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So You’re Venturing into Higher Ed Lead Generation

5 strategies to get the most out of your leads

While many B2B and B2C industries are more advanced in sophisticated lead generation programs, most higher education programs, with the exception of big for-profits, are just beginning to test the waters. The biggest challenge isn’t always getting the leads – the right partners will deliver – it is knowing what to do with them once they start rolling in. Here are 5 strategies to help maximize your lead gen ROI:

1. Include voice-to-voice follow up calls as soon as possible.

Speed-to-contact is a critical KPI.  Generally speaking, the shorter the time it takes to make voice-to-voice contact with the inquirer, the higher the inquiry-to-application conversion rate will be.

2. Have a war chest of content ready

Be prepared to address questions, remove barriers and guide the prospect to the next phase in the consumer journey. Plan the dissemination of this information based on any available information that can contribute to the delivery schedule, such as event dates, application deadlines, etc.

3. If possible, utilize a marketing automation platform that integrates with a CRM.

This allows you to test a variety of content combinations using multiple delivery schedules (scenarios created based on consumer journey hypotheses).

4. Use campaign analytics.

Measure campaign results and optimize the content mix, call follow up and delivery schedule of all campaign elements based on conversion results.

5. Qualify your leads in order to place the candidates in the appropriate nurturing campaign.

This allows you to prioritize your efforts on the most qualified leads, while funneling others into lower-cost, lower-energy plans. Use the following types of questions to sort leads:

  • Where is he or she in the process (consumer journey)?
  • Has a qualifying standardized exam (GRE, LSAT, GMAT) been taken?
    • If so, what was the score?
  • Does the prospective student have a preferred program in mind?
    • If not, provide guidance and recommendation for programs that align with prospect’s interests and objectives.
  • Does the prospective student meet minimum requirements for the preferred or recommended program?

While deploying all 5 strategies in concert will provide for the most effective lead gen program, start with those in reach, demonstrate your success and learning, and evolve from there.

Any other lead gen best practices for higher education that work for you? Share in the comments below.

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