Creating a Seamless Remote Admissions Experience with our Application Portal, Virtual Admissions Assistant, and Mautic CRM
Date posted: June 17, 2020
Replicating the admissions process online is all about providing prospective students with a valuable experience from the moment they land on your website until the day they start their courses.
To make this a reality, not only do schools need to acquire the right tools – they need to make sure they fit together to create a cohesive admissions experience from start to finish. HEM’s Student Application Portal, Mautic CRM, and Virtual Admissions Assistant all integrate seamlessly with one another to provide the all-inclusive admissions experience that your prospects want and your admissions team needs.
Interested in optimizing your online recruitment strategy? Read on to learn how HEM’s software can help your school efficiently and effectively drive prospective students towards enrollment.
Effectively Nurture Incoming Leads with Mautic CRM
For many prospective students, the admissions experience starts when they land on a school’s website – so schools should strive to offer support, resources, and direction from that point onward. This could take the form of assets, like eBooks and brochures, inquiry forms, or other lead generating elements that help prospects learn more about your school.
Every time a prospect does something that signals their interest in your school, your team should be ready to reach out to them – whether by email, phone, or text – to sustain their attention and keep the conversation going.
With Mautic CRM for schools, contacts are automatically created when a visitor enters their details on your school’s site. This way, you can prioritize and schedule follow-up through multiple channels, segment leads for more targeted communication, and seamlessly advance them through the admissions process the moment they contact you.
Example: The contact dashboard in Mautic CRM. The dashboard updates in real time with new inquiries, and you can click the name of an individual lead for a highly detailed profile of every interaction with your school.
Optimize Follow-up Using Marketing Automation
Keeping track of every incoming lead is tedious and time-consuming for your admissions team, so Mautic CRM does that for you.
Our CRM includes marketing automation features so schools can set up autoresponder texts and emails to send to leads as soon as they enter Mautic’s database. Schools can also segment leads by factors like program of interest or demographic information and create personalized autoresponders.
Example: Autoresponder email created in Mautic. Through the incorporation of dynamic content, the email addresses the prospect by name and mentions their program of inquiry.
To keep the conversation going after the initial point of contact, schools can create SMS and email workflows in Mautic CRM to move these candidates further along in the admissions process.
Example: Sample email workflow that starts with information specific to the lead’s inquiry, includes relevant resources, and offers more application-specific information as enrollment deadlines draw near.
Manual Follow-Up Made Easy with Mautic
Although there are plenty of ways that prospects can learn about your school online – whether by exploring your website, reading your emails, or following you on social media – no form of automation can fully replace a personal conversation.
While manual follow-up is highly effective, it can also be highly time-consuming for your staff. With Mautic CRM, you can save time and increase productivity by letting the software organize the process for you.
Example: An individual contact profile in Mautic. Here, you can directly call, email, and text prospective students, as well as record your interactions and set upcoming tasks.
When you schedule upcoming follow-up, there is an option for you to automatically add the task to Mautic’s calendar so you can coordinate activities amongst your admissions team.
Example: Mautic’s calendar feature. You can create individual calendars for each staff member, as well as a collective calendar for your entire team. If your school uses Google Calendar, you can also sync it to Mautic CRM.
Deciding what school to attend is not a choice that prospects make lightly, so if you want to advance as many leads as possible through the enrollment journey, you’ll need to tackle student recruitment from all angles. With Mautic CRM, you can coordinate both automated and manual activities to the benefit of both your prospective students and your admissions staff.
Advance Interested Leads With HEM’s Virtual Admissions Assistant & Quote Builder
Once prospective students have browsed your site, followed you on social, and perhaps even spoken directly with an advisor, the next step is for them to make their decision and plan their studies.
Often, in-person events and conversations provide the lasting impression that prospects need to finalize their choice at this stage. These activities allow prospects to experience the look and feel of the school, have all their questions answered, and properly plan out their studies.
While these sorts of activities aren’t possible in the current context, you can achieve the same objectives using remote admissions software. But since each school type does admissions differently, it’s important to find one that is tailored to your school’s target audience.
That’s why HEM has created multiple tools to help different school types replicate the admissions process remotely. Our Virtual Admissions Assistant and Quote Builder are both stepped programs that allow prospective students to plan out their studies. Best of all, both programs are built into HEM’s Student Application Portal, so they serve as a great gateway to the application process.
Virtual Admissions Assistant for Colleges and Universities
Before prospects apply to a college or university, they often meet with admissions advisors to plan their studies as well as tour their future school. HEM’s Virtual Admissions Assistant allows prospects to replicate the same process without having to leave their home.
Your school’s future students can explore different campuses, courses, and financial aid options in an intuitive step-by-step format.
Example: Sample Virtual Admissions Assistant for Automotive Training Centres (ATC), a Canadian career college. Prospects can explore different options in each section and select the best fit for them.
In the Virtual Admissions Assistant, you can populate each campus, program, and financial aid option with informative content such as videos, images, and maps.
Example: An individual campus option in ATC’s Virtual Admissions Assistant. Each section offers in-depth information relevant to a prospect’s interests in a concise format.
At any point in the process, prospective students can easily get in touch with your school or ask a question – just like they could on an in-person campus tour. This way, they feel supported through each step of the online admissions process.
On each page of the Virtual Admissions Assistant, there is a ‘Request a Call’ button, which opens a short form that prospects can fill out to have an advisor contact them promptly.
Example: The call request form in HEM’s Virtual Admissions Assistant.
Every time someone requests a call, a contact is created in both the Portal and Mautic. Your staff will be immediately notified as well.
Example: The Call Back Requests section in HEM’s Student Application Portal.
