10 Questions with Risa Engel

In preparation for the SchneiderB VirCon7, I’m highlighting the eight school marketing experts who will be presenting on October 19, 2019. Learn More about the VirCon7.

Here are the 10 questions and responses from Risa Engel.

  1. What is your session title for the VirCon7?

My session is titled “Why Your School Needs to Focus on Conversion Rate Optimization.”

2.      What will the attendees learn/know after watching your session?

CRO, or conversion rate optimization, is a new buzz phrase in the world of school marketing—but it’s really been around for a long time. You’ll come away with a basic understanding of conversion rate optimization for your website: what it is, how it’s used, and 5 simple CRO tips to begin applying immediately to help maximize the outcomes of their current website marketing efforts.

3.      What is your favorite social media channel and why?

I’ve become a huge fan of LinkedIn over the past year or two. I love the discussion of real-time situations and problem-solving— people who often don’t know each other generously share their knowledge and experience to help others.

4.      What is one goal that you hope to accomplish during the 2019-2020 school year?

Just one?! Since I’m new to Finalsite, I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know the people I work with, understand roles and responsibilities, and how things get done. One goal I have is to fill a couple of openings on our team. Finalsite has always produced amazing content. I can’t wait to see what this group of smart and talented people can do when fully staffed and focused!

5.      What is your favorite marketing piece of advice for schools?

Unless you’re lucky to have a large marcom staff, you can’t do everything yourselves. Be creative. Stipend a faculty member or use a student intern to help take photos and post on social, for example. Use parents ambassadors to help spread good word of mouth. Find a student who wants to dig into website analytics.

6.      What is your favorite marketing book?

My latest favorite is “This Won’t Scale” written by the marketers at Drift. Dog eared and all marked up!

7.      What is something people might be surprised to know about you?

I can play Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag on the piano.

8.      Kindle or Actual book?

Definitely actual book. Sometimes audio.

9.      iPhone or Android?


10.  What is one App that you can't live without?

Apple Podcasts. It’s my way of controlling the media noise. I rely on podcasts for news, stories, and inspiration. We are lucky to live in a time when and where information and ideas are so readily accessible and available. And I like the intimate nature of podcasts. I imagine it must be a little bit like when radio first came into homes in the 1920s. Today, we listen to podcasts through earbuds. Voices are in our heads. Can’t get much closer than that!

Risa Engel leads marketing at Finalsite.

About the author 

Brendan Schneider

Hey, I’m Brendan, and this is my blog. After 28 years working in private, independent schools in mostly admissions, enrollment, marketing, communications, and fundraising roles, I decided to make SchneiderB Media my full-time job, where I help schools get more inquiries through my Fractional Digital Marketer program. I also started the MarCom Society, a membership created expressly to help, support, and train marketing and communications professionals at schools.


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