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Sales funnel in education: how to optimize the flow of opportunities

Gustavo Goncalves
Gustavo Goncalves

Jul 28, 2023

It's nothing new that educational institutions have been investing more and more in digital marketing strategies to attract students, and if you work in higher education, you know that.

With educational marketing, it is possible to identify the needs of your personas at each stage of the sales funnel in education and create more assertive capture and conversion strategies.

"Okay, I invest in educational marketing, but I still haven't been able to get effective results".If that was the first thought that crossed your mind when we talked about attracting students, the sales funnel for educational institutions may be in need of an up! And that's why we decided to write this content: to teach you how to optimize your opportunities!

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First of all, it is important that you thoroughly understand the concept of the sales funnel, also called the purchase funnel. After all, you need to know each step before using it. Let's go?

Good reading!

Sales funnel: what is it?

The sales funnel is a representation of the phases that your future student will go through until they enroll. In practice, the sales funnel involves all interactions of your potential ticket, from the first contact to the moment of your conversion.

It is through it that your marketing team, allied with your sales, can identify the stage your lead is in and, thus, produce content suited to your customer's buying journey. Within that funnel, there are three stages: the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.

How do the sales funnel stages work?

Before we talk about each of these steps, you need to keep in mind that the sales funnel doesn't have that name for nothing, its process is just like that, like a funnel.

At the top, the widest part of the funnel, we have a large number of potential students. At this stage, the future student is still not interested in enrolling in your educational institution, so you need to invest in marketing strategies aimed at attraction, in order to raise student awareness and awaken their interest.

The middle of the funnel is not that wide. Your lead is in an intermediate stage, he is not ready to enroll, but he is already aware of his problem and is looking for a solution, that is, he knows that he needs to start a degree and is looking for an institution.

It is a phase of consideration and, therefore, it is necessary to nourish it with rich content that educates it, bringing possible solutions or answering its doubts.

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Finally, the lead reaches its last stage: the bottom of the funnel. Known as the decision phase, at the bottom of the funnel, your lead is ready to start graduating, but at this point, consider the pros and cons of your educational institution compared to other universities or schools.

At this stage, you need to invest in strategies to Inbound Marketing that show potential students that their Educational institution is the best decision, presenting their differentials, such as structure, methodology, faculty.

With a more sales-oriented approach, since your client is about to make a decision, your content should be informative and present the lead with the reason why he should enroll in your institution.

Ok, now that you understand the concept of the sales funnel, let's get down to business: optimizing each stage of this process. In the next topic, we'll show you how you can optimize your sales funnel in educational marketing to improve your conversion rate.

How to optimize the sales funnel at the top?

As we mentioned above, the top of the sales funnel is where leads arrive after the first contact with your company. Some may come more aware of what they want, others not so much. Offering any kind of solution at this point is like trying to hit a target blindfolded (without prior training).

To find out how to optimize the sales funnel at this stage, start by assessing what types of content perform best on your website: course presentations, blog articles or news, for example. The format should also be observed: videos, texts or images?

Based on your findings, start transforming your site's content. A blog post can become an infographic or a video; a recorded interview, in turn, can become textual content.

In this way, you ensure that all profiles of people come into contact with your content, optimizing visitor traffic.

And in between, how to optimize the sales funnel?

In the middle of the sales funnel in education, the goal is to turn the lead into enrolled. The big challenge is to keep the lead's attention on your institution and prevent them from giving in to a competitor's lure.

Here, the important thing is to know which rich content converts the most. If you created course ebooks, which ones are downloaded the most? Of the videos shared on YouTube, which ones had the most hits?

Also, seek to know the reasons for non-conversion. If an e-book doesn't have a good download rate, for example, you can evaluate the quality of your landing page. Is the call attractive? Is it optimized with SEO techniques? Does her look hold your attention?

Tools like Crazy Egg It is Lucky Orange help you understand the hot spots on a page, as well as the more obscure ones. This way, you can optimize your landing pages for better results.

Optimize the end of the funnel: how to do it?

You can convert a stranger into a lead and a lead into a prospect. But even that is not a guarantee of converting this student. Most of the time, what we see is a drop in the number of interactions after the first conversion.

And this is due to several factors, from content that is not aligned with the interests of the lead to the title you use in an email marketing. We can go further: your people, like all your planning, can be wrong.

In this sense, what makes all the difference to optimize the sales funnel for educational institutions is having a data monitoring perfect, that is, monitoring each performance indicator on a daily basis and adjusting your strategy to maximize your return on investment.

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Tecnologias que usamos

The world changes all the time and technology is no different! Here at Mkt4Edu, technology is in our DNA, we work with many different softwares to make the whole process of automation and artificial intelligence work more efficiently and achieve more results.

Here, new softwares are tested all the time. Modern tools and new functionalities are tested all the time, there were already more than 200 tests so you can have the best result in your institution.

From customer acquisition to retention: Mkt4edu can make the difference in your marketing operation.


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