In education, we rarely talk ‘leads’. We may mention ‘prospects’ or ‘enquiries’, but they all refer to the same thing: the person who may be interested in becoming a customer in future. As a lead, you'd hear from a business or organisation with which you've already opened communication.
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers into someone who has indicated interest in your school, college or university. Some examples of lead generators are blog posts, open events, taster experiences and online content like prospectus downloads.
Instead of ‘selling’ your organisation you should be working on finding unique ways to attract people to it. Offer them enough to get them naturally interested, so they eventually warm up to the brand enough to want to hear from you! Offer them useful content that establishes you as a thought leader and will enrich their life, long before they reach the ready-to-buy stage.
Here's how it works...
- First, a visitor discovers your school, college or university through one of your marketing channels, such as your website, blog, or social media page.
- That visitor then clicks on your call-to-action (CTA) — an image, button, or message that encourages website visitors to take some sort of action. The CTA takes your visitor to a landing page, which is a web page that is designed to capture lead information in exchange for an offer.
- An offer is content or something of value that's being "offered" on the landing page, this could be a prospectus download, a guide to revision tips or a taster experience. The offer must have enough perceived value to a visitor to merit providing their personal information in exchange for access to it.
- The form on your landing page consists of a series of fields that collect information in exchange for the offer (email address, name, child name, subjects of interest…). Forms are typically hosted on landing pages, although they can technically be embedded anywhere on your site.
Once a visitor fills this out… you have a new lead!
Converting your website visitors into leads is the beginning - the real value comes from your ongoing communication or 'lead nurturing' that is then designed to guide them through the admissions funnel.
You can read more about this here: From top-to-bottom - providing value at every stage of the admissions funnel
This article uses content from our free ebook 'The Beginner's Guide to Generating Inbound Leads in Education'.
Download the full ebook that explores lead gen in more detail, and includes benchmarking data.