How to convert a lead into admission? A step-by-step guide for Indian Schools

Facebook and Google ads have started giving leads, Super. All we need to do now is call them up and tell them about our school.

 

“Hello”

“Hello Good morning, this is Neha from ABC School. You recently left an enquiry on our website.”

“Not interested….”

Okay, not the best start lets call the second lead –

“Hello”

“Hello Good morning, this is Neha from ABC School. You recently left an enquiry on our website.”

“I did not leave any enquiry, please do not call.”

BLOOD HELL, FACEBOOK LEADS ARE JUNK.

Does this sound familiar? It’s not unique to your counsellors. Every school faces this when they start calling up digital leads and then they either stop running ads or continue doing the same thing over and over again. It’s time to rethink – it’s time to do the basics – work on your school’s marketing funnel to turn your digital and offline leads into admissions.

What is a marketing funnel and how can it help schools with admissions?

A marketing funnel describes a parent’s journey with the school prior to admissions. From the time they first see your advert or hear about you till the time they convert and pay the admission fee; marketing funnels map out the entire journey.

The ‘AIDA’ model created by Elias St. Elmo Lewis indicates that every purchase involves 4 stages and this holds true for parents looking to admit their children in your school:

Awareness: Parent is aware that their child needs to be admitted to some school

Interest: Parent shows interest in your/other similar schools (by following on facebook, giving a call, requesting a brochure or leaving their lead)

Desire: Parent starts to evaluate and compare various schools

Action: Parent decides to admit their child to a school

Knowing in which stage a parent is can help you tweak your message accordingly and feed them the information that will help them move from one phase to the other and ultimately to take admission in your school.

On average only 20% of parents are looking for immediate admissions – IOSIGNITE

 

What does a typical CBSE School’s marketing funnel look like?

Stage – Top of the Funnel (TOFU) – Awareness

Tools – Billboards, Newspaper, Radio, OTT, Display Ads, Youtube Ads, Meta Reach Ads, Inshorts, DailyHunt and similar

Goal – Visibility, Frequency

During the phase you want to reach out to as many people as many times in your location of interest. The message needs to be about all the activities taking place on campus.

 

Stage – Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) – Interest/Desire

Tools – Youtube Ads, Meta Conversion Ads, Google Search Ads, Display Remarketing Ads, Emails, Whatsapp, SMS

Goal – Lead Generation

During this phase you want to reach out to all your engaged audience and show them your human side ie. Student testimonials or success stories, teacher testimonials or success stories, parent testimonials, activities of importance and so on. This is also the audience that will be interested in direct admission open ads or open house and school tour ads – online webinars/ offline workshops can be planned for this audience.

 

Stage – Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) – Action

Tools – Emails, SMS, Whatsapp, Call, Facebook remarketing, Google display remarketing

Goal – Closure

During this phase you need to create urgency either with a time bound offer or limitation on admissions. This is the arsenal your counsellors require to close open ended conversations.

 

What is lead nurturing and what does it look like for schools?

Lead nurturing is essentially the process of developing trust and building a relationship with parents at every stage of the marketing funnel. A successful lead nurturing campaigns listens and anticipates the questions a prospective parents may have –

A good lead nurturing campaign –

  • Builds trust
  • Increase awareness about the school
  • Maintains a connection with parents till the time they are ready to enrol their child

To begin with I suggest schools to start with a simple lead nurturing structure of 3 months (content and frequency shown later in this article) Once your basic lead nurturing structure is in place then you should look at longer cycles and personalization.

Parents decide which school they want to send their child more often than not even before they conceive! So how do you change that mind set to convince them to consider you? Well, with a longer lead nurturing cycle that taps parents with newborn.  Create content for first time parents search for – create workshops young parents would be interested in and begin the cycle early. Segment parents based on interests and desires (are they more interested in extra-curricular, academics, international exposure etc) and build specific communication around it. The more personalized your communication becomes the better your conversions are going to be.

 

Why is lead nurturing imperative to your ad campaign?

If you’ve been running ads for a few years for admissions, you know the cost per lead is only going up but the conversion rate remains the same. Can we reduce the cost per lead – well, by 10-15% if you hire a great agency but then you have to pay their fat fee. So, in reality the lead cost will continue to rise and there isin’t much you can do about it. This is why making the most out of the leads generated and concentrating on conversion is your best bet in reducing cost per admission.

Let’s look at some numbers –

If your cost per lead is Rs. 650

Your campaign generates 100 leads

Total Cost – Rs. 6,50,000

If the conv. rate is 2% your cost per admission is Rs. 3,25,000

If you can raise it to 5%, cost per admission comes down to Rs. 1,30,000

And at 10% the cost is Rs. 65,000

At IOSIGNITE, I’ve seen conversion rate as high as 48% for a school in Pondicherry we work with! All of a sudden digital marketing makes sense! Their cost of lead was one of the highest they’ve ever seen but their cost per admission was shockingly low. While 47% is not usual, a 15-20% conversion rate is something average schools with a decent reputation can easily manage.

Sales cycle of schools are usually close to two to three months, lead nurturing can help you stay connected with prospective parents without seeming desperate and calling them multiple times.

Lead nurturing is great when you have a large database and not the resources to call them regularly. Emails & Whatsapp become an inexpensive way to stay in touch.

 

Email, Whatsapp and SMS Marketing for Schools?

Once a lead is generated – email, SMS and Whatsapp play a vital role in nurturing leads in a cost-effective manner. An average school marketing funnel should be of 3 months – which starts when the lead is generated and ends when the admission is completed or 3 months are over.

Email Frequency – Once a week

Content – School USP, School Achievement, Student Achievement, Testimonials, Podcast updates and similar material that is relevant for a new parent

Whatsapp – Once every 14 days

Content – Invite for open house, webinar, one-on-one session or an event. Whatsapp can also be used to share scholarship and award details

SMS – Every time an email is sent to notify the parent that we’ve shared an email along with the link

If the above nurturing cycle is put in place, you will realise that your counsellor’s calls are being better received and they are maximising their time by calling the right lead.

Tools required for lead nurturing –

To manage a successful lead nurturing campaign you will need to use a few automated tools, below is the list of tools that you can work with –

Easy to Use tools specifically for Indian schools and colleges

  1. Nopaperforms
  2. Extraaedge
  3. Myclassboard
  4. Leadsquare

 

Mail us at [email protected] for a free 3-month nurturing calendar to help you get started.

Buy our ‘Lead Nurturing Starter Pack for Schools’. Get all the high-converting content templates you’ll need for your school. This is a completely pre-written, 100% fill-in-the-blanks template for every step of the marketing funnel. Get this for Rs. 1999 – call us at 9874766366 or email us at [email protected]

Landing Pages | Blog Post Ideas | Social Post Ideas | Webinar Topics | Admission Emails | Nurture Emails | Admission Whatsapp | Event Whatsapp

Author: Jay Bagri is the Chief Rethink Officer at IOSIGNITE and has worked with 50+ schools across India to build their brand strategy and admission marketing funnel. Schedule a free one-on-one call with Jay to audit your current marketing plan.

 

Summary
How to convert a lead into admission? A step-by-step guide for Indian Schools
Article Name
How to convert a lead into admission? A step-by-step guide for Indian Schools
Description
Plan and execute a winning lead generation and conversion model for your school admissions by taking advantage of techniques mastered by IOSIGNITE over the last decade.
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IOSIGNITE
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July - 10,2023 | Posted by: Iosignite

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