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.