If nurturing leads is not at the top of your list, it’s time to make it a priority. Many schools invest a lot of time and money in marketing to generate leads (attract prospective parents), but it’s equally important to nurture that interest until prospective parents are ready to enrol their child in your school. The aim of generating leads is to obtain information, increase brand awareness and boost enrolments, so once you have that information, it’s vital to use it wisely. Lead nurturing focuses on establishing a relationship with prospective parents and nurturing them along their buyer’s journey. To maintain a successful relationship and keep your lead interested, providing valuable, relevant information at the right time is key. Ultimately, you are aiming to create a strong brand persona to indicate that your school is the best choice – the only choice – for their child. When your lead is eventually ready to enrol their child, you have already put in the groundwork and guided them towards your school.
Your lead nurturing program should be considered and tailored to your prospective parents’ needs. Take these five simple steps to get started:
- Establish and categorise your target audience
To nurture leads effectively, you need to deliver information that is relevant and engaging. To achieve this, separate your prospects into groups and create information that is specific to the stage of their buyer’s journey. For example, if you know a group of prospects are simply browsing the market for schools but their child is too young to enrol, customise an e-newsletter or create a blog post that showcases your school’s value. This could be focused on prominent alumni members that have gone on to great success. For leads that are ready to enrol, customise e-newsletters that include current statistics on recent academic achievements within your school, and include a call to action.
- Keep in touch, but ask first!
It’s crucial to maintain contact with leads in order to nurture them through their buying cycle, but your approach must be considered. Anyone that gets bombarded will automatically be turned off and sever contact. I recently signed up for a free webinar featuring a well written, engaging synopsis that caught my attention. While I appreciated a confirmation email, I did not take kindly to the three additional emails I received that day and the extra two that were sitting in my inbox the following morning. Not only did I unsubscribe, I didn’t even log in for the webinar. The best course of action is to create a content calendar, specific to your separate groups of leads and deliver relevant content at appropriately spaced times. According to HubSpot, lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate of standalone email blasts. Proof that building a relationship through nurturing, actually works.
- Nurture through education
There is probably a large number of prospective parents who have checked you out online but forgotten about you as time progressed. By educating these prospects with quality information, you hold the ability to plant a seed in their minds that highlights your school’s value, to eventually guide them your way when they’re ready to enrol their child. Blogs are a great way to tailor engaging content your leads can relate to, as well as vastly improving SEO results.
- Monitor the buyer cycle
When nurturing leads, it’s important to establish which leads can be classed as quality leads (your ideal prospective parent). Lead management software provides the data to determine this. You can then monitor their digital movements to ascertain which stage of their buying cycle they are in, and create and deliver your content accordingly.
To gauge if your lead nurturing strategies are the best they can be, it’s important to review your data and conversion rates regularly. There are a range of providers that generate this information and it’s crucial to evaluate how your content and strategies are performing. Lead nurturing is a powerful strategy to reveal valuable insights, stay connected with prospective parents and ultimately cultivate positive and reputable awareness of your school.
To find out more about how lead nurturing can boost your school's enrolments, here are some resources you may find useful
- How to think like a media company
- How to measure your return on content investment
- How do you create great content for your school?
- Read all of our inbound marketing blog posts
Listen to our podcasts:
- Episode 45: reconnecting with website visitors
- Episode 44: key takeaways from cmi’s 2015 content marketing report
- Episode 43: an easy guide to social media
- Episode 42: are you ready to join the world with inbound
Speak to an expert:
- Find out from one of our consultants how best to nurture your school's leads - book a free call now
This blog was written by Melinda Webster
As Account Manager at imageseven, Melinda is committed to the unique journey of every client to bring their ideas, hopes and value to fruition. Originally from Sydney, her newest passion is exploring the beauty of the West Coast.