What if I told you there was a secret weapon in your marketing arsenal that you could use to increase contact touchpoints with your prospective families throughout the admissions process, without increasing your advertising spend or staff?
What if I told you this secret weapon, if implemented properly, could help increase the conversion rate between enquiry and application?
And if that wasn’t enough, what if I told you another benefit of this marketing tool is that it can help you fight the phenomenon of a ‘ghost enquiry’? A ghost enquiry is one that you receive at the same time as an application. The negative implications are that the prospective family researched your school without you having a voice in the conversation. This also means that other families researched your school and did not apply.
The secret weapon of which I speak is ‘lead nurturing emails’.
What are lead nurturing emails?
According to Warren Duff on the SendGrid blog, “Nurture emails are excellent tools that you can use to move prospective customers down the sales funnel until they make a purchase. Nurture emails, drip campaigns and welcome emails are all really similar.”1
In practice, lead nurturing emails are pre-written emails designed to highlight your school’s strengths, value proposition and any other important message that a family needs to know about your school. These emails are sent out automatically at a specified interval, by specialised software, to your prospective families. Another excellent feature of lead nurturing emails is that they give you the ability to engage with your prospective families in a way you might not otherwise be able to communicate.
Here is an example of how lead nurturing emails can work in schools, starting at the point when a prospective family completes an enquiry form.
- Email 1: Welcome and deliver resource
The goal of this email is to deliver a resource or your information pack to your enquirers. You’ll also prime them for what’s coming next in the sequence.
- Email 2: Introduce yourself and find out their #1 problem
Ask your prospective family to reply with their most significant difficulty in finding a school for their child. This will give you valuable feedback about your audience and help you develop a more personal relationship with them.
- Email 3: Solve their #1 problem
Help your prospective families solve one of their most common problems. Providing helpful content will train them to continue opening and reading your emails.
- Email 4: Surprise bonus resource
Provide more value to your prospective families by helping them solve another common problem about selecting a school for their child. Give them a link to a free resource you’ve already created, like a blog post, video, etc.
- Email 5: The next step
The goal of this email is to get your prospective families to take action on the next step in your admission process, whether that’s visiting the campus, attending an open house or scheduling an interview.
The power of lead nurturing emails is immense, but I’d like to leave you with a word of caution: lead nurturing emails are not intended to be used instead of personal touchpoints from school admission professionals. Nothing can take the place of genuine interaction between the prospective family and school officials. When done correctly, lead nurturing emails are used to complement – not replace – personal interactions.
Brendan Schneider is the Director of Advancement at Sewickley Academy in Pennsylvania USA, and a leader in the field of inbound marketing for schools. He is also the Founder of SchneiderB Media, a digital marketing agency specialising in helping schools use inbound marketing.
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