Successful schools work tirelessly to attract prospects, build a list of contacts, and nurture their leads, all to drive enrollments. As you ramp up your marketing efforts and devise ways to generate more leads, your school must ensure that its hard work doesn’t go to waste. But a CRM is often not enough. With a CRM built specifically for schools, you can streamline these efforts and create a positive experience for your team. In fact, this was the goal when developing HEM’s Mautic CRM.
Here’s a deep dive into the top reasons why your school should consider using a CRM designed for higher ed to manage its enrollment funnel!
1. Improve Communication with Prospects through a CRM for Schools
A good CRM is designed to help your school effectively manage contacts and facilitate how you communicate with them. Your school can use this software to nurture leads via email and SMS, helping you refine your recruitment efforts.
This works because a CRM collects all of your prospects’ contact information and organizes this data in the way that best suits your school. Using CRM software for higher education, you can add new contacts and even create new lead stages for better sorting. These lead stages allow you to better understand your school’s pipeline and prospects. Better yet, they’re fully customizable, allowing you to define stages depending on your school’s needs. This can be general, such as a “contacted” label, or specific, like a “meeting booked” or “pending payment” label.
Below is an example of how this appears on HEM’s Mautic CRM:
Schools using Mautic CRM can add contacts by using the “quick add” feature as well as the Contact Builder. The latter option gives schools the ability to add all pertinent details to their contact records. This means your team can add information such as agent details, if applicable, the student’s program of choice, educational background, and emergency contacts, just to name a few:
With this information neatly sorted, you can easily find contacts and connect with them more meaningfully. Once you’ve developed a robust list, you can begin sending tailored communications without losing track of the follow-up process.
Pro Tip: A CRM can help your school easily reach out to its prospects and keep them in the loop on your school’s latest activities. This can be sending reminders about upcoming events, updates on recent changes, and even SMS campaigns.
2. Identify and Focus on Quality Leads for Your School
A strong CRM makes it easy for your school to develop a scoring system that determines the quality of your leads. Why do this? So your team can focus its limited resources on leads with the highest chance of converting.
CRMs with this capability assign leads a numerical value (usually out of 100) depending on the actions they take and the qualities they possess. A higher number indicates a higher likelihood of prospects converting. Best of all, this scoring system is customizable, giving schools the ability to focus on the criteria and attributes that matter most to their pipeline process. For example, a school can give leads who live nearby campus a higher score if this attribute factors heavily into the student decision-making process.
Not only will this allow you to connect with the right audience, but it can also increase your ROI.
Example: Using HEM’s Mautic CRM, schools can track the actions that leads take and easily view their score based on their criteria and preferences. With this information, schools can create a more targeted campaign that helps push leads toward the next stage of the enrollment funnel.
To get the most out of your efforts, you’ll want to link your landing page forms to your CRM. The data that leads provide in these forms can help with the scoring process. Once a lead reaches a certain score, you can set your CRM to automatically assign them to smart lists and workflows that effectively nurture their growth throughout the funnel.
3. Streamline Admissions Tasks and Processes Using Your School’s CRM
What would the best CRM for higher education do? It would improve the admissions experience and help your team more easily navigate the enrollment season. By relying on a centralized platform for key information, task management and data insights, your team can stay better organized and be more productive. This transforms a CRM into a tool that empowers your team to achieve its objectives.
There are many ways to achieve these results using HEM’s Mautic CRM. For starters, your team can organize its workload using Mautic’s calendar – which can also be integrated with Google Calendar – to efficiently track meetings and keep up with daily tasks.
Example: Tasks on Mautic are color-coded for enhanced organization. They can be viewed through a daily, weekly, and monthly lens or as a list depending on your preference.
The software also makes it possible for your team to assign leads and follow-up tasks, making sure that no leads fall through the cracks. You can even use certain reports to stay updated on a team member’s productivity and progress and leave notes when logging calls made to prospective students.
Example: When visiting a contact’s profile in Mautic, your team can choose to directly call, email, or text. This interaction can be recorded, giving your team the chance to note down key information for better student recruitment:
Schools working with agencies can also manage their relationships using a CRM. With this software, you’ll be able to create unique contacts for individual agents and track their associated leads all in one place.
You can also go one step further and use a CRM for schools to create marketing components and campaign assets. For instance, you can develop landing pages, forms, and dynamic content to get a head start on your student recruitment goals. The process is straightforward, especially since you’ll be provided with different templates and options for a more customized experience.
The images below offer a glimpse into the range of existing landing page themes that you can choose from within the Mautic CRM (first) and an overview of a customizable campaign form (second). Both of these marketing components are essential tools for generating and converting leads:
Boost Your Team’s Productivity with Marketing Automation
Part of connecting with prospects is improving your communication strategy. A CRM allows you to make the most of your platform, giving you the opportunity to embrace marketing automation. By sending automated messages to your prospects, you can boost your team’s productivity while also saving time and resources.
