By: Nicole Hughes, IEP Campus Coordinator

Have you been tasked with growing study abroad enrollment numbers but not offered additional resources to make it happen? Tracking interested students (leads) is one way to start increasing applications without the need for additional staffing, money, or time. In fact, if done correctly, it should streamline office processes and be a time saver in the long run. AND it can provide a huge return on study abroad enrollment.  

Here are 3 reasons why lead capture and management can be a game changer for your office:

1. Allows for follow up.

In a perfect world, a student would attend the fall study abroad fair, come in for advising the next week, and apply to study abroad the following semester. However, we all know that this study abroad utopia is currently out of our grasp. Most students need a little extra nudge to make their study abroad dreams a reality.

The data shows that students need to hear about study abroad an average of 7 times before taking action. Tracking and following up with interested students helps your office staff to reach that magic number 7.

IEP recommends that a student receive 3 follow-up emails over the course of many months after attending an event or inquiring for more information. These emails should have a clear call to action and work to dispel common perceived barriers. Having an email account also allows your office to send a monthly newsletter as well as create targeted marketing campaigns based on major or location.

“Yes but I don’t have the staff to send out those 3 emails!” Ah yes, we hear you. We recommend using a platform such as GoAbroadHQ that automatically sends those emails out to all your leads for you! So you can just sit back, relax and wait for the responses.

 

2. Streamlines office efficiency

A lead management system will easily allow members of the office to assign students to specific advisors. Advisors are able to pull a quick report to see which students they need to follow up with for the week and where their students are at in the process. In addition, study abroad offices can provide targeted marketing campaigns based on students’ majors, program of interest, preferred region, etc. All with a few clicks.

With a shared lead database system, any advisor or staff member in your office can easily see where any student is at in interest-to-enrollment funnel as well as all communication history between the student and advisors in the office. Thus, when one advisor is out, another advisor is very easily able to pick the pieces in able to provide support to a student who hasn’t been on their radar.

 

3. Captures important data.

The ways in which data collection and analysis can positively impact your office are immeasurable. By capturing leads, you can track conversion rates, which marketing campaigns are most successful, where there are gaps in programming, etc.

Are you preparing to make a case to administration for why your office needs additional staff members? Having data to back up your argument can only serve to help you. Have your advising appointment numbers jumped by 50% in the past year? Cold hard numbers are hard to refute.

Are you on track to meet your enrollment goals? Are your faculty-led programs on track to fill? If you know how many leads you had last year compared to this year in the same week, you are able to adjust your marketing strategies appropriately with enough time in advance of application deadlines to make a difference.
Data also helps you further streamline your office processes. A staff member spends loads of time designing posters to hang in the union; however, almost all leads that enrolled in programs come from a faculty or academic advisor referral? Maybe the staff member’s time is better spent creating materials that aid faculty/academic advisors in marketing study abroad to students.  With the data collected, you can feel confident  that your marketing strategies are effective and you’re able to steer your office resources in the direction of proven successful strategies.

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IEP is a consultant organization focusing on U.S. University Education Abroad and International Student Services offices. For over a decade IEP has assisted U.S. Universities in the development, oversight and general direction setting of their International Offices. Interested in learning more? Contact our Executive Director, Scott Tayloe – scott@iepabroad.org