In the realm of higher ed marketing, it’s common knowledge that prospective First Years receive different messages than do inquiries than do adult learners than do transfers, and so on.
This segmentation of email communication recipients helps us ensure the right info lands in the right inbox. With the rise of high powered CRMs like Technolutions’ Slate, we can take that a step further.
Segmenting via Desired Actions
While we categorize students into campaigns such as application generation for seniors or inquiry generation for underclassmen, with the right time and resources, we can segment these populations even further through desired actions we want them to take.
Think about it this way: You’ve got a senior interested in applying to your college or university. Here are some of the desired actions you want them to take:
- Start application
- Visit campus
- Finish application
- Submit enrollment deposit
- Sign up for orientation
- Fill out housing forms
Each of the above desired actions can be an email to nudge them further down the funnel. It also keeps your emails focused and within best practices with one call-to-action per message.
Even within these sets, we can go even further. Let’s say this senior has started his application, and has submitted everything except the FAFSA.
Being the smart admissions expert that you are with the right CRM tool, you can send him (and others like him) an email about the FAFSA, its requirements, and perhaps even provide a calendar link for him to schedule a time to chat if any questions remain.
Segmenting via Characteristics
This type of segmentation is nothing groundbreaking; however it’s important to mention that certain attributes of a student can be utilized to provide personalized, effective messaging.
This could mean location. Think of what information an out-of-state student would want versus an in-state. They’re going to want more facts about your financial aid and scholarships since they won’t be receiving that nice in-state tuition.
They might also want to know more about your locality to help them envision the next four years, whereas an in-stater is most likely familiar with your city, and may even already live there!
Additionally, you could set up segmented populations to receive messages when an admission counselor from your school will be in the area.
By aligning your admission counselor’s territory and travel schedule with your inquired populations’ locations, you can get more students face-to-face with a representative from your school. And we know how important that one-on-one connection is for moving students down the funnel.
Location-aside, many inquiry forms allow underclassmen to specify their interests. Using this info, we can provide more information about marching band, specific academic programs, Greek life, or whatever else a student has indicated as an interest.
Do keep in mind that populations must be large enough to justify time and resources spent.
Segmenting with Drip Campaigns
Drip campaigns are timed emails that CRMs auto-send to audience segments. And using CRMs like Slate make it easy—after setup, the system runs itself.
Admission offices can use drip features to send tailored information at ideal moments: upcoming deadlines (with, of course, enough time cushioned to make the deadline), open houses, or admitted students days to name a few.
Slate specifically gives you the ability to edit messages as needed. You can even create custom content blocks within a formatted message that respond to the type of recipient. For example, a general academics email can have a variable section responsive to a recipient’s intended major.
Further, Slate lets you display content conditionally based on certain criteria within your school’s instance. So that student that’s already taken a campus tour? Slate will nix him or her from the next campus tour invite.
Utilizing drip campaigns with the utmost efficiency can help nurture leads effectively throughout the stages of the enrollment cycle without mass sending (and potentially winding up in the dreaded spam folder).
Drip campaigns also help us break up those outreaches into palatable, bite-sized action motivators.
Letting your CRM run the segmentation legwork will save you time and boost your admissions teams’ productivity.
Refine Your Segmentation Strategy with The Parish Group
Segmentation helps us deliver that highly-desired personalization which helps us build positive relationships. We do this by taking into account the wants and needs from both the prospect and the institution. And powerful CRMs like Technolutions’ Slate makes structuring this segmentation seamless.
As a Slate Preferred Partner, The Parish Group is well-equipped to help you set up or enhance your Slate instance so you can deliver the most effective segmented messaging to your desired market.
Want to learn more about strategizing your segmented messaging or improving your Slate instance? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 828-505-3000.
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