Out With the Old? Not So Fast

Jan 1, 1970 | Uncategorized

Why “Stale” Leads May Be Your School’s Hidden Asset

Everyone loves a new lead. Full of potential. When that fresh lead hits your inbox, there’s no voicemail frustration. No “sorry we missed you” email to send. A new lead is all opportunity. It’s no wonder Admissions Reps prefer these leads. 

But, does your team neglect leads that might take a bit more time to engage? 

When a lead comes in through your website, you can be reasonably sure, at least in the moment they filled out your web form, that individual was curious about your school. But if you’ve spent even one day in Admissions you know interest or curiosity doesn’t always translate into a desire to speak to someone at the school right away. 

For eager career explorers who have all the necessary support in place, starting school might be a relatively short process. But what about the folks who don’t follow through so smoothly? Explorers who have things come up like a move, change of job or a medical issue. It feels easier than ever these days to get caught up in daily struggles and routines. Before you know it, weeks or months have passed. 

Do you have a process in place to support leads that take a bit more time? 

What Counts as a “Stale Lead”

Every school’s enrollment timeline process will be a bit different based on programs and other factors, but in general a lead that contacts your school but doesn’t take any further action can be considered a “stale” lead after 3-4 weeks.

When to Contact “Stale” Leads

We recommend reaching out to older, “stale” contacts every 3-4 months. Times like end of the year/beginning of the new year as well as late summer, when individuals are naturally inclined to be reflective of what’s up next for them, are excellent times to reach out to your database of older contacts. 

How to Re-Engage “Stale” Leads

First and foremost, does your school have a system in place to track all the leads that come in? This can be an automated CRM system or a manual spreadsheet or other system of your own creation. Whatever your process, if you keep a record of leads that come in, you should be able to pull a database of contacts that at one time reached out to your school but did not proceed. 

You already paid to generate these leads. It costs you nothing but a little bit of time to send an email to these contacts. 

Some things to remember when you reach out to “older” leads:

  • Remind the Reader Who You Are – People are busy. Time has passed. Don’t assume a lead remembers filling out a contact form or inquiring to your school. Early in your email explain who you are and why you’re reaching out. For example: “At one time, you inquired about potentially pursuing career training with us…”
  • Keep the Tone Light & Conversational – Avoid language that might make the reader feel defensive, like “we haven’t heard from you in a while.” Be friendly, like you’re reaching out to acquaintances who you remember fondly.
  • Invite Them to Re-Engage with Your School – Give the reader an easy way to move forward with your school, for example a link to schedule a chat with Admissions or to register for an online open house.

Lead Recovery through Virtual Adviser
For existing Virtual Adviser *clients, your package includes use of the Virtual Adviser Lead Recovery Pathway. This is a survey pathway designed specifically to be sent by email to your database of contacts to provide an easy and inviting way for prospects to re-engage with your school.

(*excludes ”Lead Boost” level clients)

If you’re a Virtual Adviser client and want to learn more about the Lead Recovery Pathway, email [email protected].

If you’re curious about the Virtual Adviser Lead Generation and Optimization platform, click here to learn more.


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