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Student retention: educate, engage and build loyalty!

Gustavo Goncalves
Gustavo Goncalves

Feb 23, 2024

Student retention: educate, engage and build loyalty!

There is a maximum in educational marketing which says that investing in student retention It's cheaper than acquiring new students. You've probably heard this, but a study published in Harvard Business Review magazine goes beyond this statement.

According to the article, expanding customer retention by 5% can represent an increase of 25% to 95% in the company's revenue. This number alone should be enough for educational institutions to value the students they already have more, but this does not always happen.

To better understand what is retention and how to do this in practice, you need to know the types of students, understand the role of predictive analytics in education and create a planning educational marketing aimed at the internal public.

Want to know more about this? So continue reading!

What is student retention?

As the name suggests, retention is the ability to hold and keep students within the institution. Although it may seem logical, often the effort (and budget) of educational establishments is more focused on acquiring new enrollments than on maintaining students already enrolled.

In short, student retention is the set of actions and efforts that the educational institution makes to keep students enrolled from the moment they enroll until they receive the long-awaited diploma. But how to do this in practice?

How to retain students in practice?

A student retention It is a process that demands precise information, knowledge, tools and action. And the first step to implementing truly efficient initiatives is to listen to what they have to say, especially regarding infrastructure and teaching staff.

After all, there's no point in creating beautiful, well-made campaigns if the classroom chairs are broken, or if the program content is out of date. Therefore, create really efficient communication channels to talk to your students.

Understand the reasons for withdrawal

Another audience you should listen to are former students who left the course before completion. Question the reasons that led them to stop studying at your institution and analyze the data to understand the main factors behind dropping out.

In general, we can point out the following aspects as the main enemies of student retention:

Economic factor

Many students abandon their degree simply because they are unable to pay their tuition fees on time. It is then up to the institution to find ways to help them complete the course. Easy payment, granting scholarships and offering internships are good options to deal with this scenario.

Academic achievement

Another factor that can lead a student to abandon their degree is low grades. In this case, it is necessary to offer all the necessary support, such as study groups, monitoring, reinforcement of online classes, among others. It is also worth having qualified professionals to guide the student at the beginning of their career and help them understand whether the chosen course is really right for them.

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Location of the institution

Location can also be a decisive factor in student retention. This is because issues such as the lack of bus lines that go to the institution, the difficulty of parking and even the distance from the place of residence of your target audience can make them give up on their degree.

Seek to understand the problem to think of plausible solutions. A good suggestion is to talk to students who have a lot of absences and delays to list the reasons and understand what the institution can do.

Job market situation

Finally, employability. When seeing colleagues and veterans struggling to get jobs (and most of them not being successful in their search), students may question the market situation and abandon their degree. Seek partnerships with companies and official bodies, advertise vacancies at the institution and try to hire "house talent" whenever possible.

It is worth remembering that, despite being the majority, these factors do not necessarily illustrate the reality of your institution. Therefore, do research, question former students and try to consolidate as much information as possible before making a decision.

Predictive analysis in education

Analyzing all this information can take much more time and money than your institution has available. Therefore, relying on technology can be a good option. The implementation of Artificial Intelligence capable of evaluating all the variables mentioned above can contribute to more accurate data in less time.

There are several tools that fulfill this role. But, more than having the tools is knowing how to use them and evaluate the results obtained. Therefore, consider the possibility of having a specialized company to help you improve your student retention.

Engagement tools for student retention

Tools such as email marketing are very important for a marketing project student retention. Through them, you can talk directly with your audience and create engagement actions so that they get involved with the brand and the space where they study.

Your marketing team can, for example, create email segments to talk directly to students on a specific course. You can also analyze the numbers to find out in which period students most drop out of school and create a segmented list.

This list may cover topics such as job opportunities, incentives to complete your degree, to pursue a postgraduate degree and even cases of former students who finished their studies and managed to achieve professional success. Data and creativity working together student retention!

Student retention

The role of social networks

Speaking of tools, it is essential that the institution learns to use social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin, in student loyalty. They are very important for creating a sense of community and, above all, listening to what students have to say.

The monitoring of social networks is also important, as the tools can consolidate, through keywords, what different audiences say about your brand spontaneously, in groups or on their own "timelines".

Want to talk more about student retention? Then contact 4RevOps experts and get all your questions answered!


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Technologies we use

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.

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