There is also a helper icon on each page of the Virtual Admissions Assistant, where schools can add information to help prospects navigate the interface. This space is also an opportunity to further highlight the benefits of your school through images, video, text, and more.
Example: A sample helper popup on ATC’s VAA.
When prospective students reach the end of the Virtual Admissions Assistant, they have essentially planned out their entire study path, including financing options. All they have left to do is bring their plans to life by applying to your school.
If prospects are ready to take the plunge, they can do so at the final stage of the process by filling out a short form and launching HEM’s Student Application Portal. If they’re not ready just yet, and want to review their selections before applying, they can have a summary of their program emailed to them using Mautic.
Example: The final stage in the Virtual Admissions Assistant process.
HEM’s Quote Builder is Ideal for Language Schools
The quote builder is a course pricing tool that, like the Virtual Admissions Assistant, allows prospective students to plan out their dream program in a stepped format. However, the quote builder is specifically geared towards language schools and other institutions that allow direct booking and include many different priced components in their overall packages. The system allows you to automatically adjust prices based on high and low season, add optional extras to the mix, and more.
One advantage of opting for software that is tailored to schools is that it is already set up with options that align with your recruitment objectives, which you can customize as needed. Here are just a few different sections you can include in your quote builder:
Example: Sample quote builder for a language school. You can add any number of options and sub-options in each section.
The last step of the quote builder functions similarly to the Virtual Admissions Assistant. Prospects can view a summary of their quotation and have it sent to them via email, or go straight to booking.
Example: The final step in HEM’s quote builder.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of your school’s recruitment strategy, it’s important that each element offers relevant and valuable information, while simultaneously encouraging prospects to take the next step in the admissions process.
Many schools excel at the first part of the equation, but it can be difficult to seamlessly transition prospective students through the enrollment process without appearing overly promotional – especially when it comes to the last, and most important, step: applying.
That’s why HEM’s Quote Builder and Virtual Admissions Assistant are built to optimally prepare prospects to take that final step. Those who complete the process are added to Mautic, so you can follow up and invite them to apply through SMS, email, and other channels. Those that are ready to take the plunge then and there can do so with the click of the ‘Apply’ button.
Create a Seamless Application Process Using our Student Application Portal
The more streamlined your remote admissions process is, the quicker prospects will discover everything your school offers and decide it’s what they need to meet their goals. However, even when prospects make that decision, a long, complicated, or tedious application process can make them think twice.
If prospects need to close their application form and loses their progress, it can decrease their chances of going through with it. If a school’s application process involves having to manually mail in documents, the chances become even more slim. These issues can compound in the case of parents creating applications on behalf of multiple students.
Fortunately, HEM’s Student Application Portal for schools is designed to mitigate these issues and make the process as smooth as possible. Our portal digitizes every element – from online payments to e-signatures – so prospects don’t have to worry about going to the post office when they fill out a supposedly online application.
Students, parents, and even agents can also create their own accounts in order to save, exit, and resume their application as they go.
Example: The login page on HEM’s Student Application Portal, which can be customized to be consistent with your school’s brand.
The application itself is stepped, so prospects can easily navigate between different sections. This format also makes the process itself seem a lot more manageable, as opposed to one seemingly never-ending form.
Example: Sample application for schools.
HEM’s application portal is fully customizable – even down to the individual form field. The system offers a wide variety of field types in order to optimize the user experience of your application process. Even little tricks like using a drop-down menu for multi-select questions, or allowing prospects to select their birth date using a calendar, can speed up the application process significantly.
Schools can also add more advanced form fields like e-signatures, document uploads, and a wide variety of online payment methods.
Example: The application builder in HEM’s portal.
When prospects launch the application process, all their information is automatically stored in the portal. You can assess whether they’ve applied, paid their invoices, or simply created an account.
Example: The applicant dashboard in the portal. You can click the name of an individual student to view their application, if applicable.
Having all this information stored in one place makes it easier for your staff to organize, monitor, and track applicant activity. This is just one of the many reasons why having comprehensive admissions software is not only great for your prospective students, but your admissions team as well.
What’s more, you can integrate your Student Application Portal to Mautic CRM so that when someone creates a quote, builds their ideal program with the VAA, or launches the Student Application Portal, their information is automatically updated in Mautic for seamless follow-up.
Bringing Your Remote Admissions Software Together to Maximize Enrollments
Once your school has put in the work to get prospects to the finish line, it’s important to make sure they get across that line and become paying students. As schools know, not every student who starts their application actually finishes it, and not every student who submits their application goes on to enroll.
Why is this? Well, there are a multitude of reasons. Perhaps the student has second thoughts at the eleventh hour, perhaps they’ve forgotten about their application, or perhaps they’re not aware of application deadlines.
As a result, it’s important for schools to create nurturing campaigns specifically for these prospects.
With Mautic CRM, your school can track applicant status and create campaigns accordingly.
Example: The contact dashboard in Mautic.
From there, you can segment prospects by their stage in the application process in order to tailor your follow-up efforts.
Example: Applicant segments in Mautic.
For those who have started their application, but have yet to finish it, you may want to create emails offering application-related resources and send a short text reminder before application deadlines.
Example: Sample SMS message. With Mautic, it’s easy to send text messages to multiple prospects, as well as track their responses.
Those who’ve finished their application but haven’t paid their invoice may still be on the fence about their decision. Using Mautic, your school can create an email workflow offering any last-minute resources, advice, or information that prospects need to feel confident about their future school. As for those who have finalized their application and paid their invoice, now is the time to get them excited about their studies.
Creating an effective recruitment strategy isn’t just about having fancy tools and a treasure chest of resources – it’s about knowing when to use them and how to use them together. That way, you can create a cohesive strategy that moves prospective students through the admissions process as smoothly, efficiently, and effectively as possible.