GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

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Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | July 30th, 2021

Is your funnel too top-heavy?

Is your funnel too top-heavy?Did you ever think it would be a problem if you had too many leads? If you have generated a large number of leads but your enrollments haven’t caught up, your funnel may be top-heavy. But don’t despair — there are ways to dislodge your stalled leads, move them through the process and refill your funnel with qualified prospects for the next round. Find out what could be causing the backup and some solutions for ensuring an easier flow as you ramp up for your next recruiting cycle.

Is your funnel full of leads that aren’t qualified?

If the leads in your funnel are not qualified leads, this means that they’ve expressed interest in your school, but that they are either not ready to move past the interest stage, or they do not fit the profile for your program. This disconnect could be the product of a marketing campaign that is either targeted too broadly (in demographics or geography) or lacks clear communication and calls to action.

Solution: If you have a tracking system or CRM that can identify the marketing campaign that generated a batch of unresponsive leads, it might be worth looking at the data to determine ways to alter your messaging or media mix. You may also consider developing personas for your ideal student. Personas will help you customize your communications to appeal to students who will be successful in your program.

Is your funnel experiencing a backup due to lagging yield activities?

For a lead to move to the next stage of the funnel, it takes a coordinated effort between marketing and admissions. An automated email communications flow can do some of the work. When it is paired with outreach from the recruiting team and a personal engagement strategy, your qualified prospects may be more inclined to respond and become active.

Solution: Ensure your marketing and recruiting team are aligned on a seamless pull-through communications strategy. In addition, be sure your front-line recruiters and program staff are equipped with the resources they need to respond immediately to inquiries. Some schools try hiring a firm to handle incoming and outgoing messaging, implement a more sophisticated lead tracking system, or develop a process flow for following up with leads.

Are your leads engaging or have they stalled out?

It is possible that some leads in your funnel are not active because they have put their decision-making on hold. You might be wondering if they’ve decided to pursue another program/school/path and forgot to let you know. Or it could be that they are still considering your program, but it’s just not the right time.

Solution: Chances are that if a lead has stalled, there is a barrier to blame. Try launching a re-engagement campaign that includes authentic messaging, addresses common barriers, and assures your prospects you’re available to talk. You can also evaluate your current communications with a creative eye. If you’re seeing some engagement, i.e. they opened the email but didn’t click, consider what you’re asking them to do. Are you requesting that they start an application before they’ve attended an event? Would they prefer to connect on the phone first? Try being flexible and varying your calls to action and see what happens.

Do you have a clear conversion strategy?

In any other sales funnel, this step is called the closing. The true meaning of conversion can be defined differently depending on the stage of the admission process. Gather your brightest minds and determine what you want a conversion to look like. How you will accomplish your goals at each stage. For example, how will you get leads to click on an email, attend an event, start an application and submit a deposit? Be mindful of each step in the process and determine how you can support each prospective student along their journey. Mapping it out can give you and your team measurable KPIs.

If you need help evaluating the quality of your leads, the effectiveness of your current marketing campaign, or ways to dislodge stalled leads, GPRS can help. Our strategy team has worked with many schools to develop solutions to increase lead activity and grow enrollment. Start the conversation today.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | July 15th, 2021

5 steps for creating an automated email communications strategy

Email communicationsAs you plan for the upcoming recruiting year, you’ll want to make sure you have one critical element in place – an automated email communications plan.

First, you’ll want to respond as quickly as possible to a submission or request for information; automating this step can ease the burden on the admissions staff and give your prospects confidence that they can expect good customer service from your program.

After the first contact has been made, it’s up to you to stay “top of mind” and “top of inbox”. Sending consistent messages over a set period of time can allow you to slowly disseminate key information and answer your prospects’ questions so they can make decisions.

Here are five simple steps to creating your automated communications strategy:

Segment your programs

Many marketing and admissions departments are responsible for recruiting for multiple programs at one time. Although it may be tempting to send out blanket emails that include links to all programs, it can actually hinder you being able to communicate critical information. Be sure to create a separate communications flow for each program, or develop sub-groups based on program type. For example, if you have an in-person MBA, hybrid Executive MBA and online Professional MBA program, each should have its own set of emails. However, if you have an online MBA with 3 different concentrations or tracks – it may make sense to start out with one flow and then supplement with additional information as necessary.

Segment your audience

Just as you will have different audiences for each program, you may also be able to break out your audience based on certain criteria. For example you may have one communications flow for all MBA prospects, but within that flow add extra emails for key demographics like women, URM and military.

Aim for a slow, targeted build of information

The way you structure your communications is ultimately up to you, however, we suggest these key areas as a starting point:

  • Introduction from your program manager or dean
  • Student life
  • Program structure
  • Key program benefits (although these can also be infused into each email)
  • Program differentiators, such as a client project, internship, international immersion, etc.
  • Career paths
  • Support
  • Inclusion
  • Call to submit an application

Create a simple format

Your prospects are likely receiving communications from several schools. Make sure your sender is consistent and that your branding is clear. Make key decisions on greetings, intro paragraphs, how you will present information and how you will give your prospects a clear call to action each time. Try to develop a word count max so each email is similar in length.

Create a schedule

Depending on what works best for your program, spread your emails out over a period of weeks or months. You could opt to send one email per week or bi-weekly. Many schools benefit from sending emails on the same day at the same time (for example Tuesdays at 10 a.m.). Your prospects know when to look for information from you. Setting a clear plan ahead of time can minimize panic sending and eliminate jamming up your prospects’ inboxes

It’s important to develop your automated email communications so they can be sent at any point during the year. You will want to avoid any time-stamped information and reserve this for your event and application emails.

With a clear plan, you can develop a robust email communications flow that can yield applications and give your prospects the information they need to make decisions.

GPRS is your communications partner

If you need help developing an integrated automated email communications strategy, GPRS can help. Our team of experienced writers and strategists can develop a plan that works for your team and provide guidance for disseminating your message to your prospects. Start the conversation today.



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For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

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