Reach More. Enroll More.

In today’s crowded market, where personalization and relevance are key competitive advantages, optimizing for inbound calls or using voice outreach may seem outdated. But as it turns out, that might not be entirely true. 

As daunting as voice outreach may be, it still has a place in today’s successful online university enrollment and retention strategies. Just ask Southern New Hampshire University, WGU, or ASU. What makes these dominant online universities so successful? While media spending and program options are important, we believe a key difference is their use of live humans to capture, respond to, and nurture inquiries.

Here’s how voice makes a difference:

If You Can’t Engage Your Leads Quickly, Chances Are Someone Else Will. 

First, it sets you apart from the competition. A recent mystery shop of 175 public universities offering online degree programs found that only 25% were optimized for inbound phone calls. These calls show greater intent and convert at higher rates than web form submissions. Most people won’t enroll or make major purchases without speaking to a real person first. They may apply online, but for big decisions, they prefer to research and then talk to a real person.

Not only does voice allow you to circumvent the competition by speaking directly to prospects who are ready to hear your story and make a decision about your university, but it also deepens engagement. With voice-to-voice communications, prospects feel safer providing personal information. Furthermore, phone interactions provide the ideal circumstance to gather soft data that is often difficult to get through other channels. Customer experience, narrative data, voice of the customer, and other soft data points provide your organization with crucial insight.

First to Contact  = higher conversion rate.

Every minute counts. Typically prospects for undergraduate programs will inquire to three to five different schools, while graduates typically inquire to two to three schools. We do not need to tell you that it’s competitive out there. Prospects can choose from multiple schools. But with each passing moment between their initial outreach and your response, their interest wanes, or worse, your competitor contacts them first.

Second, in today’s multi-channel landscape, the phone enables you to generate more leads and drive more tuition revenue. Simply put, the phone is still the most important communication channel used by prospects who want to communicate with you in real-time. Research from Invoca shows that 68% of consumers will make a call at some point before making a large investment. Many customers will make a call to get more information about the product, and nearly one-third will do so to complete a purchase. 

In this new era of digital natives, enrollment prospects and students have become increasingly impatient. They now expect instant responses. We see with our clients that over 20% of all leads come from inbound calls and the lead-to-start rate is drastically higher than a lead generated through other channels. 

The phone is an ideal channel for offering real-time, human-to-human interaction that earns trust. But if you are not optimized for inbound phone calls, prospects will go elsewhere. 

So what results are possible with an optimized strategy? We believe that the following results are possible: 

  • An increase of 25% in unpaid, high-intent organic inquiries monthly for graduate and online programs
  • Increased web traffic and expanded reach for ALL audience types
  • Higher Return On Marketing Investment

Perhaps you don’t have the staff to respond to inquiries or persist over the peak enrollment period, but our clients find voice outreach effectively reaches prospects and stop-outs, improving ROI. 

Let’s schedule a call to talk about how Education Connex can help you grow enrollment, reach more prospects and recover more stop-outs!