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Recruiting Intelligence

5 Lead Nurturing Best Practices for Universities and High Schools

For enrollment management professionals, the next few months are all about watching the applications come in and then pouring everything into nurturing them toward enrollment.

In an ideal world you would personally guide each lead from application to enrollment, but that’s just not feasible for most academic institutions. Instead, you need a strong and efficient lead nurturing strategy to engage your prospects and boost enrollment. (You do have one, right?)

Strong lead nurturing strategies take into account each stage of prospective students’ decision process and gives them relevant information along the way.

In fact, the best strategies anticipate student questions before the student (or parent) even knows they are going to ask them. When you’ve done this work for a long time, you tend to know the general flow of the journey of most consumers.

You see how the family starts with a few obvious questions, learns a few things, and then realizes the next questions that need asking. Not unlike the way students progress in the classroom as they come to understand a subject. Learning is an iterative process of inquiry that builds on itself.

In nurturing students selecting an institution or degree program, you are looking for a meaningful alternative to the one-on-one conversations you wish you could have over the course of the admissions journey. Rather than literally holding each lead’s hand, your role is to champion a rock-solid lead nurturing strategy for your institution.

If you’ll be attending the 2022 AIEA conference in New Orleans (Feb 20-23), be in touch and we’ll find time for a coffee and an exchange of ideas.

To learn the 5 key tactics that will help your team create a lead nurturing strategy that works, read on. This post is a great primer for any recruitment team interested in strengthening enrollment yield.

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Intead’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021

Enrollment professionals around the world tapped and clicked throughout 2021 looking for insight. They found it here on the Intead blog and now you can see what resonated most. Presenting, our Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021.

It was a tough year with far too much ambiguity. Intead’s global network kept readers abreast of what students and parents are thinking and how marketing messages can reach them.

Would you like a cup of coffee in New Orleans with us at AIEA? We’ll be there and look forward to a busy schedule. Be in touch if you’d like to connect. We have a few amazing restaurant recommendations we can share, assuming that kind of gathering is safe and comfortable by the time the event rolls around.

Read on for our Top Posts of 2021 (links included). Great for sharing with your team to help them think creatively about their respective roles and assignments.

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Reverse Enrollment Declines: Use Marketing Tech Better

So many dashboards. So little time.

Where is success hiding? How much investment will it take to achieve our targets?

With student mobility still in a state of flux, all bets are off for your predictive models. Or are they?

Today, we are talking to those with a CRM and marketing automation tools already in place.

Is this you? Your system works well enough and you can see some obvious gaps in functionality and interconnectedness. But you have what you have and there is no immediate opportunity to upgrade or change what you have. So…it is all about using the tools you have, better.

How do we get there? How do we know which features have real value to our operations? How can we use what we know to achieve better results?

We are heading into four wonderful days of interacting with our peers at the AIRC conference in Miami this week. The Intead team will be presenting on innovative ways to use the rising tide of influencer marketing for academia (it’s not going to be what you might think), and we will be presenting on innovative approaches to grad student marketing.

We can’t give enough thanks to our colleagues Toni Jaeger-Fine from Fordham Law School, Ita Duron from Massachusetts College of Health Sciences, and Kirsten Feddersen from Northeastern University all joining us on the dais to share our experiences and ideas. SO many ideas. Testing and confirming marketing approaches that are unique to each institution’s strengths.

Reach out if you would like to share a cup of coffee in Miami!

Read on for our two concrete recommendations for using your marketing tech better.

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Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q3 2021

No quiet summer here--things have only sped up this quarter as institutions recalibrated their approaches to the ongoing hurdles and opportunities of the pandemic. With innovative thinking and disciplined strategy, your colleagues are tackling the big issues of the fall and considering how to adapt for spring and fall 2022. Today’s post points you to some of the high-performance best practices we’ve shared over the past 3 months to help during these times of uncertainty. 

So, grab a cup of coffee and before you finish it, we know you’ll be sharing links from this Q3 2021 wrap up with your enrollment team and colleagues with the power to make positive change for students around the world.

Read on for our quarterly recap of Intead resources available to you — all in one place. Plus, a preview of what’s coming next. But first:

PARTICIPATE AND LEARN: Opportunities up stay current and up your game:

  • October 5, NAFSA All-Region Summit Session: UMBC and Intead present “0-60 Internationalization” — Register HERE.
  • October 12, AIRC hosted Webinar: Technion Israel Institute of Technology and Intead present “Shifting Student Perspectives: Digital Marketing Now” — Free to AIRC members and $45 for non-members. Register HERE. (If your institution is not an AIRC member, hit us up for a code and we'll see about getting you past the velvet ropes.)
  • IIENetworker fall issue publishes Intead’s 2021 market research on Indian and Chinese student mobility. See below for a link to the magazine full of insights.
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The Essential Guide to Implementing a University CRM System

With so much in enrollment management being in flux right now, going back to the basics is important. Managers across the country are looking to their 2021 intake reports and trying to predict spring and fall 2022. Challenging under normal circumstances, right?

