Jenzabar

Reframing the Graduate Student Enrollment Journey

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The following is excerpted from a blog by Spark451, a Jenzabar Company.

Prospective students are continually receiving offers from every brand and institution out there, every moment of the day. How do you break through the noise? The first, and most important, step in your enrollment marketing efforts is to truly understand the audience to which you’re speaking (enter: persona modeling — more on that in a minute) and then, to identify how you’ll attract their attention and usher them through the enrollment journey.

In higher education, the enrollment funnel has long been the model used to drive marketing and admissions strategy. However, prospective graduate students don’t adhere to a traditional enrollment cycle, thus, the funnel breaks down. Viewing the graduate enrollment process through the lens of a traditional customer decision journey (more commonly favored by marketers in commercial fields) allows for more flexibility for graduate enrollment managers to maximize efficiency in marketing and recruitment tactics. Let’s explore how to begin making this shift in strategy.

Customize Your Message to the Graduate Audience

 

Like many other efforts in enrollment, your outreach toward the graduate audience must be curated and customized. Because we are working outside of the traditional enrollment funnel, tactics must be hyper-personalized to the student based on not only where they are in their decision journeys, but also in their lives.

Consider this: On one end of the graduate student spectrum, you have the fresh-out-of-undergrad, hungry-to-learn 22-year-old. This student has fewer considerations for finding a graduate program outside of what feels like the right fit. On the other end of the spectrum is the single parent who is looking for a graduate program that will propel them into the next stage of their career; earning them more money and stability for their family. This student’s concerns when looking for a program are limitless — financial aid, flexible scheduling and formats, and time to completion.

 

The ways in which you speak to these two students should drastically differ, both in means of communication and tone/voice. This is where the adoption of the customer decision journey model, as opposed to the traditional enrollment funnel, is greatly beneficial. This strategy allows us to better understand our prospects and broaden our perspective when it comes to engaging with them.

 

So, how do we meaningfully customize our engagement toward this audience?

Click here to read the full article.

To explore how Jenzabar and Spark451 can help you find, recruit, and enroll more right-fit students, read about our Strategic Enrollment Suite.

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