There’s a lot of talk these days about inbound marketing for school admissions. Sure, there are a few name brand schools out there that have more applicants than they can deal with, but most others need to increase their enrollment or be more selective. This means finding more candidates. Inbound marketing helps THEM find YOU.
According to experts, the first two steps of Inbound marketing are :
- GET FOUND. Create content, optimize your webpages, get involved in social media and attract quality visitors to your
- CONVERT. Generate leads, track them on your site, qualify them with automated emails, give your team more information.
Most schools seem to be doing a pretty good job at getting found. They have inviting websites, Headmaster blogs, Facebook pages, etc. Where I see schools missing the mark is in conversion. When I look at the websites for the majority of schools out there, I usually have to search to find a way to contact them, or inquire. Sometimes I have to read all the content within Admissions pages just to find a hyperlink to “Contact Admissions.” Usually, this is one of the only “calls to action” on their site, which is a problem.
Calls to action are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action (and give you their contact information) and they should be ALL OVER your website. If your call to action is separate or too far from the information that is enticing your admissions candidate, you’re not going to get the lead. So, if someone is on your athletics page looking at your soccer program, there should be an “Inquire about Soccer” button they can click. Or if they are on the tuition page, there should be an “Affording Our School” button they can click. All of these links can go directly to your online inquiry form, where you can capture their contact information. That’s a conversion.
If you’re lucky, you have “Smart Form” technology for your online inquiry. There are a couple of vendors out there that offer this. With a smart form, you can use the same online inquiry for a variety of scenarios. Essentially, you can ask specific questions, and based on the answers to the questions, subsequent fields can appear or disappear. That way, your form will be shorter, dynamic and relavant to the person filling it out. That means they’ll be more likely to complete it, giving you ALL the information that you need.
Once you have the information, all of the data you collect should flow into your CRM or database, where you can use it for targeted outreach, whether that be sending mass emails, contacting each admissions prospect directly, inviting candidates to open houses, preparing mailings, etc.
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