With everything going digital in our world, it’s not surprising that more and more colleges and universities are opting for online enrollment. Not only that, but they're also moving away from more traditional methods for the applications process. To save on time, space and money, many institutions are now turning to admissions tracking software.
Admission tracking software is software designed to help streamline a school’s admissions processes. Depending on the software of choice, admissions offices can also use their tracking software to monitor current students. This includes tracking:
Which disciplines they choose to pursue
Their extracurricular activities
Their expected graduation dates
Choosing to join the Alumni Association
This type of software is great for higher education because it helps to collect valuable student data that can then be used during the admissions process. This data can then be compared to current admissions standards, making the selection process much less difficult. This information can then be used in conjunction with student information systems to help streamline a student’s entire college experience.
Why admission tracking software pairs well with email automation
While college admission tracking software may seem as if it has a primary use, when combined with the right companion software, valuable information can be collected. This information can then be used to streamline a student’s entire college career.
For instance, this data can be plugged into your campus’s CRM software to help generate automated emails that pertain specifically to them and their needs. That means sending the following emails can be done that much easier:
Fee payments due
Upcoming events tailored to their area of study
Campus specific events/notices and more
4 real-world examples of admission tracking software working together with email automation
The point of email automation is to send the right email messages to the right individuals at the right time. To do this, colleges need to be able to collect valuable data on their students so that they are always sending them relevant content. This is why having an admission tracking software can be so vital for an institution of higher education.
With the information that is collected by this software, emails can be curated to the student’s needs. This help to avoid any and all unnecessary information.
By combining admission tracking software with your college’s CRM software, you can be sending out carefully tailored email messages such as the four listed below.
Sporting events email
As big as college sporting events can be, they aren’t always everyone’s cup of tea.
Using information from your admissions tracking software can help you creates specific email lists. These lists can then be designed and be created based on areas of interests.
This example is great because it is personalized to the individual. It allows the individual to make necessary email changes right off the bat. Universities can follow this example by sending automated thank you emails to students who enroll in various activities, including:
Art and more
This leads to less wasted resources and happier individuals with less cluttered inboxes.
Throughout the year, students worldwide suffer through the awful waiting period prior to acceptance. This is the period between enrolling for their colleges of choice and waiting to hear back on the institution’s decision on acceptance. Gone are the days of snail mail acceptance letters. Instead, more and more institutions of higher education are opting to use email for this communication. And because this is such an important and exciting message to share to prospective students, there are many ways you can take advantage of email features to make it a truly personalized, special email.
In this example below, a student received an email notification only to open the message and celebrate her acceptance to North Carolina State University.
For universities and colleges that choose to use admissions tracking software in combination with their CRM software, once a student’s application has been accepted, then the software can trigger an acceptance email campaign. This is excellent because it allows higher education institutions to link to their valuable resources, such as:
Student information packets
Financial department information and so much more
Student birthday email
Show your students that you care! Instead of treating them like just another student, why not take the time to create and send birthday email messages to your student body?
This process can be made super simple with the use of data collected by an admission tracking software. Even better, once you’ve combined it to your student information systems or CRM software, you can automatically send out messages such as this one from Eastern Illinois University as a student or Alumni’s birthday is approaching.
This concept can be applied to various student anniversaries, including:
Campus actives pertaining to a student's area of interest
Alumni association email
Upon graduation, a student's relationship with the institution doesn’t have to end there. Once a student starts approaching graduation, an alumni association campaign can be sent out.
These campaigns can be used to ask a student to join the association before graduation, with a reminder email being sent following their graduation. Should their alumni fee not be paid or a student chooses to let their membership lapse, reminder emails can be sent out as well.
Re-engagement email campaigns are also a great way to utilize the information collected by your admissions tracking software and other student information systems. If you notice that a student has fallen off the alumni list, you can initiate a re-engagement email campaign to try and entice them back.
Email marketing best practices for higher education
Knowing how admissions tracking software can be used in conjunction with your email marketing efforts is great. However, we must cover a few email marketing best practices for institutions of higher education.
With everything going digital, some may ask why the focus should be on email, and we have your answer. Email is the digital channel that is currently generating the highest overall ROI. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI.
To get you started, here are a handful of tips for creating a successful higher education email campaign.
Segment your email lists
Properly segmenting your email lists is vital, especially for colleges and universities. These institutions have massive email lists, and simply sending out the same content to each, and every individual is a waste of time and recourse. Therefore, segmenting your email lists into categories such as the following is so important:
Major or school
Campus living situation
Now, those lists look familiar, and they should because this data can be collected with your admissions tracking software. Once you have that information, you can segment your lists accordingly, ensuring everyone is receiving relevant content promptly.
Personalization is vital
Along with segmentation comes personalization, and personalization is a lot more than simply including the student’s name at the start of the email. Personalization is, again, about sending the right content to the right reader when they need it the most.
This requires email marketers to get to know their subscribers genuinely, and in this case, the students both on and off-campus. As with list segmentation, you’ll need to know student’s interests, academic and extra-curricular, how they spend their time and more. Once you have that information, and you’ve segmented accordingly, you can send them relevant, personalized messages that they will find of use to them.
Design your emails for all devices
With everything moving online, it’s vital to maintain brand cohesiveness. That means having the same branding across your website, printed materials, and your email. With how essential email is to the everyday student, ensuring that your campus’s emails open correctly across all devices is absolutely critical.
It used to be enough to have a responsive email design. This meant that your message would alter its size depending on the size of the device screen in which it was being viewed on. While that was a step in the right direction, it doesn’t ensure that all your content will be easily viewable.
Instead, it is more important to ensure that your emails are being designed as mobile-friendly. This means that your email will look the same no matter which device the reader is using. While it’s not perfect, it is quickly becoming the standard as more people begin opening and interacting with their emails on their mobile devices and smartphones.
Always test before you send
This cannot be stressed enough. Testing your emails with a small sampling of your email list helps to ensure that you are sending out the right information to those who want to receive it. A/B testing allows you to test various components of your email. This is done by creating an “A” version and a “B” version, which is then sent out to two small samplings of your email list. Whichever one performs better is the one that should be sent out to the rest of your email list.
Admission tracking software is a great tool for college and university email marketers for many reasons. Most importantly, it helps them to gather important information that is needed to send out high-quality emails to their student and staff. Once they have that information, taking these four steps will help you design the best email campaign to suit your institution's needs:
Segment your email lists
Personalization is a must
Mobile-friend design is critical
Always test before you send
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