So where are those reports coming from and how much is what should be a simple process driving you up a wall?

The more important the task, the more frustrating it is to have a tool that isn’t helping you succeed. For those among us still reviewing excel spreadsheets with enrollment data, we feel your pain.

It’s no surprise that many universities, high schools, and language schools feel incredibly irritated by customer relationship management (CRM) systems that don't meet their needs. We know this is a topic worth discussing in part, because some of our most read blog posts over the past 2 years (Post 1, Post 2, Post 3) are about enrollment managers' user experience with Technolution's #Slate.

If any of this sounds familiar—and if you wish you had more guidance on how to set up a system that will actually help you anticipate what your future enrollment will bekeep on reading.

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Practical EdTech Implementation: Ask Us Anything — Register Now

The roadmap for EdTech implementations a decade ago had a linear feel. There was an expectation of securing a significant tech budget and allocating that to a carefully selected vendor with a 3-5 year plan. There was talk of “flexibility” and integrations. APIs would be built to tie different parts of the legacy systems together or the legacy piece would be replaced outright. The future system was going to be a real game changer.

It rarely worked out as planned…ever. Been there?

Today, replacing aging technology is an entirely different process. We’re eager to share insights into how campuses develop truly flexible systems and integrations with technology that is evolving every 6-12 months.

The technology process today has a heck of a lot more to do with justifying ROI than choosing technology.

Confused? Register for our webinar, "EdTech: The Road Map Has Changed. Successful Implementation Processes Look Like This" tomorrow, February 18th at 2pm Eastern. 

Register Now

Join Intead and iSchoolConnect as we talk about pushing decisive, cross-departmental collaboration at speed and scale like never before. We're talking agility in planning and innovation in technology and digital tools far beyond the usual benchmarks of annual progress in our notoriously slow-moving industry.

There’s a lot of work to do to pull complex technology and analytics projects all together. Best to have some really strong partners.

In the webinar, we’ll be sharing practical advice for successful, cost-effective technology implementations. Implementations that, long-term, produce stabilized and predictable revenue streams for your institution, even in unpredictable times.

You won’t want to miss this

Adding valuable perspective to this Ask Us Anything conversation will be:

  • Seamus Harreys, Vice President, Global Enrollment, CIEE
  • Kerry Salerno, CMO, Babson College

We’ll have plenty of real-world stories and insights to share. Stories about Northeastern University’s amazing growth from 2009 and onward. We’ll talk about technology investment approaches at different size institutions. Stories about vendor selection, technology features, and most importantly, the challenge of getting all of the internal stakeholders aligned. 

Throughout, we will welcome your questions.

Important note: if you can’t attend the event live, your registration will ensure you’re first to receive access to the recorded conversation.

And as a primer for tomorrow’s implementation-focused conversation, how about a free PDF download: “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time” sharing our 5 key takeaways from our February 4th panel event with The Chronicle of Higher Education and your colleagues from five different institutions.

Read on to access your copy of the 5 key takeaways and to learn how your peer institutions across the country are getting their technology investments right. A quick and helpful read before we dive deeper tomorrow.

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Successful Tech Implementation Processes Look Like This — Register Now

In last week’s virtual event, “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time”, Chronicle of Higher Education host Ian Wilhelm surveyed attendees with one key question — 

Will the pandemic experience help your institution make better decisions about using technology?

The answer from respondents? A resounding YES.

But what exactly are those decisions? Who’s making them? And most importantly, how will these decisions about technology made now lead to successful implementation and transformational change for your institution down the road?

On Thursday, February 18th at 2pm Eastern, Ben Waxman, CEO of Intead and Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect will be leading a follow-up webinar, "EdTech: The Road Map Has Changed. Successful Implementation Processes Look Like This" to further the valuable Chronicle discussion of last week.

Register Now

In this “Ask Us Anything” conversation, we’ll be getting practical, covering all things tactical implementation when it comes to technology on your campus. The key objective? Identifying how successful tech implementation really happens (despite the obstacles) and how you can create that new reality for your students, faculty, and staff. We want to discuss your specific case —wins, challenges, and all.

Adding valuable perspective to the event will be Jesus Trujillo Gomez, Strategic Business Executive for Higher Ed at Google Cloud, as well as other special guests from academic institutions across the country. Get those questions ready.

Registrants will receive access to the recording of this event, so if you can’t attend live, never fear. (And if you want your questions answered but can’t attend — let’s chat.)

And if you missed last week’s “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time” event, stay tuned in the coming weeks for the Director’s Cut recording, as well as a download of the key takeaways, including Intead and iSchoolConnect’s, “6 Insights in 6 Minutes.” Exciting, valuable stuff to come.

Read on for a preview of the keys to tech implementation success. Plus, one of the most common tech myths, debunked.

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Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time — Register Now

How do you and your team feel as you choose technology partners and platforms? Not exactly a walk in the park, right?

