ESM Digital's Higher Ed Marketing Blog

Is There a Leak in Your Enrollment Funnel?

The enrollment funnel that represents how you turn your prospects into students is an efficient model, but have you noticed something wrong with it lately? You have a ton of leads but not a ton of students. What’s happening?

Those leads are more about quantity, than quality. A lot of marketing companies promise schools leads –and they deliver. Problem is, those leads aren’t much more than random contacts on an excel sheet. If you want to fill your programs with actual students, you need quality leads that match your student personas.

You’re starting with a hard sell. At the very top of the funnel, your prospects may have no idea what’s in store for their future. If you pitch a program too soon, you’re going to alienate them. Instead of ALWAYS being on sales mode, consider providing your prospects with information—through great quality content—that they might actually be interested in. Offer them ideas, answers and solutions instead of an aggressive sales pitch.

You’re not cultivating your leads. We see it all the time. Schools are so intent on generating new leads that they forget those leads they already have. They don’t use their own resources and knowledge to nurture existing leads that could easily be turned into enrollments. Maybe you had someone click on an ad months ago about your nursing program but they never followed through. Did you? If they thought the program was a little too daunting or expensive, what can you do to address their concerns? Do you also offer medical assisting? Reach out to old leads, find out what their questions are and give them some answers.

You’re relying on tools instead of humans. Bid management tools are an automatic way of controlling your AdWords account. They use complex algorithms to determine keywords and bids, and change both based on incoming data.  On their surface, these tools appear to be an efficient way to handle the nuances of search engine marketing in real time. But computers don’t know what you do about your students, programs and market. Allowing a computer to choose your spend could waste a third of your budget. Are you ready to throw away more than $30,000 for every $100,000 you invest?

You’re not selling when you should be. Just like you shouldn’t try to sell when your prospects aren’t ready; you have to give them the option to buy when they are. The prospective student who comes to your website and goes into your pages is further along his or her journey than a prospect at the top of the funnel. They may not be ready to enroll, but they’re definitely ready to learn more. Make it as easy as possible by providing a simple form they can fill out or a way they can contact you for more information.

If you want to plug up the leaks in your enrollment funnel, contact us at Effective Student Marketing and we’ll show you how.

~Linda Emma