It’s no secret that teens and young adults these days basically thrive off the Internet. We know the stereotypes, but honestly, not all that time is spent sharing links on Facebook. We actually do a lot of research about pretty much anything we’re interested in. This can be great for your higher ed inbound marketing strategy in a couple of different ways. Students have more info than ever about your school right at their fingertips and can learn almost anything they want about a university’s campus, academics and extracurriculars in a heartbeat.
Also, it’s a scary truth, but most students are fairly indiscreet when it comes to sharing their information on the web, so many of them will not think twice about giving out their email to receive more content from your school. Collecting this type of information upfront is a great way to establish leads and from there, evaluate their interest through grading and scoring. Once you’ve established who is a great lead, you can focus on nurturing them and slowly turning them into a customer. Here are some great tips on how to do just that:
Make sure you have the right information (and enough) to even consider scoring. It is so important that you have a way to collect information to begin formulating a lead scoring system so you can know who is a great prospect. You can create a lead-capture form and gain data that way. Also, double check that you and your team are always striving to increase qualified inbound leads. Make sure these aren’t too lengthy and are clearly visible to draw in more people. In order to start scoring the best prospects, you have to have the ability and tools to collect the right data on your potential leads.
Once you’ve collected enough data, you can begin grading your leads so you can recognize who has the highest level of interest. This is where your lead scoring system formulation, tailored to your business, becomes crucial. You want to give higher points to the customers who show more interest in your product. How do you judge that though? Look at their engagement with your social media and website, as well as some of their demographics. You can record the number of times they’ve visited your website and the different pages they visited. One other great way to monitor page interaction is by looking at what events they’ve attended on Facebook and whether they have to do with your school (like if they’ve attended a scholarship session or visited campus). For higher ed enrollment management, analyze the age of the people looking at your content. For example, if an 18-year-old has liked your Facebook page, followed you on Twitter and has visited your website many times, they would receive a slightly higher score than a 28-year-old who is doing this, but is already in the workforce. You can also give those who supply more contact information a higher score, because they are clearly interested in hearing more from your school. Analyze the signals that indicate a lead'sclear interest and start your grading system from there.
The final step from converting a lead to a customer is lead nurturing. This process of automated marketing is used to coax a potential customer into receiving more information slowly from your University. You’ll need to look at your buyer personas to analyze how often you should be sending emails and how aggressively you should be prodding them. For higher ed inbound marketing, you definitely don’t want to overload students. The hard part of this particular type of inbound marketing is that students are all receiving similar emails from other schools because the standardized tests they take act as their contact forms. Therefore, students genuinely notice if you focus on the quality of content that you send them, rather than bombarding them with emails. Nurture your leads and gently remind them you’re a viable option and they have considered you before. Highlight the elements of your school that you think they’d like to see. With well-timed and non-intrusive email nurturing, students will be much more responsive.
Making smarter decisions for your enrollment management practices has to include buyer personas, lead management, and more automated marketing techniques which are core components of Inbound Marketing. If you would like to continue learning about lead management, check out our free ebook by clicking the blue button below.
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