8 Essential Features of CRM and Marketing Automation for Language Schools
Date posted: December 4, 2019
While other types of educational institutions have one main enrollment period, the language school booking process is a year-round ordeal, requiring your staff to always be on their toes. As a result, CRM and marketing automation software can be a language school’s best friend when it comes to coordinating recruitment activities.
From automated follow-up to detailed reports to agency monitoring, these platforms offer a number of helpful features to streamline the student recruitment process. Read on to learn about the most useful CRM and marketing automation tools for language schools.
1. Monitoring Language School Agent Activities in CRM
For many language schools, agents are the main method of reaching students. Despite the invaluable role they play, however, many admissions teams struggle to manage and assess the overall impact of the agencies their schools work with. Since agents work independently, it can be difficult for language schools to keep track of how many leads they’re in contact with, how many bookings they submitting, and what stage they are at with each prospect.
That’s where CRM and marketing automation come in. When set up correctly, your system can enable you to track and measure the activity of both individual agents and agencies.
Example: HEM’s Mautic CRM has a section devoted to agencies where language schools can create and manage agent and agency contacts, and track the leads associated with them.
2. Create and Integrate Online Forms with Marketing Automation for Language Schools
Most CRM and marketing automation platforms enable you to create a wide variety of online forms, as well as track and organize the data these forms collect. From inquiry forms to online quote generators to bookings, you can customize forms that perfectly fit your school and your prospects.
Example: Mautic enables users to build fully customized inquiry forms. Not only can you determine the name of the fields you use, you can also use different field types such as check boxes, dropdown menus, and text.
Another perk of creating forms with CRM and marketing automation for language schools is that all the information they collect is centralized within one system, making it much easier to keep track of your leads.
When a prospect submits their information on your website, a contact will automatically be created in your CRM, and the form fields will automatically populate their profile. As they complete other forms, their profile will update with the additional information.
Example: In Mautic’s contact dashboard, you can easily see what stage each individual prospect is at in the enrollment journey. You can also click on an individual profile for an in-depth look at which forms they have submitted, as well as their responses, to help inform your follow-up efforts.
By integrating online forms to your CRM, you can manage all your data in one place and ensure your contacts are as accurate and descriptive as possible. Having this information organized and readily available will help you address your prospect’s exact needs and concerns when you contact them.
3. Lead Scoring for Language Schools
While it’s considered best practice to follow up with all of your prospects, lead scoring can help you organize your efforts in order to increase your chances of reaching your enrollment targets.
This marketing automation feature involves assigning a numeric value to contacts based on their suitability for your school and their readiness to book.
Example: In HubSpot, a popular and comprehensive CRM and marketing automation program, you can score leads based on their contact information as well as the actions they’ve taken. In this instance, leads are rewarded if they open a certain email.
Your school will define the parameters that make an ideal lead, and the factors that decrease a prospect’s chances of booking, and your CRM will automatically score each lead that comes in.
For instance, if a prospect’s language proficiency qualifies them for their program of interest, points could be added to their score, while those whose proficiency levels are below the requirements of the course they are interested in could lose points.
Likewise, prospects inquiring from your main markets or those who live locally could be assigned a fairly high score upon entering your system. On the other hand, if a prospect is from a region where obtaining a study visa is difficult, their score may be docked.
Points can be added and taken away in a similar manner based on a prospect’s engagement with your marketing and follow-up activities. For example, completing a free online quote may be worth a certain amount of points, while you might deduct points from prospects who haven’t opened your mails or answered your calls for some time.
4. Make and Log Phone Calls Using CRM for Language Schools
Although there are a number of different ways to reach prospective students online today, phone calls remain one of the most effective ways to drive leads towards booking. By talking directly to prospects, you create a one-on-one connection that no digital channel can fully replicate.
On the flipside, though, the personalized nature of phone calls can also make it difficult to keep track of your calls, as they don’t leave a digital footprint like texts and emails do.
But with a CRM, you don’t have to resort to sticky notes and scrap paper to take down contact details and record important parts of conversations. Many CRM platforms enable you to log phone calls and record notes.
Example: You can log calls and take notes in Mautic, which are then stored in the contact’s profile. This way, you can easily refer back to past conversations whenever you need to.
This will help your admissions team organize all the pertinent information it gathers from calls, as well as keep track of what calls were made and when.
Of course, some language schools may shy away from making phone calls during the follow-up process due to the high fees involved in ringing international numbers. However, many CRM systems offer integrated internet calling platforms that enable users to contact prospects overseas for a reasonable price.
For instance, HEM’s Mautic packages include a browser-based click-to-call feature with a flat fee of only $40.00 per user per month to make unlimited calls to both local and international numbers.
