Turning Inquiries Into Applications

Jul 7, 2014, 8:00:00 PM by Victoria Troupe

The first in our series of whiteboard resource videos about international student recruitment tells the success story of Felician College, a small Catholic school in New Jersey. Learn how Felician turns inquiries into real applications for their campus despite their limited resources, proving the importance of a targeted online presence and a solid communications plan.


Whiteboard

Turning Inquiries Into Applications

Transcript

Hi! My name is Victoria Troupe, a Marketing Specialist here at Envisage International. Today we’re going to be talking about Felician College, our Featured School partner. Felician College is a small, Catholic school in New Jersey with limited staff and resources in their international office. Despite their small size, Felician has seen dramatic success with a new international recruitment process put in place in 2012. Let’s discuss briefly how they’ve used effective online marketing tools to turn Prospects into Inquiries, and then we’ll emphasize how they’ve used a great communications plan to turn Inquiries into Applications.

Transition 1: This is a picture of what marketers call the "enrollment funnel." It is a way to visualize the steps students take while they are choosing a school. This enrollment funnel begins with Felician’s prospects.

Prospects to Inquiries -There are millions of students from all around the world that are interested in studying internationally, but a limited number of these potential students are good prospects for Felician College. A real prospect of Felician College is looking for a program or degree offered by Felician and wants to study in the Northeast at a religiously affiliated college. So, how does Felician College put themselves in front of these students at the right time to peak their interest?

The most obvious place to start building an online presence is on your school website. Most schools, including Felician, have a dedicated International Student section on their website giving appropriate information. Still, Felician is competing with thousands of other colleges and universities on the web. To establish a true online presence specifically for international students to find you requires other online sources.

Targeted digital marketing outlets like InternationalStudent.com and other similar outlets specializing in resources and SEO specifically for international students bring prospects and schools together. Students search for schools that fit their criteria and meet their needs. When Felician College is a good fit, they are shown as a match and the student can find out more about the school.

Through these and other online media outlets, students worldwide have more targeted opportunities to find Felician College and to consider it a real option for their international education. When a student requests more information about the school, it becomes an Inquiry.

Transition 2: So Felician College receives the student’s information. Now what?

Inquiries to Applications -

Turning student inquiries into actual applications takes a timely response and a focused communications plan for success. Felician has developed a plan that includes an initial response email no later than 24 hours of the inquiry. This initial contact is crucial, and the sooner you contact the student, the better. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, the likelihood of qualifying an inquiry is 60 times less after the first 24 hours.

After the initial contact, the inquiry is entered into Felician’s CRM system within a 1-2 day period and is put into a queue which send 6 emails over a 6 month period. These emails include intriguing highlights about the school like scholarship opportunities, location benefits, and student life information. If necessary, a phone call is scheduled to answer any additional questions. Every email that is sent gives clear instruction on how to apply and contact an advisor, providing Felician College with more international applications than ever before.

Conclusion: Felician College has seen a lot of success with their international recruitment strategy, but are constantly making improvements to keep their brand recognized, keep their online content up-to-date, and to communicate with students in the fastest, best ways possible. This strong dedication, along with the right online marketing channels, have allowed Felician a 73% increase in their international undergraduate and graduate enrollment, as well as a 22% increase in their ESL programs.

Be sure to join us for the next chapter of our video series where we’ll feature the Study Mississippi consortium and highlight the importance of an established brand and web presence for your recruitment strategy.

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