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Online lead generation best practices in higher education

Online lead generation best practices in higher education



Lead generation best practices can help you to increase the ROI of your online marketing by increasing the number of leads you produce at a lower cost per lead. This webinar will review of the basics ...

Lead generation best practices can help you to increase the ROI of your online marketing by increasing the number of leads you produce at a lower cost per lead. This webinar will review of the basics of online lead generation including: segmenting your prospects, the enrolment funnel, sources of leads, anatomy of a landing page.
It does share Online lead generation best practices including: conversion segmentation, content matching/scent, focused messaging, micro-sites, offers, multi-step forms, rich media, trust elements, tracking with analytics, A/B testing, using an agile marketing approach, and more.



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  • Phillipe does the intro Online lead gen best practices that are particularly relevant to higher education marketing
  • Philippe himself, a bit of background introduces HEM, Introduce me as co-presentor, a bit of background , I will be joining in a momentTalk about the business Talk about the work HEM does in lead gen for higher ed
  • Phillippe covers housekeeping items.Use poll results to bridge discussion start the webinarOver to Scott
  • Greetings , welcome to seminarWe will review the basics of lead generation, a little on the basics of search mentality cross referenced to consumer behavior of studentsPresent to you a 12 lead generation best practices for Higher education that we think are critical to your student recruitment success.Please add you questions to the chat group and will address them at the conclusion of the presentation
  • What is your definition of a lead?Info package, book a visit, sign up for an event, online chat, download a form, registration, click to dial callEstablishing trust, beginning of a long relationship is key in higher ed world. First impressions are critical. Important to assign some relative scale of stage and quality to leads so can follow them up appropriately Lead gen begins with targeting a prospect
  • The more specific understanding of prospects characteristics, style and preferences you have the easier it is to create a visitor experience that will motivate them to enter your funnel. The ability to segment your prospects comes from your previous experience with other prospects/students and from analytics produced by Google Analytics, your CRM or your SIS. Identify your primary market and build your marketing for it. Geo – whereDemo – whoPsycho – lifestyle , psycho variables Benefits segmentation
  • This is the classic sales funnel, We are concerned today with the orange sections Awareness > interest> intention> decision> action
  • Top 3 in each list apply to lead generationAwareness – newspaper ad with urlInterest – display ad onlineLearn – searchShop – visit schoolsBuy – Register Searches –25 % ambiguous7.5 % navigational7.5% transactional60% informationalEstablished who they are, what stage they are at and what they want.Develop campaigns for individuals at different stages in the funnel with different goals and different information
  • Drive the process with specific goals, build a hypothesis for a segmented user scenario and test it The source is the that carefully constructed content, be it copy, images, design, information, that touches a targetted prospect and provides what they believe they want or need. Source plus the landing page equals the lead
  • The lead source provides clear indication of the context and often state of mind for the visitorIeppcvs organic, a url from a TV ad versus a url on your online calendar.A branded search on your institutions name or a long tail search query for a program page deep into your site. Traffic acquisition challenges and solutions – SEO, PPC, Content Generation, Social Media PlansPurchased leads – portals not addressed here
  • A reference landing page presents information that is relevant to the visitor. A transactional landing page seeks to persuade a visitor to complete a transaction such as filling out a form or interacting with advertisements or other objects on the landing page, with the goal being the immediate or eventual sale of a product or service.3 types – take an action, fill out a form, link to informationDimensions are relevance, quality, location, proximity and prominenceBased on eye tracking heat maps which provide location
  • Don’t think in terms of pages Think in terms of the visitor experiencePsychographic elements control much of the conversion factors
  • Having laid the down the introduction now we will examine a number of the highest impact best practices.Have grouped them loosely in these categories to present them around these 4 themes. Not a completely comprehensive list of general lead generation practices but rather is our presentation of what we believe to be of highest importance in the edu marketplace
  • Higher education typically has a big problem – too many programs, student types, delivery methods, other constituenciesHarvard had 13 schoolsMany institutions now have stand alone “prospective sites” Be careful in segmenting to deeply too quickly or you will get choice paralysis, rather limit content so they can self identify and re-segment laterSNHU is a very strong online school that has a wide range of offerings and student types: note here tight segmentation across very type of segfments . Other elements: that stand out here is the very strong calls to action – Apply no --, live chat – Have a quesiton?
  • A microsite is individual web page or a small cluster (around 1 to 7) of pages which are meant to function as a discreet entity within an existing website or to complement an offline activity. Half way between a web site and a landing page, but are structured very carefully to deliver conversions.The microsite's main landing page oftenhas its own domain name or subdomain.http://www.seomoz.org/blog/understanding-root-domains-subdomains-vs-subfolders-micrositesMicrosite are particularly useful in edu to create a focused campaign around a program , campus or other marketing initiative. Allows you to present a lot of information but to still keep your target visitor in focus. This is a geotargetted microsite focused on one particular campus Other elements: that are particularly well done on this site is the inclusion of clear call to action , picture of the brochure and social proof or success story at the bottom of the add.
