With open day season in full swing, no doubt you’re already thinking about converting those attendees to drive applications in the run-up to 2018 and the ever-looming UCAS deadline.
It’s more important than ever before to ensure all your hard work doesn’t go to waste when it comes to those January deadline days. Lucky for you, we’ve outlined some important points to remember when it comes to crafting a winning conversion strategy.
Get your lead nurture process in order
To build a successful conversion strategy you’ll need to be collecting, storing and tracking every single piece of data. Capturing this data about your open day attendees’ touchpoints (which of your webpages they’ve visited, which emails they’ve opened and the events they attended) ensures you have the “inside knowledge” to nurture all your attendees through the conversion funnel.
Using a marketing automation software, like Akero will allow you to view every single touchpoint and tailor your messaging in a way that reflects the interests of your audience.
Appreciate and treat every student as an individual
After your open day events, armed with the tonne of data you would’ve collected from your attendees, it’s time to be personal and treat every prospective student as an individual, not a number.
Use the data you have at your disposal to create tailored comms to individuals, with the information that is relevant to them (and timely!) in the lead up to 2018. Don’t just send out bulk blanket marketing emails. These are not engaging and lack the personal connection you want to be building with prospective students.
Identify your audience and build personas
To work out what messages will resonate, you’ll need to identify your audiences and use your data, combined with student surveys, to build personas and understand what drives them. Only once you have your personas established, can you start to think about the types of messaging that will address their specific needs.
The National Clearing Survey is a great example of building personas. Results from the survey have been used to identify four different types of Clearing student in order to shape messaging and content in the run-up to Clearing.
Remember to set yourself clear goals, and make sure your CTA’s are always in-tune with your personas. And don’t forget to test! You can repeat and continuously improve your messaging based on your audience’s’ reactions.
If students are spending a considerable proportion of their daily lives online, that’s where you need to be. Use social media as a means to answer their questions, entice them in with your campus porn and provide them with engaging content to keep your institution at the forefront of their minds, nurturing them right through to application, and then enrolment.
It’s important to treat each social channel differently. Students will want to see different content on different platforms. Check your analytics and test to understand how your audiences use your social channels and what content is best suited for each.
And time it right
We can’t stress enough the importance of scheduling your content at the right time to ensure it performs at its best.
Understand the psychological need states of your audience and ensure your content is timely, matching the mood of your audience and fitting around their daily lives. Hit them with the info they need, when they want it. Your audience will react differently to different content depending on the day of the week you push it out – think about how you feel on a Monday morning compared to a Friday afternoon, this should help you decide what type of content and messaging will work best on what day.
If you’d like to know how to kickstart your lead nurture process or how you can incorporate some of these ideas into your existing conversion strategy, get in touch with our student marketing experts.