CMS and EMS communications: A guided approach for schools using both Finalsite products

Using Finalsite’s Content Management System (CMS) with Finalsite’s SchoolAdmin Enrollment Management System (EMS) provides the optimal experience for parents and school administrators alike. This combination gives you the tools to streamline communications, nurture leads, and obtain mission-fit students in a more dynamic way. In this article, you'll learn the benefits and important points to consider when managing communications across both the CMS and EMS platforms.

Terms used in this article

You will see the following terms used to refer to Finalsite’s two systems:

  • CMS (Content Management System) refers to Finalsite’s website, marketing, and communication tools (which includes Forms, Composer, Messages, and Automated Email Workflows).

  • EMS (Enrollment Management System) refers to Finalsite’s admissions and enrollment platform (also referred to as SchoolAdmin).

Best practices

  • Create a journey map to outline all touchpoints from prospective student to fully enrolled student, to prevent duplicate communication between the CMS and EMS systems. 

  • Use all communication tools to nurture and improve your yield as well as aid your retention efforts.

  • Utilize the integration of your CMS platform to target communications to the appropriate recipient with up-to-date statuses.

  • Use Workflows and Messages in your CMS to nurture leads, encourage prospective students to apply, and enroll accepted students.All admissions and enrollment communications intended to drive action on an EMS checklist item should be sent from your EMS system and contain a link to the EMS parent portal.

Questions to consider

  • Is the communication a call to action on the Admissions/Enrollment checklist (for example, a checklist reminder, form link, etc.)? If so, it is best practice to send the communication through your EMS.

  • Are you still competing with other schools? While all admissions/enrollment task communication should be hosted in your EMS, you can use your Finalsite CMS to promote events and market to incoming families. Messages and Workflows can help convert students who have been accepted, but have not yet enrolled.

Key features and benefits of CMS and EMS

Lead nurturing/Communication workflows

Feature CMS EMS Notes
Non-admissions lead nurturing/ inbound marketing campaigns for prospects YES   Automated Communication Plans are only available from Inquiry > Enrollment in your EMS.
Automated and customized communication workflows YES  YES
(Inquiry > Enrollment only)
 
Manually send individual and bulk emails YES YES  
Admissions and enrollment checklist communications   YES Your CMS can be used for marketing emails, while checklist progress and follow-up emails are managed within your EMS.
Billing module automated emails   YES Parents receive custom billing communications (statements, upcoming payment reminders, receipts, and past due notices) automatically through customizable email templates.

 

Communication setup and customization

Feature CMS EMS Notes
Dynamically reuse content in multiple channels YES
(Posts, Calendars, Athletics)
   
Dynamic Content YES YES  
Branching Workflows YES    
Link a message to a Page Pop YES    
Set custom reply-to email addresses  YES YES  
Set a CC/BCC for each email template   YES  
Sent email admin notification YES YES  
Images and video content in emails YES YES Media content is linked/displayed in email templates, not attached, to align with best practices for bulk mailings.
Communication landing pages YES YES In EMS, Inquiry and Application form submissions lead to custom thank you landing pages. CMS forms can redirect to any Composer page after submission.

 

Communication tracking and responses

Feature CMS EMS Notes
Track message open and click rates YES
(Messages only)
  Only sent and failed emails are tracked in your EMS.
Track sent and failed/suppressed emails by individual YES YES  

 

Related help articles and training videos

CMS content

EMS content

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