If you think from the point of view of a student or a parent, securing their admission to a college is a crucial and complex process. In an increasingly online world, you have an opportunity to make the process simpler for them as well as for your admission team or department.
More people today go online to get information than ever before. Internet is cheaper, smartphones are more affordable. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated online education, a domain that was already experiencing tremendous growth in the past few years. As a result, online is where it all starts and where it all ends. Online is where perceptions are built and decisions are made. It’s what becomes a major chunk of modern admission management.
Here are the top 8 practices that you can adopt now to improve, optimize and modernize the admission management system and process for your college:
1. Use A CRM Dedicatedly Built For College Enrolments
Simplify the admission management process by adopting an advanced education CRM that can truly centralize the efforts, give deep insights, and has in-built communication channels.
An efficient one-stop CRM platform for tracking prospects and the overall funnel saves time and increases conversions. It allows you to nurture the leads and helps them make informed decisions.
A CRM integrates your efforts, giving you a birds-eye view of admission management so that each stage of the funnel can be analyzed and improved.
2. Use A Marketing Automation Software
A marketing automation tool enables you to run email campaigns at scale, target different groups, and set-up autoresponder emails. For example, if someone shows interest in a course on your website, you can send a welcome email with more details about the course and success stories to promote enrolment.
In another example, if a visitor has signed up for a course but didn’t complete the enrolment, you can send an email a few days later with a special discount or information on the last date to create urgency.
A marketing automation software like Active Campaign or Mautic can be used to strike real conversations with the prospects and build meaningful relationships with the students. You can communicate with prospects by segmenting them into different groups, depending on the stage of the journey they are in.
3. Adopt ML-led Analytics For Conversion Optimization
Utilize the machine learning-led analytical tools that can analyze large data sets and generate trends and suggestions to improve the admission enrolment process. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are changing admission, sales, and marketing. Jump into the bandwagon to increase efficiency and make data-driven, informed decisions.
Sophisticated admission management software like ExtraaEdge provides in-built predictive analytics that calculates conversion scores and assigns them to prospects so that hot leads can be identified. It further predicts the best possible action that can be taken to enrol an interested student, like sending an email, sharing a help doc, sending an SMS, etc.
4. Create A Simple, Beautiful & Responsive Website
Make sure you present the right information in a helpful, simple, and accessible manner. Supplement the textual content with impressive illustrations and polished videos. Don’t overburden a website visitor with too much information or complex website structure.
Have sufficient white space on the pages. Give readers the breathing time they need to consume the website content.
Include testimonials on every website page if possible, it would add credibility. Publish success stories and spread positive sentiment across your website.
Your website should also load fast. People bounce off a website that doesn’t load in less than 3 seconds. Use optimized images, troubleshoot slow loading speeds, and make your website super-responsive.
As soon as someone thinks about the admission part of the website, the typical image is, it’s a section where there is going to be too much information, lengthy PDFs and notices, an overload of menus, and a departure from the website’s home page. This is where you can create a unique and differentiating experience.
Divide the process of acquiring information on admission into a simple 3-step process. Include all the information, but format it in minimal sections. Make admission logins easier with social logins. Create clean, good-looking forms. Again, include relevant images that give a break to the readers from the text.
Keep iterating and improving the website using analytical tools like Google Analytics. Using more resources and attention to your website can transform the top of the funnel.
5. Use Content That Connects & Tells Stories
Every college website largely has the same information like available courses, facilities on campus, alumni pages, recruitment details, etc.
So, how do you stand out from the clutter?
Create stories using relatable content. Instead of just listing down the alumnus and their current profession, include testimonials showing how helpful was their academic journey in shaping their careers.
Instead of simply listing down the faculty names and positions, including a two-line statement from the faculty members on their experience of teaching in your college will create more interest.
Think of how you can present the same information in a more relatable, friendly, and engaging manner. Use a mix of mediums like static text and image on one side and animated, interactive elements on the other side to tell a story.
Use storytelling in every content format, be it an email or a downloadable brochure, be it a landing page or a sign-up form. People like to hear stories instead of predictable information. Tell real stories using your content and engage more people that will lead to more enrolments.
6. Appear More In Searches
There are hundreds of thousands of websites available on a particular search query. Yet only a handful are shown on the first page of the Google search result page and only the top-ranking ones get all the clicks.
Create meaningful, helpful, and simple content using the keywords that people search. Study the websites that rank the highest for the relevant keywords and observe how they are creating content around those keywords. Perform keyword research to list down the keywords you can keep using on your website content. You can use tools like Ahrefs, SEM Rush, Moz Pro, and more to up your keyword game.
Using affiliate marketing, you can get the traction you need on your website. Get in touch with the top influencers and approach them to establish constructive relationships with you. Show them why including your college’s name in their blogs and podcasts will add value to their audience. Try to get listed in top-ranking articles around the relevant keywords. It’s a smart strategy to achieve higher and relevant traffic in a short time.
7. Simplify The Application Form Filling Process
Simplicity is the key to attracting the attention of the prospects and guiding them to an informed decision. A simplified sign-up process adds friendliness to the process, thereby optimizing admission management.
A comprehensive admission management system like ExtraaEdge provides an in-built application form builder. It can further be used to manage the applicants, reply to the queries and track the overall funnel. The best part is the mobile-friendliness of the software that gives wider accessibility to the counselors and the admission team.
8. Create & Use Beautiful, Engaging Videos
91% of marketers believe that the pandemic has made video more important for brands. The reason is simple – more people are looking up online and video is quite easily the most consumable form of content.
Before you plan to share any content piece on your website, in an email or an ad, ask yourself the question – can it be converted into a video?
Make sure videos are crisp, engaging, well-edited, and pleasing to watch. If harnessed properly, it is an exceptionally effective tool in your marketing suite.
ExtraaEdge’s Admission Management System utilizes the video trend and provides a dedicated app for video counseling. It’s an excellent example of infusing the video format to make the admission process more interactive and efficient.
Let us know your thoughts about the techniques mentioned above to boost student enrolment management in the comments. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
The basis of improving the admission process should be helping the prospects in their journey of enrolment. Be more empathetic and deliver meaningful, helpful, and fascinating interactions. Provide clear, easily consumable information that can be accessed on various devices.
Adopt a smart education CRM to integrate and analyze your efforts in one place. Align your efforts with the values and beliefs of your prospects to create a deeper connection. Put yourself in the shoe of a student and try to deliver value and meaning in the best possible manner. Last but not the least, consider adopting new-age technology like AI and ML to your advantage.