We’ve worked with many institutional leaders and there are common elements of a successful process. And those common elements are not the same today as they were a decade ago. Today, institutional investments in technology follow a different path, with different expectations. Success has been modified over the years. Integrations consistently evolve.

Our point: Enrollment management upgrades are essential to your institution’s future growth. Competition for students is growing more intense with no end in sight. You need both the team and the technology to succeed at stabilizing and growing revenue, and achieving the diverse student environment that your mission statement purports. 

What is this redefinition of how technology investments help universities move forward? Intead and iSchoolConnect are participating in a Chronicle of Higher Education webinar tomorrow, February 4th at 2pm Eastern, to discuss just that. All registrants will have access to the recording. So, even if you’re tethered to that critical Zoom meeting tomorrow, you can still get the inside scoop and all our best insights and advice.  

Register Now

The Chronicle is bringing an all-star panel to discuss the big picture. How are institutional needs assessed? How are institutional goals identified? How are technology investment decisions made? The panel features:

  • Cedric Howard, Vice President for Enrollment & Student Services, State University of New York at Fredonia
  • Keith W. McIntosh, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, University of Richmond
  • Mary Ann Rafoth, Provost, Robert Morris University

Plus, Intead and iSchoolConnect will be adding some grounded tactical perspective with a special segment,"6 Insights in 6 Minutes", featuring: 

  • Ben Waxman, CEO, Intead
  • Ashish Fernando, CEO, iSchoolConnect
  • B. Donta Truss, Vice President for Enrollment Development & Educational Outreach, Grand Valley State University 
  • Derrick Alex, Director, Admissions Processing, University of Houston

All in all, this webinar will help you consider the broad range of quality available in the marketplace as you find the trustworthy technology partners you need. Many of the vendor options available do not understand the complexity and varied needs of the academic environment. We do.

Read on for a preview of those insights. 

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Slate Users Speak: Getting Real About Technolutions’ CRM Platform Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our Slate series. You didn't think we'd forget about the international student recruitment/admissions perspective, did you? 

But let's stay with domestic student recruiting and enrollment management for just a moment. Intead and iSchoolConnect are participating in a Chronicle of Higher Ed webinar event on Thurs, Feb. 4 that you truly won't want to miss. Colleagues from SUNY Fredonia, U of Richmond, and Robert Morris, along with some special guests all addressing the challenges of technology implementation on university campuses. Register Here.

Now, about that Slate CRM! In Part 1 last week we shared the experiences of a variety of Slate users in universities across the US, including admissions directors, associate directors, specialists, and one CRM manager/power user. We talked all things integration, training and support, and the universally dreaded: getting queries to give you the information you want. 

This week we're talking all things international, as well as sharing our users' feedback on the cost and value of Slate to their institution. 

In our work with institutions on international student recruitment campaigns, we're all too familiar with the domestic/international divide when it comes to resourcing and decision-making influence. And in our discussions with users about Slate integration, some international admissions staff reported a similar disconnect in their experiences with initial training and usage of the platform. 

Again, we are grateful to our interviewees for sharing their valuable time and perspectives with us. Read on to learn how international recruiting/admissions teams are making Slate work for them. 

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Slate Users Speak: Getting Real About Technolutions’ CRM Platform Part 1

Weathering the challenges of 2021 and beyond requires serious enrollment management. And enrollment management lives or dies based on the the team you have in place, and the technology they rely on. So, let’s take a look at the platforms that can help your team do a better job.

Back in a 2019 post, we asked the question — is Slate all that?  That post, in which we discussed the features and benefits of Technolutions’ banner EdTech platform, is among our most-read posts ever.

With Slate now used by over 1,300 colleges and universities (up from 950 institutions in our 2019 post), the answer, it seems, is clear… Or is it?

Recruitment competition is fierce and getting fiercer as the student population declines and generally adjusts to the travel-resistant phase we are in. With the right platform in place, an institution has the ability to segment student audiences and create messaging and content that speak directly to each audience. Oh, and track the results so you can improve over time -- no small thing.

With the Slate buzz growing, so too has the online discussion and questions about integration, ease of use, and customer support. What does this rapid growth mean for the quality of their ongoing user support? Does Slate’s comprehensive range of features offer more complexity than it does value? How does Slate fare in the nuanced world of domestic vs. international student admissions?

To dig deeper, we spoke to a variety of Slate users in universities across the US, including admissions directors, associate directors, specialists, and one CRM manager/power user. Our Slate users ranged from seasoned pros, now on their fourth or fifth admissions cycles with the platform, to new adopters, with just a single admission cycle under their belts. We are grateful to our interviewees for sharing their valuable time and perspectives with us.

Some themes that emerged across universities were surprising, others, less so. Spoiler alert: if you aren’t yet a Slate query master, you’re not alone.

For current Slate users, we hope there is validation and inspiration to be found in the experiences shared by your fellow institutions. And for those contemplating Slate, consider this two-part series a comprehensive alternative to those lengthy product review forums you’ve been combing. Read on.

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