by Priyalshri Chattar | May 17, 2023 | ExtraaEdge’s Blog
Table of Contents
Person A: “Hi, can you help me with your number?” Person B: “Yeah, sure, here you go.” Person A: “Is this your WhatsApp number?” Person B: “No, I don’t have WhatsApp active on this number.” Person A: “Then please share your WhatsApp number; it’s easy to reach out there.” Conversation 2
Person A: “Hey, share the pictures of tomorrow’s party.” Person B: “Yeah, I also want the pictures.” Person C: “Okay, let me create a WhatsApp group of all of us; I will share the pictures there.”
Person A: “Have you heard back from the client yet?” Person B: “No, but I sent him a WhatsApp message yesterday.” “He is usually pretty responsive there.” Person A: “That’s a good idea.” “I should also download it so we can all stay in touch more easily.”
In all these three conversations, it is very easy to conclude that when it comes to reaching out, keeping in touch, or sharing media, WhatsApp is everyone’s first choice. Currently, WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging apps in the world, with over 2 billion active users across the globe.
Why WhatsApp can be the ideal marketing tool for the education industry?
This question holds immense value for a booming educational institute like yours. Though it’s important to back up any claims with concrete facts and data. Fortunately, there is a growing body of evidence to support the assertion that WhatsApp is an effective marketing channel for educational institutions.
Below are some of the statistics that support the above statement:
A survey conducted by Pearson found that 77% of high school and college students use messaging apps like WhatsApp to communicate with their classmates and teachers.
A study by the Mobile Ecosystem Forum found that WhatsApp has a higher open rate than email, with 70% of WhatsApp messages being opened compared to 25% of email messages. This suggests that WhatsApp may be a more effective way to reach prospective students than email marketing campaigns.
In India, 86% of teachers use WhatsApp for educational purposes, according to a survey by EdTechReview. This suggests that WhatsApp is an effective way to reach educators in this market.
WhatsApp allows for highly targeted and personalised marketing messages, as users can be grouped based on demographic information and other data points. This can help educational institutions deliver relevant messages to specific audiences, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.
How to use WhatsApp as a powerful marketing tool for your institute?
With over 2 billion active users worldwide, cross-platform compatibility, free messaging, end-to-end encryption, group messaging, and media sharing capabilities, WhatsApp offers a versatile and cost-effective way to reach a wide range of audiences.
By leveraging the platform’s personalised and targeted messaging capabilities, educational institutions can engage with prospective students, parents, and other stakeholders in a more effective and impactful way.
Here’s how you can use WhatsApp for targeted marketing:
1. Create an Enterprise Account
The first step to leveraging WhatsApp for targeted education marketing is to create an enterprise account. This is essential because an enterprise account provides you with the necessary tools and features to connect with your target audience in a more efficient and effective manner. For example, sending personalised messages to a large number of students can be a daunting and time-consuming task.
With an enterprise account, you can streamline this process and send one-to-one messages to thousands of students simultaneously. Ultimately, having an enterprise account empowers you to enhance your education marketing efforts.
But how do you open a verified account on WhatsApp?
For that, you will need to work with one of WhatsApp’s approved business solution providers, such as Twilio, Gupshup, etc. These providers will help you set up your accounts and provide ongoing support and guidance on how to use the platform effectively.
There are some requirements that organisations must meet in order to use the WhatsApp Business API, including having a Facebook Business Manager account, verifying their business phone number, and complying with WhatsApp’s policies and guidelines.
However, for institutions that fulfil these criteria, ExtraaEdge is the perfect solution. With ExtraaEdge, setting up an enterprise account is incredibly easy and hassle-free. We handle all the necessary steps, allowing you to sit back and leverage our powerful platform to connect with prospective students and their parents effectively.
2. Build a database of contacts
Now you have your account ready. The next thing you will need is to build a database of contacts. It’s very important to have a clean database with relevant people, as not having a proper database can lead to wasted resources, higher costs, lower conversion rates, and less effective marketing campaigns.
But how will you build this database?
You can collect contact information from various sources, such as your website registrations, social media profiles, admission applications, event registrations, and other marketing campaigns. You can also ask your existing students, alumni, and staff members to share their contacts with you. Ensure that the data you collect is accurate and relevant.
Once you have a database of contacts, the next step is to segment it into different categories. Segmenting data will help you create targeted campaigns for specific stages of the prospect’s engagement, such as hot leads, cold leads, etc.
A point to remember here is to keep your database regularly updated, this includes updating contact information or adding new data fields to reflect changes in the industry.
3. Create a WhatsApp group
One of the best ways to connect with your target audience on WhatsApp is by creating a WhatsApp group. You can create a group for each course, programme, or event that you want to promote. This will allow you to communicate directly with the participants and answer their queries in real time. You can also use the group to share course materials, updates, and other relevant information.
Is this really working?
The University of Glasgow in Scotland has created a WhatsApp group for international students who have received an offer to study at the university. The group is run by current students who are available to answer questions and provide support for incoming international students. This approach helps to foster a sense of community and belonging, which is particularly important for international students who may be far away from home and in an unfamiliar environment.
