Past, Present, and Future Best Practices
By and large, enrollment marketing remains stuck in the past. You know the drill: cold calling, pamphlets that get tossed in the trash, emails that never get read, or ads that don’t get clicked on (and if they do, the clicks cost a fortune.)
Fortunately, you don’t need to rely on these outdated and ineffective methods. Leadspeed can show you how to use bleeding-edge technologies and tactics that increase trade school enrollments and produce a tremendous return on investment.
Many trade centers and schools already recognize the potential for enrollment marketing. Enrolling just a single student can produce thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in revenues. Yet if you’re spending huge sums of money acquiring students, your financial health will be impacted, which will, in turn, make it difficult to provide the great education students deserve.
Before jumping into the latest and greatest methods for increasing enrollments, we’re going to take a brief look at the evolution of the enrollment marketing field. This will help you understand how enrollment marketing got started, and more importantly, where it’s heading.
The Enrollment Marketing of Yesteryear
In the past, enrollment marketing involved a lot of footwork. Cutting through the noise has always been difficult and before people were plugged into the Internet, it was simply hard to reach your audience. Common marketing methods of yesteryear include:
- Cold calling- which is expensive, often ineffective, and can annoy many prospects.
- Radio & TV Ads- you’ll be heard but only a tiny fraction of the audience will have any interest in your trade school.
- Pamphlets, booklets, etc.- Expensive to print and only effective if they end up in the right hands.
Another traditional big go-to for trade centers are job and career fairs. However, it can cost $2,000 or more to set up shop and you may only talk to 15 or so potential students. Further, while career fairs used to offer one of the only ways for students to learn about potential programs, many students are now using the Internet instead.
All of the above methods are quite expensive while producing questionable results. Yes, they can drum up enrollments from time-to-time, but there are more effective options available. Let’s look at some modern enrollment marketing tactics and platforms.
Enrollment Marketing Best Practices Today
As the World Wide Web went global, companies quickly realized that the Internet would offer many great marketing opportunities. And since consumers were often expressing their desires through search engines (i.e. best trade school for veterans) or on social media platforms, it became possible to identify better prospects.
Many of these platforms and tools now form the backbone of modern enrollment marketing, including:
- Social Media- Facebook’s Ad and Pages platforms are both great for reaching out to highly-targeted audiences
- Email- while perhaps not as effective as years past, it’s still possible to generate a solid ROI through email.
- Google Adwords- One of the most powerful and widely used platforms in the world (and one we rarely use because of poor ROI)
- SEO- By making your website appear atop relevant rankings, you can draw in organic traffic.
Still, as good as today’s tools are, it’s tomorrow’s methods that will reap the best results. And at Leadspeed, we’re already implementing bleeding-edge tactics, platforms, and tools.
Using Tomorrow’s Marketing Methods With Leadspeed
The above platforms and methods can be used to build a solid, modern foundation. However, several key tools promise to deliver an even more impressive ROI. Markets are about constant improvement and innovation and the best enrollment marketers keep up with the latest tech and tactics.
At Leadspeed, we’ve discovered several tools and methods that lead to higher conversion rates and a higher ROI. Let’s take a look at some of our methods.
Dynamic Lead Qualification: Qualifying leads is vital for increasing enrollments. It’s not enough to identify an interested party, you have to qualify them as well. How interested are they? Do they have the funds necessary to pay for schooling? Do they have the time and focus necessary? By using social media and other tools, Leadspeed can qualify customers with our own honed tactics.
We also leverage prequalification tools, such as surveys, to gauge interest and fit. This helps us cut through the noise, ensuring we don’t waste precious time on poor-quality leads. There’s a lot more that goes into the qualifying process, but we’re not quite ready to give away the secret ingredients.
Once Qualified, Start Talking: After using our own advanced methods for qualifying leads, we talk directly with potential students. Now, there’s an important thing to note: we’re not cold calling, we’re calling interested, warm leads.
Since we already have a good grasp of what the potential student is looking for, we can skip much of the boilerplate. Instead, we can talk with students directly about their wants and needs. With this data in hand, we can empower trade schools, allowing them to select the students that are the best fits for their programs.
AI-Empowered Chatbots: Of course, we aren’t always available to chat with students, and often it’s better to pre-qualify and pre-sell them before starting the conversation. That’s where chatbots come in. They’re available 24/7 and with properly set up do a great job of both gathering and providing information.
Chatbots can dynamically respond to questions and conversations with prospective students. As “Natural Language Processing” continues to advance, chatbots are increasingly able to respond to complex questions and provide complex answers.
We’ve worked with several of our clients to implement chatbot systems and the results so far have been astounding. With leads generated through Facebook, we’ve been able to get near 30% click-through rates with our retargeting messages and 78% of people that engage with a chatbot complete all of the questions, often providing contact details or even scheduling an appointment as they do so.
There’s a lot more…
This was only a marketing 101 article. Just as the introductory courses in your own programs keep things simple, we only skimmed the surface in this article. At Leadspeed, we focus specifically on enrollment marketing. This has allowed us to develop deep knowledge and has enabled us to hone our tactics, providing a tremendous ROI for trade schools and the like.
Want to learn more about why you should engage an enrollment marketing specialist? Get in touch!