If you’re a marketer in the Higher Education space, you’re likely asking yourself about your overall digital strategy. So what does it look like to cross the finish line by building an effective lead nurturing strategy? There are a few ways to get the same results, but most importantly it starts with targeting the right audience – with the right content.
Lead Nurturing – What Does It Mean?
Outreach and personalized e-mails to the prospect, understanding your prospect’s needs, developing a relationship, and finally execution and follow-through on your goal. Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with prospects at every stage of the recruiting funnel, and through every step of the student’s journey.
1. Targeted Content
Now that you’ve nailed your prospect’s personas, you can start mapping out your content. Developing a cyclical content strategy in tune with your niche is imperative for conversion. Focus on building out local content topics. Localized content is important especially if a college or university has brick and mortar locations. Online schools can be a bit more challenging, but not out of reach. With the right content and a little patience, targeted content can be an effective way to maximize form submissions with little effort. Always keep the content relevant to your institution and program. Video, social media, and blogging are all great ways to create engaging content.
According to Campaign Monitor, “Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.” Segmenting is one of the most effective ways to re-market to your prospects because not all of your prospects are the same. You should be picking apart and splitting up your list of emails into various segments. For example segmenting your list to include prospects interested in certain programs can determine how you communicate with those users. Use the data that you’ve collected to craft personalized messages and tailor your content to fit your list. “Marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns.” – Campaign Monitor
3. Understanding your Prospect’s Needs
As you build a relationship with your prospects, you should (in theory) be learning more about their needs. When a prospective student responds to one of your campaigns it tells a story about their unique interests and what they’re searching for. Every link they click and every piece of information they fill out on a form tells you more about them. Take this opportunity to leverage information and craft your forms around your prospect. Remember not to ask questions that you may have the answers to. You can also use this information to target what sort of content may appeal to them in an email or lead nurturing campaign.
4. Developing Relationships with Lead Nurturing
As you begin to understand your prospect’s needs and track them through the recruiting process, you will ultimately begin to develop a relationship with the user.
Your funnel will look something like this:
- The user will begin to trust the institution because the right information was delivered and sourced initially to gain their attention.
- The user (prospect) was followed up within a reasonable time frame, in a way that they felt comfortable with.
- The prospect receives an email that was tailored to their needs were met by the contents of that unique email.
Your enrollment to start funnel should look something like this: interest -> relevance; relevance -> need; need -> urgency, etc.
5. Execute and Follow Up – Timing is Everything
Now that you’ve determined the prospect’s sense of urgency, use this information to determine when and where to act. Timing is everything…especially if the user is at the stage where they’re inclined to make an important decision – to enroll in your institution or abandoned the idea altogether. Choose your medium of communication and use this information to target the prospect when they’re feeling the readiest to act on their own accord. Natural communication and reassurance when a prospect is in the decision-making stage is the most successful way to successfully nurture your leads through the student recruitment funnel.
Do you have a successful lead nurturing strategy that you’ve implemented and want to share that your results with us? If your school is ready to grow your enrollment at a highly engaged level, while focusing on your overall strategy, then sign up for marketing automation today!
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