We work with lead generation clients whose sophistication varies when it comes to lead generation and how to handle and manage the process once the leads begin flowing. Some of our clients are set up to handle thousands of leads per month and have multi-million dollar lead generation budgets and call centers to handle the work load. Others are not so sophisticated and there might be only one person that is responsible for managing the leads and following up in a timely manner.
No matter what you’re level of sophistication when it comes to lead generation there are a few best practices that will help increase the value of the leads and keep you from wasting your hard fought for marketing budget.
Timely Follow Up – This is certainly nothing new, but a necessary point. If you are involved in lead buying, you must have a system in place where you can follow up in a timely manner. Time is money and slow follow up will only hurt the lead converting to an enrollment. It is also a disservice to the student. If they have gone to the trouble to provide you with personal information, including contact information, taken the time to tell you about who they are, when they want to begin studying and what they want to study. There is no greater disservice to the student as well as to your budget than not following up or following up more than 24 hours after the lead comes in.
Follow up Often – Frequent follow up is also the key to better conversions. It is important to consider the magnitude of the decision that the student is making. They are exploring your university and the possibility that they will leave their comfort zone and study outside of their home country. This is not an overnight decision and a lot goes into it from the visa application to travel and where to study. Follow up is important part of staying top of mind.
Manage Others Expectations – International Student lead generation will not produce results overnight. Just like traveling to an overseas fair, you will not bring students home with you on the airplane. When it comes to lead generation, many students could be in the early stages and researching options. The cycle from lead to enrollment can be significantly longer than domestic recruiting, since it is a much more complicated process. It is important to be patient with lead generation and manage others expectations about the cycle. If you are looking for results in one, two or even three months, consider other options besides international student leads.
These are just a couple best practices if you are considering international student lead generation. If you follow these steps, you will find more success. If you do not follow these practices, then maybe you should consider other methods of recruiting international students that would be more cost effective. What are your best practices for lead management?