BITS Pilani, a leading Indian university, has created a WhatsApp group for parents and students to interact with the admissions team and get their queries resolved in real-time.
Ashoka University, also based in India, has created a WhatsApp group for each incoming batch of students. The groups are managed by current students who provide information about the university and answer questions from incoming students.
4. Personalise your messages
When sending messages on WhatsApp, it is essential to personalise your messages to make them more engaging and relevant. Address your prospects by their names and use their previous interactions with your institution to craft personalised messages. This will help you build a stronger connection with your prospects and increase your chances of converting them into students.
Even simple reach-out and follow-up templates can add a sense of personalization, for example:
Hi [prospective student’s name], I hope you’re doing well! We noticed that you’ve shown interest in our university’s [programme or course name]. Would you like to learn more about it or have any questions you’d like to ask?
You can also share the success stories of your alumni to gain the attention of prospective students, such as:
Hi [prospective student’s name], We wanted to share some recent success stories from students in our [programme or course name] with you. We think you could have similar success and would love to chat more about how our programme could benefit you.
Some universities that are already using personalised messages for targeted students:
Vinay Hari, Desh Bhagat University, MIT ADT, Sharda University, Yes Germany, Amity University, and Ashoka University.
5. Leverage WhatsApp Bot
WhatsApp bots to automate the admission process by handling inquiries, providing necessary information, and guiding students through the application process. The bot can be programmed to provide personalised information based on a student’s interests and queries. This helps in building a relationship with the student and increasing their likelihood of converting into an enrollment.
With WhatsApp bots, students can receive instant responses to their queries, even outside of regular business hours. This provides them with a seamless experience, which can contribute to their satisfaction and the likelihood of enrolling.
WhatsApp bots are also a great tool to collect data from prospective students, such as their contact information, interests, and academic history. This data can be used to build student profiles, enabling you to better understand your prospects and design targeted marketing strategies.
Someone is already leveraging this-
MIT Art Design and Technology launched a WhatsApp bot powered by ExtraaEdge to help prospective students with their queries related to admissions, courses, and campus life. The chatbot provided personalised responses and also sent important updates and reminders to students via WhatsApp. The campaign was highly successful and helped the university increase its engagement with prospective students.
6. Use multimedia content
WhatsApp supports various multimedia formats, such as images, videos, and audio. You can use these formats to create engaging content that resonates with your audience. Using multimedia content will help you grab the attention of your audience and make your messages more memorable.
You can create short videos that showcase your campus, faculty, and student life. This improves understanding. You can use images and infographics to highlight the features and benefits of your courses. This is attention-seeking.
Universities that are using multimedia content-
SRM Institute of Science and Technology uses WhatsApp to provide students with virtual tours of their campus and facilities.
Manipal Academy of Higher Education uses WhatsApp to conduct virtual career fairs, allowing students to interact with employers and explore job opportunities.
Amity University uses WhatsApp to conduct online competitions and quizzes, encouraging student participation and boosting their engagement with the university.
Christ University uses WhatsApp to share video testimonials from alumni and current students, showcasing their experiences and achievements at the university.
Unleash the full potential of WhatsApp with CRM integration
We grew up hearing that two heads are better than one. The same goes for WhatsApp, using it alone at an organisational level will come with some significant challenges, such as:
Lack of organisation: It can be challenging to keep track of leads and their progress through the admissions process. It may also be challenging to maintain accurate records of communications with each prospective student.
Limited automation: Manual communication with each lead can be time-consuming and inefficient.
Inability to track engagement: It can be difficult to track the engagement level of each lead.
Risk of errors: Manual data entry can lead to errors, which can result in missed opportunities or incorrect information being sent to prospective students.
Efficient organisation: A CRM will keep track of leads and the progress through the admissions process. It will also help maintain accurate records of communications with each prospective student by storing all communication history in one place.
Optimised automation: A CRM can automate communication with each lead, saving time and increasing the efficiency of your counselors. You can set up personalized WhatsApp campaigns with the help of a CRM, making sure that the right message reaches the right person at the right time.
Ability to track engagement: A CRM can track the engagement level of each lead. It can show which campaigns are working and which are not, allowing you to adjust their approach accordingly.
Precision and accuracy: A CRM can minimise the risk of errors by eliminating the need for manual data entry. All information can be entered into the CRM, reducing the chance of incorrect information being sent to prospective students.
To Sum Up
WhatsApp is a game changer for targeted marketing, it’s like when the new kid on the block arrives. By building a database of contacts, creating personalised messages, using multimedia content, and leveraging the WhatsApp bot, you can create a strong connection with your prospects and promote your institution, courses, and events effectively. ExtraaEdge provides you with all the exclusivity of WhatsApp, backed up with a robust CRM. Right from creating a verified WhatsApp enterprise account with a green tick to providing you with all the reports at your fingertips, ExtraaEdge has it all.
PS: Book a 30-minute demo with our admissions expert and explore the product. Link to book the demo: https://bit.ly/41KF4jC
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