If you are considering using international student lead generation as a recruiting tool, having a communications plan is essential to a successful lead generation or online marketing campaign. You will need to decide in advance things like; when do you make the first contact? Do you call, text, or email? What do you send if you did not get a response to your outreach?
Here are a few things to consider when you begin a lead generation campaign that will help you convert leads to enrollments and get the most out of your budget.
- The amount of time that goes by from the time that you receive a lead to when you follow up is crucial. Make sure that you have a process in place to allow for immediate follow up. Have you ever submitted your information to a school that is a “monster” in the lead buying world like University of Phoenix? If so, expect your phone to ring within minutes. However, that might not be realistic in the international arena since we are dealing with different cultures and time zones, so a more practical approach might be the one adopted by our partner school National University. Their first contact is an automated email that is sent as soon as they receive a lead. It is simple and lets the student know that the inquiry was received but more importantly, it buys them time for proper follow up:
Thank you for contacting National University
We will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
International Student Admissions
- Have regular contact with the students that have inquired. Keep in mind; these students have expressed interest in your school and/or your programs. If your follow up plan consists of one email and your plan stops there, then you should reconsider if lead generation is a good strategy. A good plan would consist of weekly touch points, adding them to your international student newsletter, keeping them in the loop on important dates, etc.
- Pick up the phone! Call the students that have expressed an interest. They have after all provided their phone number for you to contact them. You can even let them know in your initial email to expect a call from you or someone in your international department.
- Get creative with your ongoing email correspondence. You don’t have to be boring and all business. While it is important to have those types of emails and correspondence, you can send some fun facts as well. As an example, send updates on your school, team sports updates, and fun things that your international students are doing. You could even send pictures from your football tailgating party you had with your international student group.
International student lead generation can be a great tool to add to your recruiting strategy. Just make sure you have a communications plan in place before you get started. What kind of correspondence do you have with students that have inquired about your school?