Updated 10/23/2023 Recently there’s been a drastic increase in traditional, regionally accredited,...
Why Do I Need a Contact Center to Grow Enrollment?
You work hard to generate leads so your institution can grow.
Despite the increases in the marketing budget and lead volume (not to mention the long hours you’ve poured into the project), you’re still struggling with your enrollment goals.
Why is this?
Most higher ed marketing lead sources do not generate the enrollment required because they can't be sufficiently optimized with real-time data. Marketing optimization requires a blend of consistent admissions outreach, CRM data, and management resources. Without sufficient resources in these areas, as the Marketing Leader, this can be very frustrating.
What if you had a partner who could provide a consistent admissions experience to every inquiry, in real time?
What if your partner just simply “got it”?
We know what it takes to engage your prospective students. To stabilize the admissions funnel and ensure that no prospective student is missed, Enrollment Builders created Contact Cadences.
In this article, you’ll learn what cadences are and learn why they are required to reach your potential as an enrollment team. We will dig into their critical components. If you aren’t using consistent cadences with your admissions teams you are missing out on a significant amount of tuition revenue.
Using Admissions Contact Cadences to Engage Prospective Students
What is an Admissions Contact Cadence?
A Contact Cadence is defined as the systematic sequence of engagements or follow-ups used by an admissions representative 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 Contact Cadences?
- Attempting Cadences establish contact with prospective students so that they can be qualified, allowing 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 and they meet with the various 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 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 at nights and on weekends to respond to after-hours inquiries from prospects.
- Frequency: How often will you 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 do 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 Contact Cadences Matter to Grow Enrollment?
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 emails, 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 the 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 for a call to discuss how EB can assist you in finding more enrollments within your existing leads to help you meet—and exceed—your admissions goals.