  • Demonstrating how one optimizes the experience and conversion by maintaining “scent” through use of words, images, colours, offers, typography, design etc. Landing pages should be source specific Get your keywords into your LP and WPOptimizing for mobile devices as an example Ambiguous queries - segmentationProduct queries – category pagesBranded search queries – what’s newScent – trigger words, graphics shape , locationOne of the most import emerging scent trails is mobile traffic to your sourcesScent is a momentum issue (like download speed or bad anchor text)Other elements : confusion around the scholarship competiion, not in the ad itself, branding , postional testimonial good
  • Significant growth in mobile devices requires educational inst. To adapt to this segments preferences Mobile sites ie m. school.com are often scaled down versions of the full site with prioritized pages made available in format that is useful on a moble device Students search by mobile are a segment you must adapt to and come to understand. Effective mobile landing pages are very different from traditional web pages All the same rules apply in terms of content matching and scent with priority being given user interface and usabilility issues.
  • Communications issue – readability, image quality, customer centric vs product centricAvoid heavily design centric landing pages, keep it simple and guide the student through the informationThe more complex landing pages are, the smaller the chance users will go through with the desired action. Education is a complex product – how much information is required on your landing page?Use Reductionism, remove hurdles, only include what you needFirst impressions are importantDirectional cuesIs it obvious what to do nextAvoid technical language and jargon, it makes content convoluted and exclusionaryKnow who you’re writing for and learn what they need/want to knowMake the copy about the prospect not about you
  • An offer can be anything your visitors would be interested it, for example, whitepaper, webinar, video, guide, product, etc. Your offer needs to be enticing enough for a user to give out his or her information in exchange for the offer. Don't beat around the bush on your landing page; Is your offer clear and specific?Is it consistent with the the sourceUse active verbsDoes it have valueMake sure your reading levels are rightBlur check your calls to action/offers
  • Rich media elements – audio , videos, animationsAre effective if releventComplexity vs simplicity with rich media elementsOnline videos bridge the gap between online and off-line commerce, as well as greatly increasing conversion rates for a wide range of industriesAuto play or not, (can’t on adwords can on youtube|) in retail goes up, in b to b goes downOther elements : Testimonials, headline,visiual clue, first impressions
  • branding authority icons no sale of contact info privacy policyTestimonialsSocial proof Other elements: Visual ques, headline, image of product, canadian flag segmentation
  • Use value based (get, view, enjoy discover, see, ) rather than Effort based (submit, send, go , start) use emotionTie them into your ad copy scent in ppcUse informational if in the right stage of sales cycleButton- wording, shape, size, style,Icon, colour, legibitlity, location - irregular shapes convert betterLinks - use text links they will help you seoForms – Big scares people, top down is better, keep benefits near byAbove the foldBlur check your calls to action/offers
  • Streamline the experience, remove the hurdles, collect partial info can use it in your drip or lead nurture programsProgress trackers reduce “friction”Strong call to action prompting next stepsOther elements: This example carries information forward in the form
  • Many marketing directors and executives have very explicit department goals but do not incorporate them into their analytics
  • Conversion metrics has been carefully defined and are tracked to measure source/landing page performance
  • You must understand the behavior of your visitors/prospects to be able to refine your “sources” to address more segments and convert more.
  • Plan your testing when you plan you campaigns, set your goals, use a structured approachUse A/B to test significant differences (to innovate)Use Multivariate to finesse the details (to refine)Monitor, Wait for statistical confidence, then allocate trafficRemember to retire tests, remove duplicate contentHow much traffic clicks is needed? - 300 min 1000 is betterHow many conversions are needed? - 7 min 15 is betterDon’t design by committee, let the customer tell you what works
  • Integrate your landing pages with your CRM Student lifecyclemagmtRecruit > retain >advance Crm analyticsMarketing automation integrationContact managementInquireyresopnseSAAS flexibilityLeads become prospects who become studentsStudent Lifecycle CRMReccs for conversion processManage entire constituent lifecycleEstablish and strengthen relationships through the constituent lifecycle to keep them involvedPersonalize communications by leveraging real-time information integrated between systemsProvide a seamless interface for enhanced user experience and improved productivityMaximize recruiting effectivenessDeepen knowledge of individual needs and interests through interactive communicationsLeverage multiple message channels to grow prospect interestProduce more qualified candidates with personalized survey and inquiry managementImprove retention ratesProvide better access and information through the integrated, 24/7 constituent service centerDeliver faster issue resolution with seamless information flow between systemsProactively identify at-risk students for immediate action and issue resolution
  • Use inline surveys to gather immediate feedback on visitor experienceThis is one of the hardest things to do – requires a commitment of human resources, and Not something that educational institutional culture is used to. Recognize that your competitors are doing it, especially the for profit sector, you must move forward or will be overtaken.
  • Over to Phil when done
  • Prep 5 good questions we can use if no questions from the audience:Which is more expensive, traffic acquisition or traffic conversion and where do I get the best ROI.Can you briefly elaborate on how you set up and monitor an A/B test of a landing pageHow long does it take to get high confidence results on a/b testing
  • Philippe takes over here to wrap up and moderate questions. Follow-up email with link to recorded webinarPost to slidesharePost on blogf/u calls offering audit

Online lead generation best practices in higher education Online lead generation best practices in higher education Presentation Transcript

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