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Marketing Automation With Salesforce for Student Recruitment and Admissions

In Salesforce, a campaign is an engagement initiative that you can plan, manage, and track. Campaigns for student recruitment are really no different than any marketing campaign for a B2C message. Engaging and recruiting students is very similar to attracting consumers to a live event and convincing them to spend money when they get there. The Campaigns object in Salesforce can be used to track any outbound marketing project that asks a contact for a response.

Your school can use Salesforce campaigns for admissions information sessions on and off campus. Set up a parent campaign for the event and add prospective students you wish to invite as campaign members. Create child campaigns in Salesforce for each channel you will use for outreach in your campaign. These might include email invitations, direct mail, social media reminders and announcements, and follow-up communications after the event. Omnichannel marketing is easy to do with Salesforce.

In Salesforce, a campaign member is represented by a junction object that links leads and contacts to specific campaigns. Campaign member statuses help you track engagement and filter campaign members for additional outreach. There are default campaign member statuses like Sent and Responded that are automatically available in the campaign member status field. With the help of a Salesforce administrator, your team can create custom campaign member statuses that make sense for your specific use case.

Summit Technologies collaborates with your recruitment and admissions team to create custom campaign member statuses for managing outreach efforts like the above example of an admissions information session. The campaign member statuses might include invited, registered, and attended in Salesforce.

The member statuses allow recruiters to keep track of which prospective students have already been invited to an information session, who registered, and who actually attended. This provides excellent tracking and a method for calculating the ROI on the campaign efforts.

Campaign reporting helps teams determine the impact of the campaigns they’re running. Having insight into the impact and efficacy of a campaign allows teams to make informed decisions on where to spend their dollars on events and resources that have proven to be highly engaging to prospective students. While campaign reporting shows you what’s working so you can invest in it, it also shows your team where there’s room for improvement. We know you’re working hard, and campaign reporting helps you work smarter.

Salesforce marketing automation works with campaigns to create the full picture of prospect engagement. Salesforce’s marketing automation tools allow you to automate activities like emails, forms, landing pages, and nurture programs. Salesforce has two options for marketing automation: Marketing Cloud and Pardot. Both empower you to stay engaged with your prospects without spending all day sending emails and posting messages. Each product has its own unique qualities.

Salesforce Pardot is most powerful for lead scoring and distribution with lead scoring, lead distribution, sales alerts, and Salesforce Sales Cloud integration.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is most powerful for overall brand journeys and messaging with transactional messages, promotional messages, web behavior tracking with Einstein predictive recommendations, mobile messaging, social listening, publish, engagement tracking and social advertising.

The two marketing platforms overlap and integrate very well in their abilities to send email campaigns, build custom landing pages, and basic forms capturing data and adding it back to your Salesforce CRM.

Pardot can support recruitment and admissions teams by helping them profile prospective students with scoring and grading. Scoring identifies how interested a prospective student is in your school. Scoring metrics are determined via explicit signals such as opening emails, clicking on links, registering for events, and downloading brochures. Grading, on the other hand, identifies how interested your school is in the prospect. Grading metrics are informed by profiles you create for the “best fit” student for your institution. Pardot automates grading that looks at the criteria you specified in your profile and assigns a grade from A+ to F.

Pardot is also very useful for creating and managing forms and landing pages for gathering more information about students. Your team can “gate” information (like webinar and event registration or brochure and resource downloads) in order to gather information that will be useful in future communications. For example, if a student wants to download an on-campus housing brochure, they are required to enter their full name, email address, phone number, and indicate an area of study interest from a dropdown of programs in order to access the resource. This information is helpful for segmenting and targeting prospective students and informs the type of content your team will send next, based on the information provided. For example, when a prospect selects Biology as an area of interest on the housing brochure, you can now send them information about the Biology program and curriculum to help create a more curated experience.

Students today communicate beyond just email. Whether it’s text, social media, email, or all of those channels combined, students now expect to be engaged across all communication channels. In order to tackle this new challenge, Marketing Cloud offers a multi-channel platform with a variety of tools that recruitment and admissions teams can use to engage with prospects.

Social Studio lets you both analyze and address student sentiment about your institution. For example, if a new program on campus gets people talking on social media, you can send information to prospective students about that program at the right time.

Ad Studio gives your team the power to target ads based on a prospective student’s personal information. For example, you can deliver ads based on geographical region or student type (first-year vs. nontraditional). Ad Studio keeps track of which channels work best and also helps you target lookalike audiences, which are prospects that your school hasn’t identified yet, but have similar qualities to your current prospects.

Google Analytics 360 helps you understand email and website visit performance. It shows you where people are clicking, when, and where they go from one page to the next. With Google Analytics 360 you can track where prospects are coming from (Google search, Facebook, and Twitter, to name a few) so that you can make outreach decisions based on your most impactful channels.

Few features of marketing automation capture the platform's simplicity and power as well as automated lead nurturing. Regardless of which tool is the best fit for your institution, both Pardot and Marketing Cloud empower you to build engagement journeys. Pardot offers Engagement Studio, a tool that lets you build, test, and report on engagement programs that send targeted emails based on prospect behavior and critical qualifying values. Marketing Cloud offers Journey Builder, a tool that empowers you to design and automate campaigns that guide customers through a series of interactions with your institution.

Salesforce marketing automation gives your team the opportunity to communicate with prospective and new students in ways that are engaging, personalized, and relevant to their student journey. Automation makes it possible to scale these efforts so they’re more impactful than ever before, and still manageable for your staff.

Salesforce and Summit Technologies help schools build engaging recruitment journeys that lead to better student engagement and enrollment. How can we help your school?

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