In this article, we explain why keeping up-to-date with your university admissions and CRM software is a must for any higher ed institution who wants to optimise their recruitment process and make their mark in a competitive industry.
Picture the scene: A university has recognised their admissions rates aren’t what they should be; in fact they have started to decline over the past couple of years and prospective candidates are beginning to favour other institutions. Their competitor's teaching isn't necessarily any better, their results aren't higher, but that's what appears to be happening.
To the best of their knowledge, their university is doing everything right when it comes to their admissions and marketing strategy. They certainly don’t have the time or resources to do any more - the admissions department is stretched to capacity as it is. The department is busy compiling lists of prospective students, emailing them information about courses, organising recruitment fairs, creating optimised website content…the list goes on.
So what are they doing wrong?
The answer is simple, and in a way quite reassuring. A plateau or decline in student recruitment success isn’t always down to the failings of the admissions department or faculty staff. It can be a case of the university using outdated IT systems that are inefficient, ineffective and slow down processes. So competitors who have invested in the 'latest' technology suddenly find themselves ahead of the game.
Let's go into this in a little more detail.
An institution who is implementing the exact same student recruitment strategy as another, but is using disparate systems that don’t integrate (spreadsheets, student information systems, email marketing platforms, etc), it is taking them twice as long as one who is using integrated admissions software. Furthermore, they aren’t reaching as many people as their competitors and their communications aren’t as targeted as they should be because there simply isn’t the time to segment and personalise through multiple platforms.
How can the admissions process be improved?
An integrated admissions and CRM platform is the antidote to university recruitment frustration. A software package of this nature enables universities to store, interact with and track information like results and lead sources in one place, avoiding duplication of efforts on the part of staff. Tasks become more streamlined, and different departments are able to collaborate with ease. Inbuilt analytics even enable the users to evaluate the success of campaigns and to easily identify patterns in results or behaviour.
With an integrated admissions platform, universities can see how the recruitment process is progressing at a glance. Individuals can use this data to target their strategy accordingly and convert 'cold prospects' into 'enrolled students'.
What does an admissions & CRM platform do?
Everything. We’re not kidding! At FULL FABRIC, our origin module supports universities through the entire student recruitment process. It's an easy-to-use solution that is proven to increase application numbers and drive ROI, make marketing and admissions staff happier and keep prospective students engaged from that initial click to enrollment. It covers all bases, so there's no need for multiple platforms.
The student recruitment and admissions process is crucial to a university and it has a strong influence on prospective students’ brand perception. The goal of an admissions software is to increase the level of conversion from offer to enrolment and improve applicant insights and reporting.
1) Capture leads easily
With a clean, user-friendly interface, generating landing pages and enquiry forms with clear Calls-To-Action is easy. Pages can be customised according to the institution's brand aesthetic and requirements. In just a few simple steps, universities can create customisable landing pages that are mobile responsive and with the ability to be embedded on website, social media and other channels.
A prospect's information is securely stored on the database, making it easy to track their activity and tailor communications accordingly.
2) Segment data and qualify leads
An integrated admissions software's segmentation tool enables universities to identify the most appropriate prospects and target them with content that is meaningful and that will encourage them to enrol.
A university can easily segment and create informed lists based on multiple criteria such as demographics, interests as well as behavioural data. You can segment contacts based on lifecycle stage, nationality, % of application completion and use this data to create hyper-targeted campaigns.
An admissions software solution will ensure every application can be managed and evaluated digitally. Applications can be viewed on the system or downloaded as a PDF. When it comes to the interview phase, evaluation forms can be created on the system.
3) Manage student recruitment events
One of the most effective ways to acquire more prospects and nurture them through the recruitment phase is through events. With this in mind, we've built an event management feature that allows the user to create event pages, send automated updates and reminders and manage logistics with ease.
You can monitor and collect data from event registrations through a custom event landing page that can be shared and promoted on the institution's website, social media and email campaigns. Similarly, the admissions software will allow you to import data collected from recruitment fairs and create custom follow-ups for those registered vs those who attended the event.
4) Campaign management and communications
Emails are more effective when they’re personalised. FULL FABRIC's integrated campaign management module allows you to design engaging, branded email marketing campaigns to welcome, nurture and follow-up with applicants throughout the recruitment process. You don't have to be a designer to make them look great - customisable templates make it quick and easy to do.
So, to convert tentative applicants into enrolled students, universities should provide an admissions experience that is bespoke to the individual and goes above and beyond. A modern admissions software solution is the key to doing this efficiently and effectively.