5. Automated Email Workflows for Student Recruitment
As any language school knows, email is one of the simplest ways to relay information to prospective students. But to really use email well, your messages will need to be personalized, appropriately timed, and relevant to your prospects at each stage of the booking journey.
To help facilitate this, many schools and businesses alike use marketing automation to ensure that the right messages are sent to the right people at the right time.
As such, automated workflows are perhaps the cornerstone of marketing automation for language schools. Most marketing automation programs will enable language schools to segment leads by factors such as program type, accommodation preference, and booking stage. From there, you can create workflows that will send them the appropriate emails automatically.
Example: Once someone fills out one of your forms – in this case, a TOEFL practice test – your CRM will send out a series of emails at a set period of time. If the contact doesn’t respond, a task will be automatically created in your CRM and your admissions staff will be notified to follow up with the prospect.
CRM and marketing automation can also help automate your multilingual follow-up. You can segment prospects by language and build workflows that deliver follow-up content in those languages. This makes it a lot easier for leads to learn more about your school, as they’ll be receiving information in their mother tongue.
Example: If a prospect requests information about Camp Pilgrim’s summer immersion courses using this French form, the school’s CRM could add them to a workflow with French follow-up content.
With a number of different language schools for students to choose from, you want to make sure that your school does what it can to stand out – and prospects are likely to recognize the extra effort you put into personalizing your communication with them.
6. Calendar Integration for Language Schools
A day in the life of a language school staff member is often a busy one. From coordinating meetings and calls to processing bookings, there is much to keep track of on a daily basis.
A CRM calendar can help you organize – and remember – all those moving pieces so your team can streamline its recruitment efforts. In addition, this feature can also help managers monitor their team’s productivity and workload.
Example: Your team can populate Mautic’s calendar with all your booking activities. You can also assign these events to certain staff members, and they will be notified when their task is approaching its deadline.
You can also sync Mautic to your Google and Office 365 calendars so all your events are consolidated in one place. This feature makes it easy to ensure that no follow-up task falls through the cracks.
7. Language School Social Monitoring
Social proof is an essential component of any school’s marketing strategy.
If past students enjoyed their time at your school, and share that positive experience online, more students are likely to book – it’s the law of customer satisfaction.
This is especially pertinent for language schools as many of your prospects are interested in traveling and exploring a new culture – which means that they’ll likely be taking photos and videos of their adventures and sharing them online.
As a result, language schools tend to generally have a large collection of student-generated content. However, unless your school has a way of monitoring what students are saying about it, you’ll be missing out on precious social proof.
CRM and marketing automation can help you keep track of those posts in order to promptly share them to your website and social media channels.
Example: On HubSpot, you can monitor Twitter mentions in order to share memorable content to your website and social media channels.
Another way to keep up to date on your online presence is through hashtags. Some marketing automation programs will notify you every time someone uses your school’s hashtag on social media.
Example: In Mautic, you can create streams for each of your branded hashtags to easily keep track of your Twitter activity.
Some platforms offer more robust social monitoring than others, so make sure you have your priorities in check when you start the process of selecting and implementing a CRM.
8. How CRM and Marketing Automation Reporting Helps Language Schools
Student recruitment is not black and white. While there are best practices that schools are well-advised to follow, a successful strategy involves constant and careful monitoring in order to discover which activities are performing as you expect, and which need some TLC.
CRM and marketing automations systems offer highly detailed reports that will help you understand the full impact of your efforts. That way, you can continuously improve your campaigns and maximize your school’s return on investment.
HEM’s Mautic CRM offers a number of readymade reports which are custom-built for the education sector, so your school can keep a close eye on the metrics that matter most to you.
For instance, knowing how many inquiries you are generating at a given time is generally a top priority for language schools when it comes to monitoring. You will likely also want to keep track of your program enrollment numbers to determine what courses to promote when booking deadlines approach.
Example: You can customize Mautic’s dashboard with a number of different reports, including how many leads you’re generating, and what programs they are booking.
As language schools want to cultivate a diverse student body, you’ll probably also want to keep track of the countries that your leads are coming from.
Example: With a contact map and country chart, you can easily assess your lead demographics using Mautic CRM for language schools.
To continuously improve your digital marketing efforts, you’ll also be best off monitoring how effectively your various recruitment channels drive conversions.
Example: Mautic’s Leads by Channel report allows schools to see which channels are driving the most inquiries – which can be helpful knowledge when you need to boost certain course enrollments – and which recruitment channels you can be working to improve.
Between promoting your courses, managing your agency relationships, and coordinating your follow-up process, it can be difficult to properly organize, monitor, and assess all of your student recruitment efforts. CRM and marketing automation can be the ribbon that binds together all your language school’s digital marketing activities. Offering a number of practical features and simplifying otherwise complex tasks, it can make your admissions team’s lives a whole lot easier, and your school a whole lot more successful.