When you have a big list of inquiries, how do you determine which inquiries are the most qualified prospective students for your school? Are you sending all leads to the admissions team, or are you sending only the qualified students to the admissions team? To save everyone time, effort, and headache, you can capture data to help pre-qualify prospective students before they apply, or before they get to admissions. To capture this data, you’ll need to ask the right questions on your landing page forms.
You also want to ask questions that will help you target prospective students with the most relevant content. What information do they need to help make their decision of where to apply? Would you send the same content to a student interested in an engineering program as you would to a student interested in the marketing program? No! You need to ask the right questions to be able to provide content that is helpful for each inquiry.
The Mandatory Fields
Fields You Should Add to Your Forms (If You Haven't Already!)
Knowing the enrollment time of your leads will allow you to target the more “urgent” and timely leads. You will likely be more proactive reaching out to leads who are looking to enroll in the next year, than leads who won’t be enrolling for another three years. You may have different events and program information you can share based on their time of enrollment.
Program(s) of Interest
Don’t limit this to one option! You can have form fields with multiple select check boxes, so those who haven’t quite decided the program they’d like to pursue can choose multiple options to receive information about to help them make that important decision.
As an Account Manager, I work with some schools (particularly specialty, niche schools) that require prerequisites or a certain level of degree completion before enrolling. Asking for completed degree level or completed courses will help with lead qualification early on.
If certain prerequisites are not yet completed, you can still nurture these inquiries. You can ask when the prerequisites will be complete, and can follow up with those leads at that time of completion. In the meantime, you can continue to nurture them so your school is at top of mind when they are ready to apply. For example, you could provide tip sheets, checklists, and guides to help them complete the prerequisites.
How Else Can You Determine What to Ask on Forms?
How else can you determine what to ask on forms? Talk to your admissions team and ask them what the most qualified leads (aka prospective students) look like. What information are they looking for when speaking to prospective students? What separates a good candidate from a bad candidate?
Are you now worried about walking away from that meeting with a list of 30 fields we want to add to our forms? That’s where smart fields and progressive profiling come in. The optimal number of form fields is seven. Rather than having 30 fields on a single form, you can use smart fields and progressive profiling to capture all of that data over time as leads keep coming back to your forms. Your lead gets a better experience, and you get better information!
Having the right form fields on your landing pages is a win-win. You will get data that is helpful for qualifying or disqualifying prospective students, and can market to them better. In return, they will receive content that is more relevant to their interests. Now go meet with admissions and create those new form fields!
Originally published Mar 10, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated September 08 2020