University admissions and marketing teams have a complicated challenge. They need to attract a sizeable pool of good prospects, develop and maintain meaningful relationships with these contacts, and ultimately convert prospects into applicants and applicants into enrolled students. This process requires a lot of time and dedication from the university staff.
For instance, if a staff member wanted to send a carefully crafted email invidually tailored to each prospect, and each email took five minutes (or longer), it's easy to see how this task would take up a significant portion of that person's week. But there is away to effectively streamlined these sorts of processes: marketing automation.
Marketing automation provides businesses with a way to market on multiple channels simultaneously and automate repetitive tasks. In higher education, universities can combine profile information with behavioural data to make marketing efforts go further.
One of the most effective ways your university can put this into practice is by automating the sending of emails. Your prospects expect immediate feedback and validation: whenever someone requests a brochure, registers for an event or submits an application, you should follow up with a timely, personalised and targeted message. Read on for an example of how automating emails can help engage students in an effective and time-saving way.
An automated email workflow
1. You meet a number of prospects at a recruitment fair who are really interested in the upcoming Marketing MSc
2. After the event, you send a targeted SMS with some more information, inviting them to start the Marketing MSc application
3. Whenever recipients click-through and start the application, they receive an automated email and personalised message
4. A few days later, you send a follow-up email with a call-to-action to attend the upcoming open day
5. With each action, your team is gathering more information on the engagement level and potential of each prospect: all the while giving you a better chance at converting this prospect to an enrolled student
As you can see in step #2, this kind of workflow doesn’t have to be limited to email: it can be also be applied to SMS and social media messages, too. And automated communication could be triggered by any type of interaction, such as a prospect downloading a form, starting an application or registering for an event.
This blog post is part of series about how to send better emails. Keep checking back for more essays and tips about higher education, technology and marketing, or subscribe to receive updates by email. To add to the discussion, leave a comment below or tweet us @fullfabric.