Turning Leads into Enrollments: The Importance of Speed to Inquiry

 

By: Christopher Tashjian Jun 21, 2018

Turning Leads into Enrollments: The Importance of Speed to Inquiry

You’ve already succeeded in putting together cutting edge marketing campaigns to generate inquiries. The next step is to respond quickly and turn into qualified leads for your programs. The problem is that most schools face an overburdened staff. With only a few enrollment counselors responding to inquiries, it’s no wonder prospects fall through the cracks.

Want to learn how to really make the most of your enrollment resources? Join us at the 8th Annual Conference on Adult Learner Enrollment Management! This year we will be in Scottsdale, AZ from February 5 -7. Learn and network with executives from schools across the country and leaders at Facebook, Google, Hearst and more!

Many schools are now grasping how speed to lead affects enrollments. In this competitive market, not responding or responding too slow will only hurt you. This increases the likelihood that the inquiring student will choose another option.

Fact:

Inquiries generated from digital marketing campaigns are high-intent prospects. However, they are usually looking at two to three other schools. According to the 2017 Online College Students Report, 61% of students enroll with the first institution that contacts them. This is where speed to lead becomes important.

So, what is Speed to Lead?

Speed to lead (or inquiry) is how fast an enrollment counselor contacts a lead that requested info. This creates an open line of communication with prospective students to answer all the questions they may have. It progresses them through the enrollment process. This method of engaging inquiries gives you a distinct advantage that helps entice prospects to apply and enroll.

What Students Value in Their Search

While students value a quick response from schools that they reach out to, they are still searching for information. Some of the key topics prospects look for include: if the school offers the degree they want, tuition, and available financial aid options.
In fact, 47% of students said they would prefer to find out how much financial aid they would receive before applying. Responding to inquiries quickly starts that dialogue. You can then review information that is important to prospective students.

Common Marketing Challenges Facing Higher Ed Institutions

Many institutions are experiencing missed revenue goals due to enrollment declines. This has resulted from challenges such as:

  • Increased competition from more schools
  • Shrinking pool of prospective applicants
  • Overburdened staff
  • No longer a “traditional” educational trajectory for schools to market to

How are colleges and universities overcoming these difficulties? Many partner with agencies that provide outsourced enrollment management services (like EducationDynamics). By extending institutions’ resources we improve the frequency and quality of student engagement. The institution see benefits like lower cost per inquiry and increase in conversion rates.

Generating Leads Through Digital Campaigns

More and more higher education institutions are using digital campaigns to generate leads. To maximize the ROI from these efforts, it’s important to make contact with prospective students as quickly as possible. Implementing digital marketing efforts may yield lower than expected returns without follow-up support.

Fact:

62% of students submitted an application to a school within four weeks after starting their search for an online program. This is up 2% year over year from 2017.

Using Mobile to Quickly Respond to Leads

As shown above, students are looking to make a quick decision when it comes to choosing a school. They are now using their mobile device as opposed to desktops or laptops. In 2017, more than 80% of online college students conducted some, almost all, or all of their college research on their mobile device.
This adds to the importance of immediate response to inquiries as these prospective students can be contacted in real time. Is your school missing out on the opportunity to turn these inquiries into enrolled students?

Real Time Inquiries and Responses

Data shows there four weeks from the time when students begin their research to the time they apply. Colleges need to respond to every inquiry to maximize the ROI of digital marketing efforts.     This is especially true during weekends and holidays. 49% of online undergraduate students work full-time and 71% of online graduate students work full-time. These students are searching for programs outside of normal business hours. This only adds to the difficulty that many schools face when it comes to speed to inquiry. At EducationDynamics, we receive inquiries for our partner schools in real-time and respond quickly to move the lead through the enrollment funnel and get you students!     At EducationDynamics, we receive inquiries for our partner schools in real-time and respond right away. This best practice moves the lead through the enrollment funnel and get you students!

Want to learn more about the impact real-time inquiry delivery and rapid response can have on your enrollment goals? Schedule a free, no obligation enrollment assessment here.