Each industry has its own specific FAQs when it comes to marketing automation and education is no exception. Due to the difference in communicating with constituents versus customers, clients in the education industry have very specific questions that may not be relevant to other industries. This does not by any means mean that marketing and communication technologies are not important for education — just the opposite in fact.
Colleges and universities are in the interesting position where they need a communication solution in some instances and a marketing solution in others. Luckily, SimplyCast's Communication Flow Platform is a fully-customizable platform that allows clients to create the solutions they need to the specific situations they are facing.
With this in mind, we have collected the most frequently asked questions about marketing automation by education clients.
Can I use automation for admissions processes?
The SimplyCast solution is made to be flexible and customizable to any situation. Whether it's admissions, recruitment, alumni, student services, or anything else, SimplyCast can be used to create custom flows to automate parts of your process. For admissions, this could mean landing pages to generate interest, which triggers personalized emails or scoring high potential students.
How do we share content templates like newsletters between departments?
Within the same account, you can publish emails as templates to be used again. Between different accounts, you can take the HTML code generated for a specific email and paste it into an email project in another account.
How do we prevent contacts receiving duplicate emails when sharing lists?
If you're sending a message to multiple lists, which may mean that the same contact is on one or more lists, you can use the duplicate filter to remove prevent any contacts from being sent the same message more than once.
What happens when a different version of a contact comes into the system? How is contact info updated?
If a contact who is already in the system comes through again through another point of contact, their contact information is automatically updated based on their IP address.
How do we identify a contact if their email address changes? Can our system use the school's student ID number as a unique identifier?
With SimplyCast, you can choose any column field, such as student ID, as the identifier. This means that contact information is changed based on that identifying field. Other systems only allow you to use email for this feature. In the case of alumni students, their email addresses change often, meaning that the alumni department can end up losing contact. But, with SimplyCast, their information can be updated and brought back into the main database through their unchanging student ID number.
In addition to using A/B test to identify the email with the highest conversion, how do you use A/B test to identify which message appeals to segments?
A/B split testing can be used to alter any portion of your message and compare it against another message. Similar to how you A/B split test to identify emails with high conversion, you can use the same strategy within a specific segment. If you want to see which message appeals to adult learners, you would segment your list by age and A/B split test messages to that audience to see which performed best.
What's the difference between 1-way emails blast and 2-way communication? Why is 2-way better?
Think of your own inbox. How much of it is filled with mass emails from companies whether it be a coupon, newsletter, or generic information? How much of it do you open and actively engage with? 10%? 15%? One-way email blasts are an easy way to get a lot of information to a lot of people quickly but two-way communication, like an auto-response email to a signup form inquiry, provides students with answers to their personal questions right away. Two-way communication is more personalized and engaging for your contacts.
How can the same system be used by multiple departments?
There are two solutions to this question depending on your specific needs. Firstly, SimplyCast offers multi-user logins for the platform. If you want to share data, this option will allow you to do all of your marketing and communication for multiple departments from one account. Often, many schools find the Faculty Agency Solution works better. The Faculty Agency Solution allows schools to have one master account that links 10 unique accounts together. This means that each department can have its own personal account but the main account can access all 10.
What support costs do I have to budget for?
None! SimplyCast support does not come with any additional costs.
Are unsubscribed contacts identified for me in all lists or only the suppression list? How do I know if a contact unsubscribed and how do we avoid sending to them if we share lists?
Contacts on a list that have unsubscribed are identified on that particular list under the "unsendable" tab. The suppression list is a master list of all unsubscribes from all lists. If you share lists within the same account, the unsubscribes will be automatically managed. If you are moving the lists to another account, you must export the unsubscribes from the suppression list and add them to the suppression list in the other account.
How do you automatically move a student through different stages of a pipeline?
Within a marketing or communication campaign, you can set if you want a student to change pipeline stages depending on an action or inaction they have done. Setting this up allows pipeline changes to happen automatically depending on the exact criteria you want.
How do we use the system to communicate with a student throughout the entire lifecycle?
With SimplyCast, you have a full record of all the transactions you've had with each and every student from the time they were a potential student until they graduate and become an alumnus. This information is invaluable to creating a comprehensive view of your students as they grow and mature, and can be used to provide them with the resources they need at the time. Automated, personalized communications can be used at every stage of the student lifecycle to add to the student experience.
If you'd like to try SimplyCast 360 for your college or university, sign up for a free 14-day trial.