According to industry research, 35% of marketers view streamlining marketing and sales efforts as the top reason to embrace marketing automation, while 34% do so to improve customer engagement and experience. With marketing automation, you can create an omnichannel experience that provides your prospects with the exact content they need—all while using a CRM that works in your favor.
You can start by developing your email list by integrating web forms on your school’s website, social media, or landing pages with a CRM for college. The CRM will do the heavy lifting, automatically creating new contacts or updating existing ones as new information filters through. This way, you can easily organize your admissions activities and create tailored campaigns to better connect with your prospective students.
Example: McMaster University quickly communicates with new prospects who have just submitted their contact information. These prospects are greeted with a welcoming autoresponder email that can be easily set up with a CRM:
Source: McMaster University
Here, new prospects learn impressive facts about the university as well as what they can expect to receive in the coming months. The email also features helpful links and resources. This approach can make prospects feel valued, increasing their likelihood of interacting further with the school.
Encourage Engagement throughout Your School’s Enrolment Funnel
Personalized messages should be a big part of your school’s email marketing campaign. The best CRM for schools would make it easy for you to create a drip campaign and target specific groups within your overall audience. This way, you can reach prospects at different stages of your school’s enrollment funnel.
By embracing automated workflows and list segmentation, you can effectively connect and convert the right prospects at the right time. Consider this an opportunity to push your prospects to the next stage in their enrollment journey— introducing your school to those in the awareness stage, sharing content with those in the engagement stage, and closing those in the final decision-making stage. This makes your CRM crucial for your student recruitment strategy.
Use CRM for Schools to Segment Leads and Personalize Messaging
A big part of your success hinges on communicating the right message to the right audience at the right time, and a CRM for schools can help you achieve this goal. Now that you have an email list to work with, you can begin grouping your contacts into different segments to better customize your messaging.
Example: Schools using Mautic CRM can easily navigate to the “Segments” section on the platform to create their lists. This space presents an organized view of a school’s contact segments, showing the name along with the number of contacts in each list:
Here, your parameters can include anything from contact type (i.e. prospective student or parent) to personal information—such as where they’re from and which program or campus they’re interested in. You can even set up your parameters to focus on interactions, allowing you to target leads who have downloaded your content or viewed past emails separately from those who have not yet done so.
With this feature, you can refine your messaging and embrace message personalization—which is considered to be among the top three most effective strategies for email marketing campaigns. Taking this step allows you to take your marketing to the next level, all while increasing your ability to connect with your audience.
In addition to refining your communication with your prospects, these segment lists provide you with key data about your audience. The insights you gather while sorting your contacts can give you a bigger picture of who your school is attracting. By looking at where students are coming from and monitoring what they’re interacting with, you can tailor your overall marketing efforts to be even more effective—generating a higher ROI.
This even applies to schools looking to boost their international student recruitment using a CRM. For example, suppose you notice that most prospects come from a specific country. In that case, you can create location-specific email campaigns and potentially consider expanding into that market if you haven’t already.
4. Gain Access to Key Insights Using CRM Data and Tracking Capabilities
Another key reason to use a CRM for higher education is the ability to gain access to valuable data and reports. Schools using Mautic CRM can track activities across various initiatives—from email marketing to landing pages—and consolidate their digital marketing efforts on a single platform. Not only does this feature streamline your admissions process, but it also provides you with more data for more accurate reports.
If you’re running social media ads or are interested in monitoring your website’s performance, then you can capitalize on your CRM’s built-in configuration setup. By navigating to the configuration section in Mautic CRM, you can add things like your Facebook Pixel ID or Google Analytics ID to enable tracking and get a more holistic view of your analytics.
Using CRM Reports to Optimize Your Student Recruitment Strategy
CRM reports can be a big part of your student recruitment strategy, giving you unique insights that can be crucial for capitalizing on new opportunities. For instance, the data you gather in your CRM can help you identify enrollment gaps, moments when prospects drop off in the enrollment process, and more.
When you first open a strong CRM for schools, you should be able to view an overview of your data. The dashboard in Mautic CRM does exactly that, revealing top insights regarding contacts, visits, and emails, just to name a few:
However, this CRM also offers much more. Based on years of industry experience, HEM has built and customized specific reports designed to help schools improve their student recruitment outcomes. These reports include Speed to Lead, Meetings Outcome, Leads by Program/Stage/Channel, and an Admissions Activities Summary. The screenshot below shows several reports that can be accessed on Mautic CRM:
Looking at this data allows you to develop a basic understanding of your leads and determine how well your team is following up with them. Through these insights, you can optimize your efforts and clearly communicate your impact to key stakeholders at your school, all while keeping everyone on your team in the loop.