A Guide to Preparing for your School's Successful HubSpot Onboarding

How to best prepare for implementing a new system like HubSpot into your school, college or university.

Schools are constantly under pressure to achieve more while managing finances in these challenging times. Whether it is generating leads or closing deals, the pressure is on to show successful returns on your investments and justify departmental budget expenditure and investment 

HubSpot is a software that sets out to be an ‘all-in-one’ solution to help schools with everything from generating initial leads through to successful sign-ups and closing deals. 

Having come from a teaching and then school marketing and admissions background I immediately recognised the value that HubSpot could bring as an ‘all-in-one’ solution to help schools combine marketing and admissions departments. For me personally implementing HubSpot enabled us as a school to more easily track leads, report on conversions, manage a keep warm campaign and analyse data which could then provide the leadership team with clearer goals and targets within the school.

This blog sets out to explain HubSpot, how it works and why it would be worth thoughtful consideration by schools serious about achieving efficient and effective inbound marketing, successful management of leads and student recruitment and ensuring a smooth and coordinated approach to customer service (i.e. prospective and current parent and alumni relationship-building).  

  1. What is HubSpot?
  2. The benefits of HubSpot for schools
  3. How to prepare for the process
  4. 10 steps to implement HubSpot successfully in your school

 What is HubSpot?  

HubSpot is a software solution designed for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. It provides a wide variety of organisations and businesses, including schools and universities, with the tools to manage your marketing and sales (admissions) processes, including lead generation, email marketing, social media management, website building and CRM. HubSpot offers a wide range of features, including search engine optimisation (SEO), content management system (CMS), analytics and chatbots. Numerous schools are now using HubSpot to great effect as it integrates with other tools, including iSAMS.  

The benefits of HubSpot for schools? 

HubSpot can significantly benefit schools, particularly in terms of lead generation and student recruitment. 

  • Centralised data management: HubSpot's CRM allows schools to automate their data management, ensuring that all leads are stored in one central location and making it easier to track the progress of leads and follow up later 
  • Easy lead generation: Schools can create landing pages, lead capture forms, and calls-to-action that are optimised for lead generation. These tools make it easy to acquire leads and track their progress through the sales funnel 
  • Improved communication: Schools can automate communication with leads, providing relevant and timely information and update, helping build trust and maintain engagement 
  • Personalisation: It is straightforward to personalise communications with leads based on their interests and behaviours, helping to establish more meaningful connections with potential students and families 

 How to prepare for the process 

The following are areas of focus suggested for schools to prepare for HubSpot implementation:  

  • Determine the scope of the implementation: Identify the HubSpot tools and features you wish to use, such as the Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, or Service Hub. This will help ensure HubSpot is relevant to your needs and avoids unnecessary complexity 
  • Ensure data readiness: Having clean, accurate and complete data is vital before importing it into HubSpot. This will help avoid data migration issues and ensure that the system is set up correctly 
  • Develop a rollout plan: Ideally, develop a plan for rolling out HubSpot to users, including timelines, milestones, and communication processes to ensure that everyone is aware of the new system and how to use it 
  • Create a communication plan: Explain the benefits of HubSpot to the school and why it is being implemented. Keep all stakeholders involved in the process and explain what changes they can expect. 

 Why is clean data so important? 

Clean data is accurate, consistent, and up-to-date and is therefore essential to any school’s success. 

  • Accurate decision-making: clean data ensures that decisions made by schools are based on accurate information. This information helps develop effective strategies and leads to informed decisions 
  • Improved communication: With accurate contact information for students, parents, and staff, communication is improved, and everyone is up to date on vital information, ensuring more positive engagement 
  • Efficient operations: Administrative tasks, such as enrolment and registration, are streamlined and efficient, saving time and resources 
  • Enhanced reporting: Schools can generate accurate reports that provide insights into student performance, enrolment trends and other significant data. These reports can also identify areas for improvement and develop effective strategies 
  • Compliance: Clean data ensures that schools meet compliance requirements, such as student privacy and security, reducing the risk of data breaches and making sure that schools operate within legal and ethical guidelines and legislation 

10 steps to successfully implement HubSpot in your school  

Implementing HubSpot may take time, but it will be well worth it for the benefits it will provide to your school. Consider the following tips: 

  1. Define the goals: Consider first the specific outcomes that your school wishes to achieve.  There are numerous reasons, which may include improving communication with parents, increasing enrolment or streamlining administrative tasks. By defining the goals, your implementation strategy can then align with the school’s overall objectives and ambitions 
  2. Select a project team: Select a team to drive and oversee the implementation process. Ideally, this would include representatives from departments including IT, admissions, marketing and development 
  3. Assess your data: Before implementing HubSpot, assess your existing data, including what you currently collect and what data you need to achieve your school’s goals and needs. Remember that the data should be clean, accurate, and well-organised to ensure the success of the implementation process 
  4. Develop an implementation plan: This should outline the steps involved in onboarding HubSpot including timelines, milestones, and responsibilities. Part of this plan is also to identify the tools and features currently used and how these could best be used from within HubSpot. Any potential aspects that may prove difficult should also be noted 
  5. Set up integrations: HubSpot can integrate with other systems, such as admissions platforms or management systems. Consultants work with schools to set up any necessary integrations 
  6. Train your team: To use HubSpot effectively, the team and staff who will use the system will require ongoing training on the specific tools (including data tracking and analysis) and other features that you intend to use. Users are encouraged to feedback on their experience with the system 
  7. Customise HubSpot: HubSpot is a flexible system that can be customised to meet the specific needs of your school. Before implementation, schools would work with HubGem consultants to customise the system to meet your needs 
  8. Test and refine: After implementing HubSpot, it’s vital to test and refine the system regularly. This will involve gathering feedback, identifying any issues and adjusting the system to improve its effectiveness 
  9. Set up reporting: HubSpot provides significant data and analytics. By identifying and gathering reports on the data you will get the insights your school requires 
  10. Monitor progress: Regularly review progress to ensure you are on track to achieving your goals. Adjust your strategy as needed 

HubSpot is a great asset for schools looking to streamline their marketing and recruitment efforts. Schools can generate more leads and recruit more students by centralising data management, automating communication and personalising outreach. However, successful HubSpot onboarding requires planning, training, and ongoing optimisation. By following the steps above, schools can successfully onboard HubSpot through HubGem and see the remarkable benefits it provides. 

Of course, we realise that implementing a new system like HubSpot into your organisation is a huge step with many moving parts, and even prior to  Onboarding with us we like to help schools, colleges and universities prepare in the best way they can, in order to get the best out of Onboarding.

Check out our Onboarding plans and services.

Similar Blog Articles:

➡️ My advice on implementing change at an independent school

➡️ Still using spreadsheets? Transform your admissions efforts this year!

➡️ How easy is HubSpot to use in Schools?



James is the Growth and Partnership Manager at HubGem. James joined HubGem with significant experience as a teacher and, more recently, in digital marketing and technology across a diverse range of sectors including education and the arts. Having implemented HubSpot from a school’s perspective, he is well placed to understand and support marketing and admissions teams in his current role.James also has designed, built and managed content for e-commerce, education and leisure sector websites and particularly enjoys his video and photographic work which includes content for award-winning projects.

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