How to crank up revenues by optimizing incoming internet leads

The key success metric within the Enrollment Management process is Appointments per day per rep.

All activities around lead generation should be geared toward generating more interviews per Admissions Rep per day. Interviews and tours are where new students are created. If you can increase a reps interview rate from 2 to 3 interviews a day (that’s one extra interview per day per rep), and you can maintain your conversion rates, you stand to increase enrollment figures by 50%. Wow…

The good news is there is so much waste and inefficiency in the typical pre-admissions process, particularly around internet leads, that a 50% improvement in the appointment per day per rep stat is achievable…

Call an internet lead within 2 minutes
Two minutes is the magic number. If a potential student has requested information online, there is a good chance they are also next to a phone as well. Their mind is focused on going to school, and they are more inclined to hear what a rep has to say if you can break the internet research pattern with a real live human being. In connecting with a prospective student via the phone you break the research cycle and give your school disproportionate advantage in competing for the prospective student’s attention.

Leave thoughtful voice-mails and emails
Conventional wisdom is after 5 attempts, the lead is usually classified as dead. What a waste and not true. Schools view the internet as a lead gen tool. Students view the internet as a research tool. While researching early in their buying process, this can represent a 1-2 year journey. If a prospect is early on in her buying process, she’s not buying simple as that, not for a few months anyway. Reps tend to give up on a prospect after 2-4 weeks, taking a transactional approach…. Find a way to stay connected by leaving ‘quality’ information over time.

Offer an immediate gift, a complimentary Career Review…
Consumers care about themselves first, you second. Bear relevant gifts, offer a complimentary Career Review on their program of interest. Stitch in a short career review process to the front of the interview process. In the eyes of the prospective student this is seen as a gift.

Education is an outcomes based industry
Help a prospective student articulate what life might look like post graduation. Re-frame Admissions Reps from being seen as vendors to trusted advisors…Give the student a sense of satisfaction that someone cares.

Put a phone number on a sign up page
When added as a conversion tactic, up to 20% of internet leads pursue next steps via the phone vs. a data post, improving conversion rates. Put a phone number on you landing page and invite folks to call…

“Tell me about you” within 2 minutes of a call
If you ask a prospective student about them, it puts them in control speaking to what they know. You can really find out where they are at, helping you to focus the conversation.

Set the agenda
When connecting with a new internet lead, by e-mail, voice mail etc, set the agenda. Tell them exactly the process you’d like to move them through and the worse thing that can happen to them if they follow your agenda. This simple pre-admissions tactic eliminates the fear of the unknown and greatly mitigates sales prejudice. Sales processes can go all over the map. Control of direction is needed.

Ask for the appointment
Based on our Mystery Shops 37% of Admissions Reps don’t once they’ve made contact. Fix this problem and the net effect is you increase your lead flow by about 50% without paying a dime.

Re-establish contact in advance
Usually about half of potential students will ask for a package to be sent. Agree to send brochures or direct to websites, but make it contingent that a 15 minute follow up phone meeting can be pre-arranged into calendars. This little tactic will help crank up tour rates…

If there’s a follow up call to an AA, then have the receptionist stuff the AA’s calendar
Forcing an Admissions Rep to try and re-engage a prospect via phone tag is one of the meanest things a receptionist can do. If there’s a follow up lead, have receptionists organize a follow up time in person or via the phone on the Reps calendar.

For follow up phone calls use an answering service instead of voice mail.
People tend to surf the internet in the evenings and weekends…most likely, the school will be closed. To test out how many calls you actually are getting after hours, flip the main phone over to a cell phone and track the results. If it warrants an answering service, look into the ones Realtors use.  Research reports as many as 61% of incoming sales calls drop, if met by voice mail.

We hope these thought starters might help in your quest to optimize enrollment levels. Feel free to contact Enrollment Resources Inc. at: 250-391-9494 if you have questions or comments on any of these tips….