Best Practices for Higher Education Prospecting

The strategies for finding prospective students for your institution are similar to the marketing methods businesses approach when attracting customers. Essentially, prospective students are your prospective buyers, representing the target audience that will help increase your college or university’s enrollment numbers and, consequently, revenue. Therefore, leveraging marketing strategies, along with good customer service, can guide prospective students through the stages of the buyer’s journey to become enrollees. Here are the best practices for higher education prospecting:

Increase speed of contact for inquiries

When a prospective student contacts your institution, they are at the consideration stage. They may be weighing their other options and need to determine if your college or university is the right fit for them. Don’t lose to the competition by failing to respond quickly to initial inquiries. Many schools employ dedicated staff to provide fast and consistent response times. Some tools to consider would be a customer relationship management system, an inquiry management system, or AI chatbots.

Engage and communicate through preferred channels

Prospective students will communicate through email, social media, messenger apps, phone, and your website. Recognize the channels where you can keep prospects most engaged. Implement an inbound marketing strategy that delivers personalized and compelling content. Use social media to increase brand awareness. Share the unique benefits of studying at your school through email marketing campaigns.

Focus on contact data quality

Initial contact with prospective students will come from specific channels. A student interested in your institution may ask about your course offerings via the school website. Another prospective student may send an email, while another will inquire through social media. It’s important to respond to these students through the same channel they used for initial contact. However, you can increase opportunities by also communicating with them through other channels.

With data enhancement services, you can augment your existing contact data. With just the prospective student’s name and email, social media append services can provide:

  • Their social media handles.
  • Links.
  • The most used method to communicate – allows you to improve the way you communicate with contacts and guide them through the decision-making process.

Beyond enhancing your contact data, also focus on achieving clean data. Using reliable and accurate data to call, text, email, mail, or send a message on social media is crucial to engaging with both prospective and current students. Clean contact data is verified to be valid and formatted to your standard. The right data quality partner also helps your institution remain proactive about the change of address processing, which stays on top of automatically updating addresses in your database when a student moves.

CLEAN-Student is the solution for dealing with all of your student contact data throughout the various stages of a student’s life cycle – from recruiting to graduation. CLEAN_Student integrates seamlessly into most Student Information Systems with no change in user experience.

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