The path to increasing your school’s yield is paved with inquiries. Parents are shopping for schools and you made their shortlist. They’re interested, but not committed. How do you use inbound marketing to keep parents’ attention and turn the inquiry into an application?
On average, it takes five points of communication before a family is ready to commit and fill out an application. Schools have enough to manage without sending individual email responses to every inquiry or trying to track follow-up phone calls for inquiries using a spreadsheet. It’s overwhelming and inefficient. There’s a better way to stay top of mind with prospective families: lead nurturing.
What is Lead Nurturing?
According to Hubspot,
Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with your prospects with the goal of earning their business when they’re ready.
In practice, lead nurturing is an automated communication plan that can help you engage parents by providing the information they’re most interested in at the time they’re most likely to be looking for it. Lead nurturing is the engagement piece in your inbound marketing strategy that helps you build relationships with your prospective families all at once without losing the personal touch. Strategic enrollment management systems like SchoolAdmin make this process easy.
With the information gathered at the inquiry stage, you’re able to create touchpoints that are both personal and informative. These touchpoints could be automated emails, a pop-up reminder for a school employee to call regarding financial aid options, or a prompt to mail a viewbook to the family. These key moments of outreach, or email marketing for schools, are all designed to keep your school top-of-mind for families.
Phase One – Inquiry to Applicant
An example of a communication plan to respond to inquiries could be:
Each point of contact from your school is personal and customized to the family’s interests. Reminders and emails are organized and automated, making it easy for admin to manage inquiries with bulk actions. All points of contact will prompt parents to their next step – the application. A link or reminder to apply is included at every touch-point, making applying easy for parents.
Phase Two – Application to Enrollment
We work hard to move our inquiries to apply, but there is more to be done. You now have to track and manage students moving through the admissions process. One risk at this point is “application abandonment.” That is, parents who have completed an application (they may have paid an application fee too), have not yet finished the rest of the admissions process to qualify for acceptance. Your team needs a communication plan—or a way to nurture your leads—to prompt parents for next steps in the admissions process and to communicate decisions regarding acceptance and enrollment.
An admissions communication plan may look like this:
All touchpoints with families include next steps and language explaining your school’s excitement to welcome this new student. Parents and students at this point are eager to become part of your school’s story. This season of applying and anticipating enrollment is a great time to showcase testimonial brochures or videos.
How Can It Help Me Increase Yield?
Tracking and managing touch-points individually for every student is overwhelming and inefficient. Automated lead nurturing via a communication plan takes the manual work out of keeping in touch, freeing you up to take care of other tasks. With an automated communication plan, you determine who should receive a message, you create an email template for your message, and you decide when the message should go out.
Lead nurturing allows you to create a well-curated experience for your prospective students, while also freeing up your time to focus on other pieces of the journey.
Interested in learning more about how you can nurture leads from inquiry through enrollment? SchoolAdmin makes easy-to-use admissions, enrollment, and tuition management software designed to help independent schools—and the people who run them—thrive. Reach out to learn more about how SchoolAdmin can help you supercharge your yield and build a stronger school.