The primary marketing goal of your vocational school or online university is to increase enrollment. To grab the attention of potential students and provide compelling reasons to enroll in one of your programs.
Potential students are a little more sophisticated today than they were in years past. They conduct more research before making a decision. They rely heavily on the information they find online and use that to evaluate their options.
You can flood every media channel with advertising campaigns that will attract more than enough traffic to your website and brand but stopping there is selling yourself short. The majority (like 95%) of those visiting your website will not be ready to fill an application or schedule a tour.
So, what can you do to convert more of these visitors and boost student enrollment?
Let’s dive into a couple ways to accomplish this.
Understand Your Prospective Student
Before you get started writing a single line of your message or designing, you need to create a buyer persona of your prospective student. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal student. Understanding who your buyer persona is, the challenges they face, the things they care about most, and where they spend their time will allow you to approach your message and strategy with a rifle-like accuracy.
Create Content for Everyone
Not everyone is ready to enroll today. Most of the visitors to your website are potential students just beginning to conduct their research. They are not ready to complete an application. They are not ready to schedule a campus visit. They are trying to determine if they are interested in a particular field of study. They want to research how the various options they have for schools compare to one another.
Present educational resources that are geared towards someone just beginning their journey. This content is helpful and not focused on pitching your school or programs. It’s focal point is to serve as a convenient guide covering everything they need to know about “becoming a massage therapist”.
Capture Their Information
The valuable content outlined in the previous section is just that, valuable. It is valuable enough that someone with enough interest would gladly exchange an email address for it.
Why do we want their email address? Simple, by having their email address, we can continue to communicate with someone that has expressed an interest in a particular career path or becoming a student at our school.
Be Their Guide
We know the prospective student is interested in a career path or your school. So how do we get them to take the next step? How do we get them to apply or come in for a visit? This is where we put our guide hats on.
We have their email address and know they have started gathering information about specific programs and career paths. Sending them emails containing additional information that will help them in their journey will do a couple things.
- It will keep them progressing through the buyer’s journey. We want to continue to serve them up information keeping the idea of education top of mind.
- It will allow you to establish their buying criteria. The content you create can be catered to prioritizing the strengths of your school as the top criteria to consider while evaluating options. If you are not the cheapest school, then talk about the value received in investing into a stronger program.
- It will provide priceless credibility. When you are the one educating them along the way, you become the authority. You become the trusted advisor.
Using marketing automation software is the ideal solution for delivery of these email messages. There are many different options available for software. Some are simple in function and lower in price. Others can be much more sophisticated and come with a heftier cost.
Measure Your Success
The entire process explained up to this point should be evaluated and refined so you can get the maximum conversion rate from the traffic coming to your website. Leveraging the use of marketing automation software will make tracking easy. This will give you a clear understanding of how much website traffic is being converted into students through each step of your funnel or funnels. If you see a drop off at one point in your process, you know which portion of your message should be refined to achieve maximum conversions.
Don’t waste another minute only catering to the website visitors ready to enroll today. Start helping the others that are just beginning their journey in selecting a program and school. You’ll be amazed how many additional leads you can generate going this route. Here are a couple tips for getting started:
- Create your buyer persona
- Create educational content that is geared towards potential students just beginning their search
- Make sure this content is easy to find on your website
- Setup landing pages for valuable content offers that require the collection of an email address for access
- Use marketing automation software to nurture leads into new students
- Measure and adjust your campaigns as needed