Best practices for admissions workflows

Workflow #1: Turning a website visitor or lead into an inquiry

Schools often overlook this important workflow (and section of the admissions funnel). More than ever, your prospective families spend time researching their school choices — meaning, if you don’t get their information during this research stage, they may never fill out an inquiry form. For this workflow, you’ll need to have some sort of content offer that captures a prospect’s information early on (you can learn more about those here and here). The goal is to get those who have downloaded a content offer to inquire.

Basic setup

  • Number of suggested emails: 3-6 unique emails

  • Branching logic: Build email paths based on email opens and/or clicks

  • Timing: Send emails 3-5 days apart

  • Additional setup: Once someone inquires, you'll want to be sure they get un-enrolled from the workflow.

Content suggestions

  • Email 1: A simple “thanks.” Thank you for your download! (This email can be set up through Forms Manager directly or in Workflows). In this email, simply thank your prospect for their download and provide a link to view the content, as well as any other additional information they may need at this point. We also suggest using a Thank You page.

  • Emails 2-5: Content marketing. The key to nurturing individuals down the funnel is not to sell them on taking the next step immediately. Rather, you want to help sell the value of your school over the course of 1-4 more emails. Because you want workflows to be “evergreen,” you likely won’t want to include anything that will be dated a few months from now. Because these individuals are just starting their journey, you want to be sure that the content you provide helps sell them on the value of your type of school.

  • Email 6: The call-to-action. Now is your time to make the “ask!” Ask them to make the next step — whether that means an inquiry or even simply speaking with a member of your admissions team.

    Note: Using the branch option for “opened,” resend this email to those who didn’t open the first one with a new subject line.

Workflow #2: Turning an inquiry into an applicant

You’ve done the hard part: earning a conversion that indicates a prospect is interested in your school. Now it's time to keep the momentum up. If you’re using the integration available with Ravenna or OpenApply, you can automatically keep users who have submitted your Ravenna/Open Apply inquiry form engaged and driven to apply. If you aren’t using the Ravenna or OpenApply integration, you can still execute this process manually.

Basic setup

  • Number of suggested emails: 3-6 unique emails

  • Branching logic: Build email paths based on email opens and/or clicks

  • Timing: Send emails 5-7 days apart

  • Additional setup: Once someone applies, you'll want to be sure they get un-enrolled from the workflow.

Content suggestions

  • Email 1: Thank you. Workflows triggered by a conversion should always begin with a “thank you.” Express your gratitude for their interest and provide some additional content they may find interesting.

  • Emails 2-5: Content marketing. The key to nurturing individuals down the funnel is not to sell them on taking the next step immediately. Rather, you want to help sell the value of your school over the course of 1-4 more emails. Because you want workflows to be “evergreen,” you likely won’t want to include anything that will be dated a few months from now. Because these individuals are in the middle of the funnel, we suggest using blog content, additional content offers, videos, testimonials, and so on — content that sells them on the value of your school in particular.

  • Email 6: The Call-to-Action. Now is your time to make the “ask!” Ask them to make the next step — whether that means submitting an application or even simply speaking with a member of your admissions team.

    Note: Using the “branch” option for “opened,” resend this email to those who didn’t open the first one with a new subject line. Also, use personalization! Try out a subject line like “%firstname%, apply now! Limited space available.”

Workflow #3: Turning an applicant into an enrolled student

Once someone has applied to your school, you may think your job is done — but it isn’t! You need to be sure that you keep prospects engaged. We suggest sending one email every 7-10 business days from when your prospect is accepted until they have to enroll. This may vary from school to school.

Basic setup

  • Number of suggested emails: 4-6 unique emails

  • Branching logic: Build email paths based on email opens and/or clicks

  • Timing: Send emails 5-7 days apart

Content suggestions

  • Email 1: Congratulations on your acceptance. In the first email, congratulate them (again) on their acceptance and provide some additional resources that they may find helpful at this stage.

  • Emails 2-5: Additional resources and engaging content. Now is the time to answer any questions before they’re asked, and alleviate any obstacles before they come up! In a series of emails, sell the value of your school using testimonials, while also sharing information your prospects need.

  • Email 6: The call-to-action. Remind them to enroll before your workflow ends!
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