Mobile has changed everything. And clearly for the better.
One of the most positive effects of the new mobile disruption is the massive increase in inbound calls. Prospects can now easily contact your university with a simple click of a button. In other words, they’re opting in for direct and immediate contact through a personal call.
Yes, my friends, the phone is back, and real conversation has returned. Finally!
Paid search, mobile technologies, and phones have become the tools of choice for transforming digital marketing into sales. Why should this matter to you? Because winning in mobile can drive big results and build a competitive edge for your school. Best of all, it’s easier and more efficient than other strategies.
Let’s dive into some interesting numbers:
- Mobile channels drive 54% of all phone calls. (Invoca)
- 45% of all calls are driven by mobile search, whereas only 9% are driven by desktop search. (Invoca)
- Mobile phone call conversion rates are 4X higher than desktop. (Marchex)
The numbers are staggering, but not surprising. In this new era of digital marketing, enrollment prospects and students have become increasingly impatient. They now expect an instant response to everything. In 2015 mobile search surpassed desktop search and the web submission form became less relevant. Prospects are now 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 sadly still focused on optimizing the desktop experience and the RFI. In today’s changing landscape, universities need to optimize for both mobile and desktop.
Another reason for the growth of mobile has something do with what Google calls “Micro Moments,” the idea that you must earn the customer’s consideration and action “moment-by-moment.”
Why? Because people are more loyal to their need in the moment than your brand, or any brand. It is the new battleground for your students, and it will be a battle won or lost by how well you give in to their demands. Fortunately, we know what they’re demanding. They want you to:
#1: Be There
Be available and ready, when and where they need you. In every Micro Moment.
#2: Be Useful
You also need to be useful. This means being relevant to the prospect’s needs in the moment, immediately providing the information and answers they’re looking for…not just what you want to tell them.
#3 Be Efficient
Mobile users want to know, go, and buy swiftly. Your mobile experience should be fast and simple with easy navigation and quick load times.
Put it all together and the better enrollment leaders become at finding moments of truth, the better they’ll be at enhancing student experience, building loyalty and generating referrals.
The question is: are you ready? And, if not, what can you do to optimize mobile search? How can you drive more calls, then capture and convert them into enrollments?
At Education Connex, we believe to capitalize enrollment, marketers need to optimize mobile search campaigns, while admissions departments need to be ready for the increase of inbound calls. Here are 5 powerful tactics to increase calls from Paid Search (guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of your admissions team):
- Make your creative mobile-first. According to Google, “digital-first, means mobile-first.” Design your ads to drive calls and be clear on the call to action. You want a “Call Now” button. Moving to a mobile-first approach requires a different mindset and process structure, including engagement, and KPI’s. Yes, winning in mobile is hard work, but the upside is worth it (spoiler alert: our specialty is helping schools build and execute mobile-first marketing and enrollment strategies, including taking inbound calls from contact to enrollment).
- Track and measure all calls, including duration, keyword, campaign/and landing page. Use dynamic trackable phone numbers for granular measurement.
- Leverage geo-targeting and look at which geo’s are generating the most calls and use bidding strategies that include day-parting so you can align your staff with the peak inbound call times (similar to other Paid Search).
- Create “Call-Only” Ads to drive very specific action—a phone call for those ready to enroll prospects.
- Leverage Click-to-Call to increase calls; people prefer to click than use their thumbs to fill out an RFI. The Click-to-Call should be prominent in the middle or top of the phone. Better yet, create a sticky footer that won’t go away.
Remember: Conversation is the Goal. Make every mobile interaction a winning one.
Still not convinced that mobile is the wave of the future? Here are 4 advantages to the phone over a submission:
Advantage #1: Inbound calls have greater intent and convert at a higher rate than a web form submission. The majority of people won’t enroll (or make any major purchase) without first speaking to a person. Sure, they may apply but, for big decisions and major purchases, they research and then wait to speak with a person.
Advantage #2: An inbound call is immediate and allows you to circumvent the competition by speaking directly to prospects who are ready to hear your story and make a decision about your university. If done properly, this allows you to take prospects off the market and directly into your school.
Advantage #3: During voice-to-voice communications, prospects feel safer providing personal information. Furthermore, phone interactions provide the ideal circumstance to gather the 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.
Advantage #4: You receive higher engagement. Phone calls provide interactions that online channels do not, including the opportunity to engage on a higher level and guide the interaction based on information like tone of voice, reaction, verbal cues, and response time. This helps you build rapport and create a positive and memorable customer experience.
Put it all together; mobile provides the opportunity to increase engagement through a better understanding of your prospects.
Mobile will further relational development to grow your brand faster and more efficiently, thus increasing future revenue potential. In other words, mobile will do it all.
And it’s waiting to be your competitive edge.
Because from what we’ve seen, very few schools are truly mobile. Even fewer are doing it right. That makes it your golden opportunity to take the lead.
Isn’t it time go mobile?
And if you’re not sure how, make your first call to Education Connex.
We’ll connect you with the future.