The students’ capture process is part of the EIs’ reality. After all, they are the new customers, the new students that help the business reach its goal and keep on working. In return, they recieve a high quality educational service, essential to their professional and personal development. However, the effectiveness of the students’ capture strategy has changed a lot during the years. Flyers distribution and outdoor advertising, for example, were given place to cheaper tactics with greater return. Taking the digital tools is the best thing EIs can do to win their audiences.
Offline action still has value, it all depends on the EIs goals and their audience. In fact, matching these channels with digital marketing brings better results than concentrated investment in just one model.
But, after all, how can you capture students with a low budget without going to saturated techniques? Keep reading to find out that yes, it’s possible to increase the enrollment number in a consistent and creative way.
Inbound Marketing Strategies in students’ capture
The use of inbound marketing as a technique of students’ capture can be defined in two words: attraction and fascination. In this case, the goal is to make the potential students reach your EIs, not the opposite. To do so, they must receive the right content to the purchase funnel stage they are in.
That’s why content marketing is at the foundation of this capture and retention model. Instead of aggressive and persistent ads, students come across relevant information that meets their question at that moment.
The relationship between leads and the brand is more than a commercial transaction. It involves sharing knowledge and trust, something more solid than an automatic answer to a random ad.
The efficiency of inbound marketing derives from its structure with careful planning, the tracking from a specialized team and the using of a tool that boosts the results. The combination of these four factors create more satisfying consequences to all parties.
According to the research “State of Marketing Report” - gathered and shared by HubSpot, 73% of the companies bet on inbound marketing as the main strategy. The same report shows that 59% of the interviewed believe that the qualification of visitors to lead in the buyer’s journey in the purchase process is better with this technique.
It’s also important to highlight the financial benefit of inbound. It’s possible to reduce the cost per lead to 80% , which directly impacts the applied return over investment and the general budget directed to marketing.
These are important data to the EIs that designed a great amount of commercial actions to capture students and that, often, bring close results. There is no doubt, however, that investing in inbound marketing is putting into practice smarter, updated and efficient tactics to the business.
5 cheap ways to capture new students
When we talk about capturing new students in a creative and cheaper way it’s impossible to not consider the great amount of Digital Marketing possibilities. Unlike offline commercial actions, it’s possible to reach a larger and more qualified audience with the same budget or even a lower one.
When connecting the benefits of the digital means with a strategy that allows attracting customers and tracking the leads through the purchase funnel, the results are better. The same combination is equally efficient in retention, not only motivating new enrollment but also optimating the relationship with the current students.
Check out now some strategies to put into practice and gain students without risking your EI’s budget.
1. Content Creation
Content creation, as we said before, it’s part of the inbound marketing foundation. Thanks to a material well aligned to the needs of potential students it’s possible to create emotional connections with them. In addition, clarifying questions and presenting solutions are part of the process.
There are many possibilities that can be explored. One of them is the development of blog posts to feed your EI’s website. The themes are connected, again, with the purchase funnel. Students will find exactly what they are looking for at that moment.
Even if they still haven’t made the decision of enrollment, they have access to great information to draw up a choice. That way, they start to link the EI with a trustly brand, a reference that is worthy to go or to share when it’s necessary.
As blog posts, other contents can be used with this same goal. Ebooks and landing pages are part of the same strategy, usually integrated to maximize the results.
For the created content to be attractive to your potential students, they must be developed with the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques. Through them, these content can be well placed in search suites and easily found by students.
A specialized agency is capable of carefully choosing the kind of content according to the goal to be reached, for whom it’s destined and guaranteeing the use of these techniques in the best way possible.
2. Email marketing
Another low cost strategy that can be used in students’ capture is email marketing. This kind of strategic communication - when it’s well applied - has the power of attracting news students in a very solid way. For this to happen, however, it’s important to be consistent, to know your audience and to make tests.
For a long time, “companies sending emails” was unpleasant and inappropriate. Indeed, when there is no goal alignment and the communication is excessive, the strategy can have an opposite effect. That's why it is so important to control the tool and its particularities.
The email marketing ROI is the biggest one. According to the Campai9gn Monitor report, to each US$1 invested, the return is US$38. The same research also shows that the email efficiency is 40 times greater than the social media one. In other words, well-segmented deliveries are a great bet.
It’s important to take into account some issues, as an adjusted frequency to keep the nurturing flow and well defined subjects. After all, the email title and a more personalized message can make all the difference in the opening rate and in the transaction accomplishment.
Using a great CRM can also make a difference in the email marketing management. The HubSpot’s management software is one of the most complete in the market and it allows, besides automatized send, elaborating message models and A/B tests.
3. Marketing Automation
The Marketing Automation goal isn’t making the students’ capture process automatic and impersonal. Actually, the main intention is optimizing the dynamic so it can embrace all the resources in the best way possible to get more leads and, as a consequence, more enrolls.
There are several automation tools and, once more, HubSpot is worth mentioning. The software allows a complete configuration of the purchase funnel, the contact list segmentation and several tasks scheduling, being useful to your sales and marketing teams.
The automation saves time and resources, once the configuration is done correctly. The software also makes available more specific metrics that enable a quicker and more right evaluation of the strategy that was used. The performance of a campaign can be evaluated with some extra speed allowing some changes if necessary.
4. Social Media Strategy
How you can gain new students in XXI century without social media? It’s not impossible, but certainly it will cost more and bring less results. More than communication and entertainment tools, social media are essential to relationships.
New generations reach for social apps to contact friends, but also to get informed and even make some operations. The time consumed in these suites is higher than the use of any other kind of tool, something that should be strategically embraced by EIs that are looking for an increase in their enrollment numbers.
It’s not just being present in the social media, but also having a communication aligned to the audience and offering great content. Notice that, once more, the content has a very important role in the capture, always integrated to other strategies.
The social media action must also have interaction, authority and a combination of organic and paid traffic strategies and a relevant metrics evaluation.
A great number of EIs in Brazil still haven’t found out the potential of chatbots. The fear of robotic communication makes them lose a big opportunity of automatizing and speeding up processes by sending files and providing a better service to clients.
Tools with artificial intelligence guarantee a more fluid language as far as they interact with students. Over time, the answers - instead of standardized and automatic answers - look more natural and reduce this distance.
Chatbots also guarantee a faster service, something essential when the goal is to gain new students. Robots can answer several people at the same time and if they cannot proceed with the requirement, it’s possible that an agent will follow the conversation and keep the procedure.
A potential student that is visiting your EI’s website can clarify some doubts or even start the enrollment process through a chatbot at any time. The possibility of prompt applying or having prompt answers takes into account the decisions to be taken and is worthy considering this structure in a strategy.