Tara is the in-house content lead at Digistorm, tending to all content needs, big or small! When she’s not writing copy or managing the Insights editorial calendar, Tara is passionate about supporting theatre and live music.
If you're a regular reader of the Digistorm blog, you'll likely have read about the importance of having a customer relationship manager (CRM) to stay on top of all of your leads. Your CRM is an incredibly powerful tool. Within one system, you can capture, nurture and convert leads, helping you to speed up and finesse your processes.
But if you're working in admissions, you likely don't have much time to manually follow up on each lead, ensuring that they have been adequately nurtured, that their information is correct, and that they have been assigned to the correct staff member. Enter automations. Just like the name suggests, automations are a tool within Funnel, that enrolment and marketing teams can use to automate a number of their daily tasks. By using this handy Funnel feature, admissions teams can eliminate your repetitive work processes (while at the same time, maintaining a highly personalised experience for prospective families).
I think it’s a real game-changer for the enrolments process. From as simple as being able to automate birthday wishes to a future student, right through to sending internal email when an application fee has been paid or re-engaging families.
Steve Blight, Director of Communtiy Relations & Development at Immanuel College
As we prepare to roll out automation to more Funnel users in the coming months, here are the top five automations that we recommend admissions staff set up today to help streamline their day-to-day.
No matter how big your team is, there are likely different team members who will be responsible for different leads. This might be based on a particular attribute: for example, their year of entry or their nearest campus location. It could also be based on the stage of the enrolment pipeline that they are in. For example, if the lead has reached the 'interview' stage of your pipeline, you may need to assign the lead over to the team member in charge of interviews.
This can be a long and, let's face it, tedious process, meaning that many admissions teams wind up assigning all of the leads to one enrolments team member who manually notifies other staff members when required. By manually assigning leads, your school may miss out on the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot and have the right staff member reach out to them as quickly as possible.
On the other hand, by automating this process, you are ensuring that the right team member will be notified and assigned to the lead the minute that they hit your specified trigger. To set this automation up, you will need to identify the different staff members who are responsible for leads and the attributes that should trigger Funnel to assign them. You will then need to create an automation
If you haven't worked with drip campaigns before, allow us to get you acquainted. Essentially, they're a series of automated emails that are scheduled to be sent automatically at specific times. Let's say, for example, that a new lead has submitted a form on your website, asking to learn more about your school. After your initial response, you might enter this lead into a drip campaign to continue the conversation.
Your drip campaign might start by sending the lead a copy of your prospectus, then a week later, some more information about your extracurriculars, and finally, an invitation to attend a tour or open house. You might even like to set up specific communication based on which email the lead has interacted with through If/Then automation branches.
As all good event organisers know, follow-up communication is essential to maximise event success. This might include a quick thank you to attendees with further information or a clear call to action. On the other hand, you might want to check in with those who didn't attend, encouraging them to take advantage of your next open day or tour.
The thing is, admissions teams wear many hats and the prospect of following up with every last event registrant in a timely, personalised way might seem a little daunting. So, how can you streamlined this process? You guessed it, this is where automated communications come in.
This automation can be set up in Funnel, simply by creating follow-up emails for each audience prior to your event. Once you've saved your emails, you can create an automation to send based on whether they did or didn't attend your event and select the time and date you'd like to deliver that communication.
Are you keeping on top of your inactive leads? It's common for these families to silently slip through the cracks and fall into CRM purgatory. But, here's the good news: with the help of automation, you can set up triggers that alert your team when a lead has lost contact with your school.
Based on custom triggers, you can choose criteria such as; lead hasn't opened an email, taken a phone call, or interacted with your school for a specific amount of time. When these criteria are met, a notification can be sent to you or a member of your team to follow up and re-engage the lead. From here, your team can reach out personally, or enter the lead into a re-engagement campaign.
Although it's always a bit disappointing when families choose not to enrol their child at your school, it also provides a door to gain honest feedback. Does your school fall short in a particular area? Are your facilities and resources competitive, or perhaps, was your school just simply not the right fit? Take the initiative to understand why your letter of offer was declined by sending a quick survey.
In doing so, you'll gain a better understanding of the family's decision-making process, or perhaps gain some perspective on areas that might require improvement at your school. To automate this process, simply create a workflow that triggers the survey to be sent via email once a lead has declined your letter of offer, or is moved into 'closed/lost' within Funnel.
When's the best time to send your survey? We recommend that you don't allow too much time to pass so that you can gain as much honest feedback from the family before they turn their focus onto the school they've selected instead.
So there you have it — five Digistorm Funnel automation workflows that your admissions team needs to create, now! If you're a school looking to learn more about how Funnel can streamline your enrolment process, get in touch with our friendly team today, or check out our resources below.