6 Tips to Engaging with High Intent Student Inquiries
Okay, you’ve identified your high intent inquiries – a student that has raised their hand in some way to demonstrate a heightened level of interest in your institution. Now what?
If you haven’t identified them yet, check out 5 Benefits to Identifying High Intent Student Inquiries.
Back to the question. What do I do with them?
Put the relationship back into your CRM and build meaningful connections with those students! Maximize your resources and simplify your approach. First and foremost, communicate with high intent inquiries in a relevant way. By focusing on this group, you’ll end up maximizing time, saving money, and creating better results with your enrollment investments.
Personalize the message to the student’s most recent behavior and respond with a simple message and a singular call-to-action. To do that, focus on these six key items:
- Segment your audience: First, look at prospects vs. inquiries. Then, segment by high and low intent inquiries. High intent inquiries should receive more time and personalized attention from your team. For example, a personal phone call from a current student or a handwritten note from alumni go a long way. Activities like this are more effective than impersonal communication tactics.
- Time it right: It’s important to respond to recent behavior as quickly as you can. It’s equally important to measure your results and time communication activities based on your own data. While best practices can certainly be found, the big differentiator is using your own data to figure out what’s working for your institution. Are students more responsive to certain channels, days of the week, time of day, messages, or calls-to action?
- Focus on quality data: When you focus on more recent and accurate sources of data you maximize results by having the cleanest, most up-to-date information. Maintaining timely and accurate data takes a village. Operations team members, application processing personnel, admission counselors, marketing and communication staff, and leadership all need to roll up their sleeves to take the time to review data, log interactions, respond to requests, and make adjustments in a collaborative and efficient manner. Spending the efforts on this item makes a big difference in being able to communicate more effectively.
- Message and personalize on recent behavior: It’s tempting to “personalize” the message with basic merge fields (first name, major, or location). They’re better than nothing but you’re not looking to be average, right? Authentic personalization makes the recipient aware that you are paying attention to their interactions. Demonstrate you are listening by personalizing messages based on their most recent actions. For example, if you have data that shows a student visited campus, attended a high school visit and scheduled a classroom visit, your message should touch on the most recent item – not what you’ve deemed the most expensive to execute.
- Communicate with three channels: Students at the high intent inquiry stage like to be courted but are still using many different channels to communicate. Gen Zers use multiple social media sources and likewise may seem inconsistent in their communication channels. Send the same message to potential students through three different channels to maximize the opportunity for them to read your message and engage. Now, using the same message doesn’t mean you don’t tailor it for the channel but it does mean that the call-to-action and main points remain the same.
- Measure the call-to-action: When thinking of the messaging approach, determine measurable calls-to-action. The student may receive a message in one channel, wait, and respond through a different channel. The evaluation of success is in the call-to-action as opposed to the open and click-through rates of individual communication tools.
Keep the message simple: To effectively communicate with this audience, simplify and shorten your messages. Don’t fall into the trap of writing flowery, descriptive paragraphs. Short and sweet is more effective in this case!
High intent inquiries are expecting more personalized recruitment and the competition for their attention is increasing. Think critically about your recruitment plans. Use your resources and leverage your data to identify those students who are demonstrating the most interest, separate them into their own communication plan, personalize the message to that group, and use these recommendations to increase your relevance with this audience.
To learn more about how institutions are partnering with Intersect to reach and engage students, contact our team today.
How does Intersect by Hobsons deliver high intent inquiries for your institution?
A leader in education technology, Hobsons helps students identify their strengths, explore careers, match to best-fit educational opportunities, create academic plans, and reach their education and life goals. Naviance, a College, Career, and Life Readiness (CCLR) platform under Hobsons, serves over 40% of all U.S. high schools. Intersect offers a unique channel to identify, engage, and recruit Naviance students, who are more likely to apply, admit, and enroll at your institution. Due to the Naviance process, the students that connect with an institution through Naviance have a higher level of demonstrated interest and are thus high intent inquiries.