With the number of high school graduates declining, and more and more colleges offering online and hybrid (or other) alternatives to traditional college programs, the higher education landscape is more competitive than ever. Faced with an abundance of options, today’s college-bound students want to know that the expense will be worth it.
For these reasons, it is absolutely vital that colleges remain top of mind with prospects as they research and undergo the decision-making process. Nurturing campaigns keeps you in communication with your prospective students, and, if done well, lets them know that your institution is the right fit. Here are some steps to begin building an effective nurturing campaign.
In order to effectively engage your prospects, you must first learn about them. Information like intended major, where they live, high school GPAs, and entrance exam scores are data points that can be beneficial in developing a communication strategy built on relevant, personalized content. If you are not currently collecting data on your prospects, a simple Request for Information form on your website is an excellent way to get started!
Customize Your Content.
Once you have the data, put it to use! Customized content is a key factor in providing a relevant, engaging, personalized experience to your prospects. Do you have the students’ intended majors? Send them information about successful alumni in the field, or highlight a key faculty member’s accomplishments. If you have their GPA, you may want to let qualifying students know about scholarships they can apply for – easing the financial burden can be a huge point of differentiation and overcome a major barrier.
Get the Right Tools for the Job.
Nurturing campaigns can get very complex, but tools like CRM systems and marketing cloud software can make these campaigns not only manageable, but in some cases, downright easy. There is no shortage of systems and software out there, and each has its benefits and drawbacks, so do your research! Remember that the right system has to fit with your institution’s processes, begin mapping out your student journey and enrollment funnel, then find a system to fit, rather than vice versa.
From the initial student inquiry through application acceptance and class registration, ongoing relevant and personalized communication can demonstrate to prospects that you understand and can deliver what they are looking for.