Online marketing is a cost effective way to move students through the enrollment funnel. By dedicating some time, energy and resources, you can help drive students down the funnel, using the resources you already have at your disposal. With the right strategy and plan in place, online marketing can be an effective way to get a student to graduate from each phase of the funnel, from prospect to enrollment, and one day, to a diploma.
Prospects are arguably the most important part of the funnel. Without the ability to fill the funnel, nothing will come out the bottom. So how can you fill your funnel with the resources you currently have at your disposal? The first is by transforming your website from one where prospects can get information to one where they can become an inquiry. With a few easy changes, such as a prominent link to your international student section on the homepage, along with an inquiry form on the international page is a great start. This is an easy way to instantly turn the prospect to an inquiry from your school’s website.
Inquiries are “hot” leads. They are students that have given you their personal contact information and said, “Yes, I am interested in your school.” Inquiries need nurturing. After all, you are not in an exclusive relationship with them yet. They need to know why they should pick you. The great thing about the inquiry is they have told you things like what they want to study, when they want to study, etc. You can use to move them further down the funnel. This is where a good communications plan comes into place. You can use online marketing tools to communicate, such as using emails and social media.
Applicants are a great way to measure the success of the first two phases of the funnel. You have turned a prospect into an inquiry by providing them with information about your school and then provided them relevant information about why they should study at your school. Now you have to continue to push them to the decision point or towards admit and enrollment. This is where you can have more serious online and offline conversations about enrollment dates, financial ability and aid, testing, grades, etc. This is when you are not only qualifying the student but also closing the deal. Social media, email reminders and other methods can be used to communicate these things or even to invite them to a Google Hangout or Skype to review the next steps.
Now you have them right? At this point, you are still not the only school still courting them. Online marketing should be used to communicate and engage the student. To drive them to enrollment. The pool of schools is much smaller now, but this is the most important time to connect with the student. Really show them why to select your school.
The communications plan cannot stop here. You now need to continue to share information via various means such as text, emails, Skype, Instagram videos and other means. Students now need to know deadlines, orientation information etc. Online communications can be a very effective way to communicate with them. Why not try a congratulating them and welcoming them aboard message on their Facebook page? After all, it will reach all of their friends too.
Do you use online marketing to help move student through the enrollment funnel?