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Whether it's your students, alumni or donors, you need to enhance your education marketing online strategy to build that personal bond and make a difference.
The key concept, of course, is personalization. You can't just stick your prospective donor's or student's name on a pre-printed brochure about your institution and mail it to them. You need to go deeper. You need to go digital. That is where marketing automation can help you create a truly personal experience for your students, alumni and donors.
As an educational institution, you face unique challenges. You have to understand the personal and professional goals of each student. Creating a unique communication experience is the only way to differentiate your institution from others.
Whether it is with email, text, social media or other forms of communication, when trying to engage with students, you need to go beyond the traditional modes of marketing.
No more blanket messages to all students. No more simply sticking a first name at the beginning of an email. You can engage on a personal level using data collected from each individual. Where are they coming from? What courses are they interested in? Do they want to live on campus? Every key question a prospective student would want to know can trigger the correct follow-up engagement information. And it can be done automatically using marketing automation software. You can set up an entire nurturing campaign from the time a student first connects with you until they make their final choice. Your well-timed message could be the difference.
Lead scoring is generally used for marketing folks to send the hottest leads to their sales friends. High scores equal high chances for closing. It is no different for closing a new student. Set up lead scoring or student scoring to identify the students most likely to choose your school once they go through your recruiting pipeline. This process will also help your team spend more quality time on the best leads and let the automation handle the ones less likely to follow through. Then your communication turns into marketing and branding as those students may share your information with their friends.
Simply setting up one type of campaign won't get the job done. There is no silver bullet anymore when it comes to marketing. Email, text, voice messages, tweets, blog posts and more all can reach different students at different times. Each channel of communication can better suit each type of audience you are going after, from students on the fence, students who have declared, students who are graduating and might be thinking about grad school and so many more. The tone of message, content included and the all-important call to action will all be different for each. With marketing automation you can set up a work flow for each and let it run.
One of the biggest problems, especially with digital marketing, is managing all of the services and accounts that would be needed. It can cause confusion and mistakes. Ideally you need everything in one account or platform. Marketing automation provides everything you need under one roof. A contact manager, online, offline, mobile and social applications as well as robust reporting for all is included in a comprehensive marketing solution. A school can manage everything in one account and set permissions and work flows for any number of campaigns.
Is your educational institution ready to get serious about automating education marketing online? Sign up for a live demo of SimplyCast 360 and reach your communication potential.
on May 08, 2014
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