How to Increase Enrollments by 40% with Strong Lead Nurture
Want more enrollments for your college?
Want more enrollments for your college?
Imagine getting 2,000 additional leads to your school each month. What would that do for your revenue and, in turn, your budget?
The reality is, those 2,000 additional leads mean more money you’d need to pay for advertising—money that you might not have the budget for.
But what if you could take the existing leads you get each month and increase your number of enrollments without spending extra on advertising?
By improving your lead nurturing process, you can maximize the value of the leads you’re already generating to equal more enrollments—potentially a lot more.
The digital age has changed lead generation: use that to your advantage
Lead generation was once much simpler. You’d place advertisements in local print and other relevant places and hear the calls roll in.
Now, digital advertising on sites like Google and Facebook has quickly begun to take over, requiring more sophisticated sales funnels.
But, arguably, the most significant change is this: the majority of leads are no longer seeing your advertisement and then contacting you. Rather, you’re contacting the leads.
When someone clicks on one of your ads, they’re sent to a page where they’re prompted to set up an appointment to visit your college. Once they’ve submitted their information on your site, it’s now your job to contact that lead and move the process forward.
This shift in the lead generation process may seem subtle, but it’s here that both a new pitfall and a massive opportunity exist.
To take full advantage of that opportunity—and potentially increase your enrollments substantially—you need to optimize your lead nurturing process to be more proactive.
If you don’t, you may be giving up much more than you realize.
Increase your number of contacts by 60x
How soon do you reach out to leads after they’ve submitted contact information? 30 minutes? One hour? That’s not soon enough.
A large-scale study published in the Harvard Business Review and based on the research of InsideSales.com found that if you’re not contacting leads within five minutes, your contact rate drops tenfold:
Contact rates fell even more significantly beyond 24 hours, with that number increasing to over 60 times fewer contacts made compared to responding within five minutes.
So, where do most companies fall?
According to the study, 74% of companies take more than five minutes to respond to a new lead. In fact, more than 23% of the study’s leads were never contacted at all.
That means, by responding within five minutes to new leads, you have an immediate edge over nearly three quarters of your competition.
Depending on your staff, this might be more of a goal to shoot for than something you can realistically accomplish 100% of the time. However, the more leads you can contact within that time frame, the better your results will be.
What about automated email responses?
If you’ve used email in the past to respond to lead inquiries, you might be thinking, “If responding quickly is so important, why not use an automated email response?”
That’s a fair question. In fact, the most common first response throughout the study was email.
Setting up an email service that automatically responds to new leads and potential applicants instantly is, without a doubt, easier than calling each one individually.
The problem? Leads contacted by phone had a higher response rate and were more likely to close later on down the line compared to those contacted by email.
When it comes to scheduling appointments, especially from an initial inquiry, nothing beats a good old-fashioned phone call—as long as it’s within five minutes!
Clearly, though, not every lead answers the first phone call. So how many calls should you be placing to give yourself the highest chance of making contact with each new lead?
Achieve a 90% contact rate
As the old sales maxim goes, “It takes seven touches to close a sale.”
That might not be exactly right. However, according to a study by RAIN Group, it does take an average of eight touches to book an appointment with a new lead.
A touch can be anything from a phone call (even a message left with no answer) to a follow-up email, so eight touches isn’t as difficult to achieve as it sounds.
The same Harvard Business Review study mentioned earlier echoed these findings, reporting that your chance of making contact with a lead reaches 90% not by the first call, nor the second, but the sixth:
Conversely, it found that nearly 90% of salespeople give up long before that, by the third call:
To maximize the value of every potential lead you receive, your team needs to be not only swift, but also persistent.
Roughly six to nine attempts are ideal. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the source of the lead will affect that number, in addition to the volume your admissions staff can handle.
If you’re making even four to six contact attempts, you’re more than doubling your likelihood of making contact with each lead. Plus, you’re likely beating out the majority of your competition, who is giving up by the third call.
Increase your show rate by 16%
So far, we’ve talked about how to increase your chance of getting in contact with each lead to maximize their value. This alone can increase your enrollments by the sheer number of additional qualified leads and appointments booked as a result.
But is there anything you can do to increase the likelihood that a lead shows up once they’ve booked an appointment?
More Students partnered with ABES College in Alberta, Canada to boost their show rate—and enrollment—substantially.
In fact, one small shift resulted in a 16% increase in the number of leads who showed up to booked appointments.
In the beginning, the college booked appointments two weeks out on average. By pushing forward the scheduling to make all new appointments either same-day or next-day, nearly two additional leads showed up per every ten appointments booked.
The result: $121,680 in additional revenue per 100 appointments booked.
The basic principle is the same: as with contacting leads over the phone, the more time that goes by, the more “stale” that lead becomes and the less likely they are to be responsive, whether that means answering the phone or showing up for an appointment.
The better you can stay on top of new leads and hold their hands swiftly through the process, the warmer they’ll be when it comes time to show up for their appointments.
Strong lead nurture is key to maximizing enrollments
Strong lead nurture has the ability to multiply your returns from the marketing dollars you’re already spending.
If you’re looking for a way to increase enrollments without increasing ad spend, consider these factors:
- Strive to contact new leads within five minutes to maximize your number of contacts.
- Most leads don’t answer on the first call, so be persistent and make six to nine contact attempts with the average lead.
- Increase the likelihood that leads show up to appointments by making them either same-day or next-day.
The game has changed, but that’s created an opportunity for you to excel where your competitors are falling short.
Use these strategies to increase your enrollments and create additional revenue by optimizing your lead nurture process.
Contact More Students to learn more about increasing enrollments with strong lead nurture.
More Students serves colleges and only colleges.
By staying laser-focused we can help you avoid some of the money-sucking problems of working with generalist digital advertising agencies.