Ask yourself this: If you added just a single percent to your enrollment conversion, how much more revenue would that bring to your institution?
Here are five strategies that are often overlooked or under-resourced at universities, but if deployed can lift conversion.
#1 Call Traditional Freshman Prospects: How are you planning to increase your 2021 and 2022 freshman classes? It’s time to re-imagine inquiry generation and recruitment for freshmen. They are digital natives wanting information immediately and when they inquire they expect to be contacted. Responding to customers’ needs, wherever they are in the decision-making process, must be immediate. And it can be done! Take prospects off the market with instant response and great student/customer service. We are amazed at how few schools actually call freshman prospects. They call applicants, not prospects or their parents that have inquired.
#2 Inbound: Be There When They Call or Chat: You must be available and ready, when and where they need you in every micro-moment. In this new era of digital marketing, enrollment prospects and students have become increasingly impatient. They now expect an instant response to everything. Prospects are doing discovery on their phone, and instead of submitting their information the traditional way, they’re hitting “click-to-call” to speak with a human.
While some schools are now investing in mobile search, they are unfortunately still under-investing in an enrollment contact center, instead choosing to remain with the old enrollment model. In today’s changing landscape, universities need to optimize for both — mobile optimization and a contact center capable of inbound and outbound when the prospect is ready to speak.
If you can’t be there, hire us! We’re there for you with our 24/7 inbound solutions. Always live and professional. We use the power of 24/7 inbound phone & live chat to engage your prospects, on your website, in real conversations to grow enrollment.
#3 Speed to Lead: Conversion rates are eight times higher within the first five minutes of a prospect expressing interest. Disrupters such as Southern New Hampshire University, deliver immediate, rapid response, eliminating competition completely.
So why are most reps waiting days to contact a prospect expressing interest? The evidence is clear. Every minute counts; there is a short life for leads! You could be losing thousands in tuition revenue due to poor response time. Immediate response is critical, perhaps even more than in the past. Fortunately, the payoffs are immense for schools that act!
At Education Connex, our advice is simple—put your lead-to-contact rate at the top of your to-do list. In fact, it should be your number one priority. If you can’t immediately respond, call us! Southern New Hampshire typically returns 98 percent of new lead calls in under three minutes. It has helped SNHU to grow its online enrollment from 3,000 students in 2003 to around 132,000 students in 2019.
#4 Persist — Keep Showing Prospects Why You Are The Right School For Them: Persistence gets the girl. The boy. Builds the start-up. Takes us to the moon. Persistence changes the world and it is also the secret weapon to your enrollment success. Persistence means you keep showing your prospect “why you’re the right school for them.” But, why do only 10 percent of inquiries enroll? Too few schools continue to connect and stay connected while prospects consider their next step.
Once you are confident you are responding with lightning speed, we recommend the following sequence within 21 business days:
- Six phone calls – vary the times and days
- Three voicemails – vary the messages, times and days
- Two SMS text messages – Day 1 and Day 21
- Six emails – drop emails alternating days
- Two print pieces – these don’t need to be expensive
- Three Facebook or Google remarketing ads
The objective is to stay positioned and “front-of-mind” with prospects as they consider multiple institutions.
#5 Reach Back and Reconnect: Within your existing data there is a lot of un-mined potential such as aged leads, stop-outs or drops. Depending on the program and degree level, graduate inquiries take longer to convert. At Education Connex, we’ve built a customized solution to reconnect, re-engage and revive your school’s older and colder prospects. Our sustainable strategy is ideal for large lead volume, very cost-effective and will bring you the results you deserve.
Opportunities abound for universities to convert more inquiries without spending more money. There is an incredibly good chance you are missing growth and mission opportunities because some of these strategies are missing from your strategy. If you’re spending money on any marketing, you’re losing money until you fix this. We can help.
Let us help you get more out of your data: more engagement, applications and enrollment.