You work hard to generate leads so your institution can grow.
Despite the increases in marketing budget and lead volume (not to mention the long hours and passion you’ve poured into the project), you’re still struggling to meet and exceed enrollment goals.
Why is this?
Many of those leads that are coming in aren’t converting because they aren’t consistently or thoroughly engaged from the moment they inquire or apply. These once interested prospects drift away and enrollment suffers, even though leads are higher than ever.
As the Marketing Leader, this can be very frustrating (if not panic-inducing). The institution is likely experiencing an increase in “marketing cost per student enrolled,” a decrease in yield rates, and misalignment between marketing and admissions teams. What’s worse is you’re left struggling to mediate between the marketing and admissions staff, creating additional campaigns to drive leads in the hopes that more leads will increase enrollment, and, yes, working more hours.
What if you had a partner who could provide a consistent experience to every student lead that came in? Someone who could engage each student and then ensure they were reachable and qualified so they could be nurtured until they enroll?
What if you could access reliable reporting that would reflect how your partner was doing everything you needed them to do?
What if your partner just simply “got it”?
Here at Enrollment Builders, we’ve worked with many traditional and non-traditional institutions and we know what it takes to engage your prospective students. In the end, you need to provide each prospective student with an engaging, consistent experience. To stabilize the admissions funnel and ensure that no interested prospective student is missed, Enrollment Builders has created cadences.
In this article, you’ll learn what cadences are and why you can’t reach your potential as an enrollment team without them. We will dig into their critical components. If you aren’t using consistent cadences with your admissions teams you are missing out on a massive amount of tuition revenue.
What is an Admissions Contact Cadence?
A Contact Cadence is defined as the systematic sequence of engagements or follow-ups used by an Admissions Representatives or team to engage with prospective students.
What does an Admissions Contact Cadence Do?
A contact cadence helps guide your Admissions Representatives by creating a predictable and consistent series of actions to perform for each major step in the Admissions process.
Why Should You Care?
- More relationships are required to generate more enrollment. Without well-defined Admissions Contact Cadences, admissions teams are less likely to have an opportunity to activate a new relationship with a prospective student and therefore overall much less likely to enroll a student.
What are the most common types of Admissions cadences?
- Attempting Cadences establish contact with a prospective student so that prospective students can be qualified and allow the institution to start developing a relationship with prospects, inquiries and stealth applicants.
- Follow-up Cadences nudge prospective students to apply, complete their FAFSA, collect official transcripts, attend orientation, schedule classes, etc.
- Transition Cadences move the student along the admissions funnel as their relationship with the Team matures as they move between subject matter experts (financial aid team, recruiters, advisors, student success, faculty, etc.)
7 Critical Components of an Attempting Contact Cadence
- Mediums: What different mediums will be used for each of these planned attempts? Typical mediums are phone, SMS, voicemails, chat, and email. Arming your admissions Team with a variety of integrated mediums that work together to maximize engagement is critical.
- Messaging: What messaging will be sent in each text message or left on a voicemail. If contact by phone is made, how should you open up and close the conversation?
- Time of day: What time of day should each contact attempt be made to generate the best results? Remember that even 72% of undergrad students work at least part-time. At least a portion of the team should remain available after hours to respond to after-hours replies from prospects.
- Frequency: How often will attempt contact, by medium, in this cadence to engage the student?
- Duration of the Cadence: How many times will you reach out and for how many total days?
- Interval Spacing: How much time should pass between contact attempts?
- Outcome Tracking: When contact and clarity does happen, how will the team input this info onto the prospective student's contact record in the CRM so that they can get picked up in the next cadence?
How do cadences help marketing and admissions teams optimize the prospective student experience for outcomes?
If all uncontacted prospective students encounter consistent admissions cadences, it is easy to determine where the opportunities for improvement are. Data is meaningful and marketing can use these reports so they know where to push harder to generate the right blend of quality and quantity to drive growth.
Why do cadences matter?
Institutions have thousands of leads and wonder why they don’t turn into students. The answer is that the institution doesn’t build a relationship with each lead. Colleges and universities flood prospects with email, one off calls, and print pieces designed to inform the prospect about the institution. When there’s no consistent, systematic approach to building a relationship with those prospects, then the “relationship” that’s built is simply transactional (e.g., Apply Now! Complete your FAFSA!). Think about it. In your regular life, that me-centered approach is not how you get a date. It’s not how you make a friend. How does it make sense, then, for one-way, transactional communication to create enrollments? EB knows that this just isn’t the most effective way to create long-lasting relationships.
So why don’t institutions do this? They don’t have the capacity, technology, availability, or expertise to reach those students who are at the very beginning of the admission process. The truth is, admissions reps simply don’t have extra capacity to reach out directly to thousands of additional leads. Even if they did, they often don’t have the right tools to meet prospects on their terms: via text message after hours, on weekends, and even on holidays. And they typically don’t have the expertise to mount an engaging, empathetic, relationship-building campaign with thousands of prospects who may be indecisive about college at all, much less your college.
Fortunately, EB does have the capacity, technology, availability and expertise. All we do is build relationships with prospective students through cadences using sophisticated CRM and contact center technology to call and text leads. When we’re reaching out and when we make contact, we use open-ended, conversational techniques designed to strengthen the relationship between the prospect and your institution.
Representing your unique brand, we coach right-fit students so they know how to navigate the process. We do all this during the day, during the evening, on weekends, and on holidays--almost anytime the student wants to talk. And once a prospective student is qualified and ready for the next step, we transfer that relationship seamlessly to your admissions experts in real time.
So instead of just getting the leads who were headed your way regardless, we bring you the next layer of prospects who are actively engaged, who have developed a relationship with your team (represented by EB), and who are eager to talk to you right now.
If all of this sounds like it could help you, please schedule some time with Drew, our Director of Strategic Partnerships, to discuss more about how EB can assist you in finding more enrollments within your existing leads to help you more easily meet and exceed admissions goals.