every applicant feel that their application was important and that we got to know them on a personal level," said Danny.

The staff was excited about the prospect of 500 personalized videos, but there were serious logistical concerns that needed to be addressed. Could they pull it off without marketing’s help? Would they have to upload each video to YouTube? How would they email the videos out? Not to mention, would Danny have the time?

The solution

The Archbishop Riordan High School turned to Gratavid for help.

Danny compiled his list of contacts into a CSV file and uploaded them as a list of tasks in Gratavid. The Gratavid tasks list makes it easy to record a list of personalized videos and share them with ease. Danny didn’t have to rely on marketing to edit or share the videos. He was able to execute the campaign from start to finish without draining other resources. 

Gratavid Task List Screen Shot Admissions Use Case

The task list is a lifesaver for any team or individual looking to stay organized. Not only does it help you manage time by providing the perfect list of tasks that need completion, but you can also record and send a video directly from the list! You can even add comments when importing your tasks to remind you how to personalize each video.

“Gratavid's ease of use allowed us to accomplish a herculean task with little headache and virtually free of error," said Danny.


The campaign was sent to around 500 prospective families and finished with a unique click-through rate of 69.32% and a unique open rate of 88.21%.

Archbishop Riordan High School Open rate and CTR results

On top of the incredible open and click-through rates, Danny received almost 200 replies. Here are just a few of the replies Danny received.

"What an awesome video! Thanks so much!"

"Thank you! Loved the personal touch!"

"Thank you! Ben is SO excited!  What a lovely way to let him know. Must have taken so much time!"

"Thank you so very much!  Alex is thrilled and so are we!"

"That is wonderful! Thank you very much! You made our day!"

"Wow!! Thank you so much!! I’m so excited!"

"Thank you! WE ARE SOOO EXCITED!!!"

"Thank You so much!  I'm so excited for my future at Riordan!!!  YAY!  THANKYOU for making my dream come true!"

"Thank you! I am so excited and I LOVE the video! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!"

"Mr. Curtin, thank you for believing in me.  My family and I are very excited about this opportunity to be part of your community."

"Those were amazing videos. Thank you all so much!"

"Thank you for the video, very cool! I’m happy to be accepted into Riordan it was my 1st and only choice. See you in August!"

"What a wonderful way to make this announcement. Thank you so much."

"Oh man. I can't even tell what a great day it was last Friday when I received this email."

For Danny and Archbishop Riordan High School, this campaign was a huge success. 

Archbishop Riordan High School Gratavid Example screenshot

Danny’s tips for getting great engagement on your video

  1. Organize by list and upload your list as tasks in Gratavid.

  2. Write the contact’s name on a piece of paper to draw their attention to the video email. Danny held up a note that said "Congrats!! {Student Name}"

  3. Make it personal. Don’t just mention their name, but call out the student’s interests and passions.

  4. Go off-script. Make the video feel personal and informal.

Want to get a 70% click-through rate on your next campaign?

If Danny has inspired you with his approach to video, you can send your own video emails with Gratavid. Setup is easy and you’ll be recording video and getting incredible results like Danny in no time. Set up a 30-minute demo to see how.

Will Trapp
Founder & CEO @ Gratavid
Will Trapp is the founder and CEO of Gratavid. Gratavid is a software platform for collecting and sharing personalized videos.
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Ready to stand out with personalized video?

Check out our favorite Gratavid testimonials below, and visit for examples and to learn more.

Eshon Allen

Gratavid truly helped us reimagine the connections we make between our school community and the donors who make it all possible.

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Gratavid has helped take our stewardship to a new level. I can not express enough how much I love this platform.

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Kerri Naber

Our donors are so thankful to receive Gratavids because it communicates that they are a big part of our mission. A personalized video makes them feel valued and seen.

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Zack Huffman

Gratavid is a game changer. Since starting I’ve used it every day.

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