Xap.com Goes Direct

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Xap.com, a creator of Internet-based information management systems for college-bound students, will drop two direct mail pieces this week to draw a strong showing of students to its sites.


Xap simplifies the application process for high school seniors looking to attend college. To let them know such a service exists, the Web site will send 200,000 postcards to students in Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Texas and Wisconsin this week.


The postcards will draw them to local Xap-created sites, such as Texasmentor.edu and Massmentor.edu. The company creates these "mentor" sites on a state-by-state basis, since a majority of students attend college in their home states, said Sharon Wells, director of marketing at Xap, Los Angeles. "We started off regionally because education is very regional," Wells said.


All the mentor sites have links to Xap, where students can receive information about colleges nationwide.


The mailing will be tracked online. Every time a student registers at the site, he will be asked how he learned about the destination. Many of these sites are sponsored, allowing Xap to earn commissions for test preparation, student loan and wireless carrier services sold at its properties.


A second mailing will drop this week. This one will target libraries, community colleges and high school guidance counselors in the seven states. The company will send out 6,200 fax-back forms introducing the site. If the recipient is interested, he can fax the company to receive postcards and posters.


The site will promote itself online via 5 million impressions per month. Xap is considering running its ads on targeted destinations such as Bolt.com and Snowballcollege.com (formerly Powerstudents.com). Additionally, nonprofit sites that find its services useful, such as ihigh.com, will offer links.


Xap.com relaunched its site late last month. Its enhanced features include paperless online applications, virtual campus tours, scholarship searches, financial aid forms, college entrance requirements and modules to help students select a college and major.
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