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Acquire talents

How can segmentation help find the right students? Universities can make their recruitment efforts more precise by dividing the candidates into groups based on different criteria. The benefits are both for students and universities.

Segmentation is key to personalization.

Different student segments may have unique preferences, aspirations, and challenges. Understanding these small details helps universities create messages that appeal to specific groups.

Segmentation makes it easier to allocate resources. 

By finding high-potential segments, universities can use their resources, such as marketing budgets and staff, more efficiently.

Segmentation facilitates investigation.

The performance of various recruitment channels and tactics for each segment should be tracked and evaluated by your martech stack. It allows institutions to improve their efforts by getting feedback in real time.

Mastering data collection in recruitment

Throughout the recruitment process and through various marketing channels, universities acquire a vast amount of data that encompasses diverse aspects, including:

  • academic achievements
  • demographic information
  • communication preferences
  • previous interactions
  • majors of high/ low interest
  • learning paths inquiries
  • and engagement levels.

This data provides the foundation for tailoring recruitment strategies to the unique needs and preferences of prospective students.

We’re not a small business. We can’t use a mini CRM. We need an enterprise platform, and Salesforce is the leader in that space.”
– TIO, private research university

Source: Forrester Report: The Total Economic Impact Of Salesforce Education Cloud, October 2020

In the recruitment process, it is important to respect the rules of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). University policies must ensure explicit consent, safeguard candidate data, and maintain transparency regarding data usage. Compliance means collecting, keeping, and using, candidate information in a way that respects their privacy and keeps their data safe.

Navigating recruitment through successful segmentation

Collecting a variety of distinct information demands their proper organization and processing to make use of them. To achieve this, the candidates are grouped into various categories, such as:

  • Program or course of interest
  • Education level
  • Country, city or region
  • Parents/family members of potential students
  • Transfer students
  • Online students

Universities need to know who they’re talking to in order to deliver the right messages to the right people at the right moment.

Schools need to get better at massaging: how we’re communicating and really thinking of it from the true student perspective.”
– Katy Montgomery

Source: Connected Student Report, Third Edition, Salesforce

Therefore, the initial step involves segmentation. What are segments? They are groups of accounts or individuals. You can update them in real time based on criteria you define. There are several reasons for data segmentation:

  • Personalizing campaigns to show content prepared for a specific segment
  • Reviewing member profiles to view trends, profile features and learn about preferences.
  • Transferring data to a different application or software (CRM).

In the context of higher education, the segmentation could be divided regarding the stage of the application process:

  • Application started, not submit
  • Application submitted, admission file is not complete
  • Admit (admissions file is complete)

This implies that each step requires different communication. What’s the practical application of this?

If the candidates are at the very beginning of their application journey, then it is good to use chatbots for addressing prospective students’ inquiries efficiently. The variety of inquiries, ranging from course content and program duration to pricing structures and lodging information, demands prompt and precise responses.

If the university organizes virtual events, then university teams can take advantage of the comms and engagement channels integrated into the event platform to reach out to registered participants before the event. The immediate post-event follow-up is a mandatory action to engage the candidate and maintain contact.

For in-progress applicants, an email with social proof could be the best incentive to decide.  Positive reviews and relatable quotes from other students will influence candidates to take the next step and feel less intimidated about the enrollment process.

Avoid siloed information

Moreover, universities leverage technology, including customer relationship management (CRM) systems, to efficiently capture, organize, and analyze this data. CRM platforms enable institutions to maintain a centralized repository of information, ensuring data accuracy and accessibility to authorized personnel.

Automation tools and dedicated platforms like Salesforce could be used to automate the entire communication process. This helps to coordinate many messages and make sure they get to the right people at the right time. This approach involves sending messages across different channels, such as email, social media, and SMS, to engage with prospects at the right touchpoints.

“There are great recruiting and admissions tools. There are adequate tools to manage partnerships and sponsorships. There are even some good solutions for dealing with alumni relations. But we felt that Salesforce was the only vendor that provided a single platform across all of those areas. Salesforce allowed us to weave the 360-degree view of our constituents across the various systems that we work with.” – CIO, public research university

Source: Forrester Report: The Total Economic Impact Of Salesforce Education Cloud, October 2020

The centralization of these communications in a single location is particularly advantageous. This approach not only streamlines campaign management but also enhances the efficacy of monitoring and analyzing performance. The result is a more efficient and data-driven communication strategy, which optimizes engagement and conversion efforts.

Effective segmentation attracts talents

Higher education is becoming more competitive. Institutions cannot solely rely on their academic reputation to attract students. To appeal to today’s students, they need to take a more flexible approach to student recruitment and reach out to different student groups with personalized content.

By using communication and segmentation in the recruitment process, universities can enhance student engagement, improve efficiency, and meet the diverse needs of their prospective students. The result is a better admissions process for everyone.

Case Study

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Marketing automation
at the University

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