International Educator - September/October 2019 - 43

Ultimately, CRMs should be allowing managers
to gain a deeper understanding of what works
and what doesn't with their recruitment efforts.
But the bottom of the funnel doesn't work
well, because people focus on the top."
Data in CRMs can not only tell
managers who responds to a message, but
what type of message resonates best, what
type of outreach leads to applications, and
where the bottlenecks are in the process-
and how all of these steps, combined,
affect conversion rates.
One often underused function of
CRMs is the ability to test messages. "The
tendency for us is to create what we think
is a successful campaign, set the dates and
automation, but then not bother to do a
deep scrub in terms of understanding if
it was successful," says Matthew Beatty,
director of international admission at
Concordia College.
CRMs allow for A/B testing, which
does not require creating radically different
email campaigns. "You can just change the
subject line to see if there's a difference in
the open rate," says Beatty. "You can do
different program offerings-maybe an
engineering offering in one message and
then business in the next, and see which
has more click-throughs."
Moreover, test messages do not have to
be blasted to an entire mailing list. Sending
test emails to a subset of prospective
students can indicate which message
captures their attention more before
sending out the winning message to a
broader list. CRMs also allow users to send
different messages to different segments of
students-like first-time students or those

interested in business degrees-which
adds a customized touch.

Using Data to Make Decisions
and Set Priorities
The data collected in CRMs can
correct assumptions and help make big
decisions-like identifying prospective
students who drift away during the
recruitment process-and small decisions,
like dates and times.
"Should we hold a webinar at 8:00
a.m. or 11:00 a.m.?" asks Hillary Dostal,
director of global marketing, recruitment,
and enrollment initiatives at Northeastern
University. "Grab the data and let's see
what it says. You don't have to guess."
CRMs can also flag prospective
students who have stopped opening or
responding to messages so that they can be
prioritized.
"You can trace back another candidate
who received an admission letter but didn't
open orientation materials," says Waxman.
Then, a staff member can follow up with a
phone call. He calls this "the automation of
raising flags."
"Your admission staff is overworked,"
Waxman remarks. "What you want is for
them to focus on greatest need, those areas
where they can really move the needle. But
if they are distracted by a portfolio of 3,000
prospects that they're supposed to nurture,
it's not nearly as effective as the system
telling me that these are the 25 people this
week who need attention."

NAFSA Resources
"Optimizing the Enrollment Cycle: CRMs" e-Learning Seminar: bit.ly/2y6nDyf
"Making Tech Work," March/April 2019 issue of IE: bit.ly/2OgMDOs
"Deciding with Data," Sept/Oct 2018 issue of IE: bit.ly/2MkjVK3

Allowing for Elevated Thinking
Raising flags doesn't apply just to
applications and enrollments. It is also
pertinent for all the requirements that
students have to fulfill to study in the
United States, including I-20s, I-901
payments, and visas-all of which CRMs
can track.
"Say a student receives his Form I-20 in
January, and now it's July and the student
still hasn't paid his I-901 SEVIS fee,"
says Prettyman. "If I see a student hasn't
engaged with us in several months, that's
a cue that we need to be more proactive in
following up."
Because CRMs allow managers to track
how long it takes a student to go through
the recruitment and enrollment process,
they can also identify bottlenecks. Dostal
says that such information is helpful, but
only as a spur to action.
"I can pull a report and find the answer
to what the turnaround time is for a I-20,"
she says. "But I need to look at it critically
to find the solution."
Once a student is on campus, the CRM
can help managers understand what worked
well. "Which touch points did they engage
in-emails, a webinar, a Facebook ad?" asks
Waxman. That information is a valuable
guide for targeting future prospects.
Prettyman says that CRMs also allow
schools to track the conversion rates for
prospective students coming from partner
agencies. "It helps to be able to see which
agencies are following through versus which
have students not progressing though the
pipeline," she notes. Such data can inform
decisions and discussion with partners, as
well as track return on investment.
Ultimately, says Dostal, CRMs should
be allowing managers to gain a deeper
understanding of what works and what
doesn't with their recruitment efforts.
"The CRM is supposed to elevate our
thinking," she says. "We're getting the
computer to do the automated things so
that we can do the thinking." n
JOHN GALLAGHER is a freelance writer
based in Seattle, Washington.
S E P T + O C T.2019 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

43


http://www.bit.ly/2y6nDyf http://www.bit.ly/2OgMDOs http://www.bit.ly/2MkjVK3

International Educator - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2019

From the Desk of
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Chile
Quick Questions
Feature: Countering the Forces of Change
Feature: Raising the Bar
Feature: Branching Out
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment Management
International Education Leadership
Forum
Take 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover1
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 1
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 2
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 4
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - From the Desk of
International Educator - September/October 2019 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 8
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Global Spotlight: Chile
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Quick Questions
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 14
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Countering the Forces of Change
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 18
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 22
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Raising the Bar
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 26
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Branching Out
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 32
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 36
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Education Abroad
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Enrollment Management
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Forum
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Take 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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