Incorporating Intelliworks into Your Conversational Marketing StrategyJuly 14, 2009Intelliworks User ConferencePhiladelphia, PA Terry L. Grant, AVP, Enrollment Management Corinne Glenn, Systems and Training Manager Jason Smith, Admissions Team Manager American Public University System
APUS – Who we are. Service. Leadership. Relevance in a global society. These values define our mission at American Public University System. They guide how we educate and support more than 45,000 distance learners studying in 50 states and more than 100 countries. They shape the growth of our two institutions, American Public University and American Military University. 100% online; offering more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including homeland security, intelligence, criminal justice, and emergency management.
Growth at APUS Growth Rates By Segment 20072008 1Q ‘09A Civilian 33% 55% 54% Military 50% 35% 35%
Why talk about conversational marketing? The role of the prospective student in marketing and recruitment has changed. The old enrollment funnel is gone. Student recruitment is no longer a neat, linear, predictable process driven by the college or university. The student now drives recruitment and enrollment processes and receives messages about your institution from other sources. Even more true for adult and online learners.
The New Enrollment Funnel Source: 2008, Noel-Levitz
Characteristics of Conversational Marketing Markets are conversations. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors or target groups. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice. Whether delivering information, opinions, or perspectives, asking questions or telling jokes, the human voice is typically open, natural, genuine. People recognize each other…as such from the sound of someone’s voice or style of writing…
In a nutshell… The basic premise is that market initiatives should no longer be linear – yes, indeed, the old enrollment funnel is gone. The concept of creating and pushing marketing messages to prospective students must give way to a more iterative approach to marketing through conversation creation, participation and refinement -- and repeat as necessary. That is conversational marketing.
Picking up where marketing left off – how admissions teams fit in Participating as a person and not a marketer Establishing conversations, not sending messages Cultivating relationships Speaking with people not audiences Humanizing the interaction Becoming a resource, not a sales person Speaking with a human voice
Alisa Kerns has always had a desire to help others and a passion for education; these traits lead her to APUS and the Admissions office. Just like all of the students she helps today, Alisa received her Bachelor's degree 100% online, while juggling work, school and family. Her education, work experience, and customer service background allow her to truly understand and provide the support and guidance needed for her students. She genuinely understands the concerns you may have about going back to school after years away from academics or your ability to manage time. She is dedicated to listening to, educating and advocating for all new and prospective students.
Corinne… The ultimate goal of the Admissions department and what life was like before Intelliworks How Intelliworks is configured and used to engage prospects and students in ongoing conversations – and used by multiple functional units at APUS The future with Intelliworks
What is the Role of the Admissions Representative? Traditional idea of providing information, proposing options, and overall guidance to prospective students to assist them in making an informed decision about enrollment. APUS breaks from tradition in focusing on new applicants through the enrollment process by providing continuous assistance, serving as liaisons with other departments, and ensuring the new applicant has everything they need to be successful.
Goals Increase the conversion rate of prospective students to new applicants Increase the conversion rate of new applicants to registered students Create a personalized experience for the new applicant Evaluate different methods and avenues to engage the new applicant on a more individualized level without sacrificing efficiency and time
Life Before Intelliworks The desire to build relationships with each new applicant on an individual basis faced many constraints:
Reviewing individual records and contacting each new applicant was near impossible given minimal staff and increasing volume.
Available queries were useful to some extent, but were representative of major populations and were not narrow enough to allow the desired relationship with the new applicant and the ability for ongoing conversation.
Implementation of Intelliworks Customized report built from student information database capturing all pertinent information about new applicant Creation of contact fields including information on who the new applicant is and where they are at in the enrollment process Record creation and update was based upon customized report allowing for most up to date information regarding new applicant activity Creation of individualized communication to engage the new applicant on a personal level
Intelliworks Today Conversion Rates of new applicant to registered student has increased significantly Admissions Representative performance and productivity has increased across the board Email templates, list views, campaigns, communication plans, and reports have allowed the Admissions Representative to Work Smarter, Not Harder
Intelliworks Today Implementation of Intelliworks CRM has been adopted by the Financial Aid Helpdesk, allowing each Specialist to provide the same individualized approach to every financial aid student The Law Enforcement Outreach team utilizes Intelliworks to enter new leads giving them the ability to track each lead more efficiently and take away the need for messy spreadsheets.
The Future… Continue to analyze current communications and processes to increase conversion rates Incorporate the same one on one approach with prospective students through Intelliworks Implementation of the Intelliworks API allowing the Student Information Database to push information to Intelliworks daily
Jason… Continuing the conversation when a relationship has not yet been established: The Challenge - Continuing the conversation itself or continuing to try to establish a conversation The Solution – Drip Marketing Testing, planning, and incorporating Intelliworks into a Drip Marketing strategy Looking toward the future
Continuing the Conversation: The Challenge Ensuring that the conversation and the relationship continued after a prospect or applicant had taken the initial step faced many constraints: Prior to Intelliworks, the timeline for prospect and applicant follow-up had specific end dates The sheer volume of new prospects and applicants posed a challenge for follow-up with prospects and applicants who had not responded or taken the next step within a set time frame Lead Cultivation – Time is not always on your side
The Solution – Drip Marketing What is Drip Marketing? Drip marketing is a direct marketing strategy that involves sending out several communications over a period of time to a subset of “leads” “Law of 29” A “prospect” will not become a “client” until they have viewed an Institutions marketing message at least 29 times. The need to remain “top of mind” and engaging
Where to Start? Developing a Productive Drip Marketing Campaign: Step 1: Develop the plan Step 2: Strategize the Execution of the plan Step 3: Decide who the target is Step 4: Create consistency with each message Methods: Postcards Newsletters Emails
Incorporating Intelliworks – Communication Plans Communication Plans Allows systematic scheduling of email campaigns to be delivered to a target group at a predetermined time period Efficiency Continuing the conversation and becoming part of the recipient’s community Target very specific groups with relevant, personalized messages to engage in dialogue Entry and Exit rules to manage campaign inclusions and exclusion
Testing and Planning AB Message Testing Informal, more conversational, message Direct message Creating and Testing Trial Plans Extensive testing phase Choosing the target groups Prospects Applicant Tracking the Success Opt Out Exit Rule
The Results Continuing the conversation while maintaining an emphasis on personalized communications and, relationship building Ability to remain “top of mind” and engaging to those prospects and applicants whom we, in the past, may have lost contact Reaching and furthering our goals to create a personalized experience while maintaining quality, maximum efficiency, and time management