Lead nurturing is the key to effective graduate enrollment marketing. That’s because prospective graduate students have plenty of choices when it comes to pursuing higher education – and they’ve been marketed to before they’ve even considered advancing their education. You can stand out by connecting with them on a personal level and following through to provide the vital information they are looking for as they make their decision.
The most successful graduate recruitment programs use lead nurturing to create personal touch points with prospective students. These touch points provide program-specific information for each target persona, encouraging deeper engagement with the institution.
Here are seven ways you can effectively engage your graduate student prospects through a comprehensive lead-nurturing campaign:
1. GET TEAM BUY-IN
You’ll want to ensure your graduate recruitment marketing and admissions departments are both on board. Successful lead nurturing is about logistics – planning how one piece of content will follow another in each step of the journey. To do that effectively, you have to tear down higher education marketing silos. By meeting with these teams in the early phases of planning your campaign, you can develop a culture of collaboration from the beginning.
2. USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
Successful email lead nurturing requires automation and personalization. Achieving this is best facilitated by using a customer relationship management (CRM) system that fits your school’s needs and integrates with your admissions and email software. These systems will be most successful if you take the time to clean up your database, ensuring the integrity of the data. By training your entire admissions team to track their interactions with your graduate student prospects well, you’ll secure the information you need to provide better responses. While data management and establishing a CRM system are tall orders, these steps are the necessary bedrock of a lead-nurturing campaign.
3. TAILOR YOUR MESSAGES
The typical prospect for your graduate engineering programs differs from a potential student in your MBA program who is distinct from someone thinking about choosing your graduate nursing programs. Understanding the differences in their age, genders, goals, and concerns will help inform the content you need to create for your email lead-nurturing campaign. Once you have a CRM in place to segment your audience personas, make sure you can provide high-quality content.
4. REFINE YOUR CONTENT
For your campaign to achieve its goals, you’ll need a strategy to map out the content flow, trigger points, and topics. Your editorial team should not only know what sets your institution’s brand apart from the competition, but also how to produce content in engaging ways. You want to showcase those tailored messages with compelling writing and attractive design. Consider seeking external help for content development so you can focus on the internal logistics.
5. MAKE IT PERSONAL
Prospective graduate students expect fast, friendly, and personalized engagement with you. Your graduate enrollment marketing team needs to communicate effectively with them via email, social media, texts, and calls. For graduate students, the decision to enroll often comes down to the quality of the interactions they have had with your team. Did you communicate clearly about how your program meets their specific needs? This is where data management and your CRM system will help you successfully deliver what prospective students are looking for.
6. PROVIDE A USER-FRIENDLY WEBSITE
Do your emails have clear calls to action that send leads to a website where the user experience, images, information, and navigation are tailored to your various graduate student personas? If not, your graduate enrollment marketing strategy is missing a key component. You can fill this gap by establishing subdomains or landing pages specific to your various graduate programs. These should each deliver clear paths to information about services, programs, costs, and financing.
7. COORDINATE MARKETING EFFORTS
While digital communication is an effective way to engage graduate student prospects, remember to offer and promote opportunities like campus visits, department open houses, and networking events. Together with your admissions team, be sure to work upcoming events into your digital strategy. An email lead-nurturing campaign is most effective when it draws prospective students into the experience of your academic community.
Are you ready to take your graduate student lead-nurturing campaign from standard to stellar? Reach out today to learn how we can help you make it happen.