Education Marketers Need to Go Lean

Students researching various schools are bombarded with information online, and many prospective students do not have the patience to sift through tons of content to find what they’re looking for. They do not have the time to fill out detailed forms or requests either. In this case, less can be more.

Here are a couple of tips for education marketers to increase engagement and conversions with prospective students.
  • Marketers need to think simple and it needs to start with simpler formsResearch shows the longer a form is, the less likely someone is willing to fill it out. This is even more so in the case of prospective students. The first step to shortening forms is eliminating unnecessary questions. For instance, unless the college or university has gender-differentiated emails or policies, it doesn’t make sense to ask prospective candidate’s their gender at the pre-application stage.
  • Education marketers may also need to tone down on their frequency of engagementKeeping a constant line of communication with prospects is a good thing, but inundating prospective students with too many emails can be counterproductive. When the a school overwhelms students with emails, letters, postcards, phone calls and other methods of communication, the value of each engagement decreases. As a result, students tend to hold such communications in lesser regard. First and foremost, it’s imperative to ensure prospective students receive messages in the medium of their choice, and that the message does not bounce. To ensure no communication never goes unread or ignored, education marketers need to focus on quality and providing value in each engagement.
  • There is also a need for speed. An overriding priority for the education marketer is to guarantee web pages load fast. KISSmetrics estimates that if a webpage takes more than five seconds to load, a whopping 19 percent of visitors leave the page. With impatient, time-pressed and harried students, this figure could be even higher.

Smart education marketers need to keep track of the communication they have with the prospective students and watch conversion paths so they can more effectively increase enrollment. At what point did a student convert? How many communications did you have with them? Knowing what is too much or too little can make or break the deal, and student lifecycle marketing is the best way to keep track of it

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Lauren Littlefield

Lifecycle Marketing Consultant at Right On Interactive
With over ten years of experience in technology, marketing, public relations and higher education, Lauren joined the Right On team in April 2013. She is a 2013 graduate of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy (Ind.), and a board member of Girls on the Run of Central Indiana. She has previously served as the vice president, programming and the secretary of the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Lauren earned her BA in Communication from Hanover College. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, running, IndyCar and the Indianapolis Colts.

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