5 Ways an Education CRM can help you save money

Posted by Charlotte Boaden on June 10, 2022

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for education can save you money by helping your institution do more with less.

A CRM is a powerful tool used to automate manual workflows to save on time and resources while delivering the essential insights you need. Cutting down administrative tasks provides not only savings in staffing costs, but the unified approach of a CRM system helps make the student recruitment process, as well as other areas of communications, more effective too.  

CRM systems centralise communications and data in one place, simplifying tracking and performance measurement with improved access to a holistic performance overview, allowing for more data-led decision-making. For example, understanding the success of student recruitment campaigns helps you quickly identify poorly performing campaigns, allowing you to reallocate resources - and budget - to where it is needed most. 

Institutions typically introduce an education CRM to improve specific processes. However, new levels of efficiency and cost savings can be achieved with an all-in-one CRM system, used to help manage every stage of the student journey. This means one system and dashboard to supercharge student recruitment campaigns, manage case management responses, and track student attainment. 

This guide explores 5 ways an education CRM can help save you money, including: 

  1. Segmenting your data for powerful insights and improved return on investment. 
  2. Automating manual processes to improve efficiency and keep resource-intensive tasks to a minimum.  
  3. Replacing and centralising costly legacy tech systems, which drain time and resources. 
  4. Providing a baseline for result-driven student recruitment. 
  5. Improving student experience in a cost-effective way. 

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1. Segmentation of data

Segmentation of data is one of the main benefits of an education CRM, which can collect and collate data from a variety of sources in one centralised system. A CRM allows you to group or segment data by different dimensions, for example by acquisition source, the stage in the students journey, and beyond. Segmenting audiences will provide granular performance insights and targeted, personalised communication.

An institution may also choose to segment a student contact list based on demographics, subject choice, or levels of engagement with previous campaigns. Future campaigns can then be refined and targeted to achieve the most impact. When utilised correctly, audience segmentation improves engagement rates for less cost. It’s an intelligent way of understanding your audience to achieve personalisation at scale, cutting manual costs, and improving the effectiveness of campaigns.  

The benefits of using an education CRM  


2. Automated workflows 

An automated workflow takes a manual, repetitive action and automates it through a CRM system. For example, sending an initial response and/ or information pack to a prospective student who has sent a website enquiry can be automated.  

Manual and administrative tasks like this can often be cumbersome and time-consuming, taking up valuable time. However, automation is much more effective and resource-friendly, meaning staff can focus on more skilled tasks while prospective students still get the essential information and attention that they need. 

A specialist CRM or student recruitment solution designed for education will typically include prebuilt templates and workflows to help achieve automation out of the box. However, CRM systems can also handle more complex workflows, triggering responses based on specific conditions. For example, a workflow may send specific recruitment material and brochures to answer different enquiries, removing the need for individual intervention. This reduces administrative costs and also provides 24/7 coverage, improving response times and the overall student experience throughout the recruitment process.  

Automated workflows are integral to getting the most out of your CRM in education. Manual processes can be cut down or streamlined, so automation can help you do more with fewer resources, helping to achieve a high level of consistency across all communications. Automation is also scalable, with workflows designed to improve the student journey at every touchpoint.  


3. Legacy system cost savings 

The education sector is filled with legacy systems and software, which trails behind rapidly changing digital technology. Legacy systems are often a drain on resources because although they may have been fit for purpose 10+ years ago, this may no longer be the case today. The cause is typically a lack of continued investment beyond an initial system improvement. Legacy systems and technology have survived beyond their lifespan, which can lead to a range of issues. Slow hardware with performance issues alongside unsupported and unsecure software can make simple tasks difficult and can also impact your institution’s cyber security. The limiting factor of legacy systems is regularly a key reason why a CRM is needed in Higher Education settings in the first place. 

Costs of legacy systems include ongoing maintenance and downtime, as well as the resource taken to use a system that is no longer fit for purpose. Legacy systems are more likely to be closed systems with siloed technology, incompatible with other systems in the wider digital ecosystem. This makes it difficult to scale and grow alongside your organisation, and means it’s impossible to take a wholesale look at data trends. 

A CRM system can help replace the functionality of many legacy systems. It can also centralise the management of separate software and systems to create a holistic view of education performance informed by data and communications. Cloud-based CRM systems are accessible from a range of devices, enabling access to information that matters by those that need it when they need it. A CRM is future-proof and offers the ability to fully integrate different student systems within one CRM. 

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4. Results-driven recruitment

Student recruitment is incredibly competitive, whether you’re hoping to attract international students to your UK university or appeal to home-grown students. A CRM can help institutions hit desired recruitment targets by driving efficiency savings and providing a foundation for result-driven campaigns. This includes providing metrics to measure and define success, monitoring ongoing performance of student recruitment, and automating manual processes for cost savings. 

Student recruitment relies on engaging prospective students across multiple channels, such as social media, physical events, website chats, emails, and phone calls. An education CRM unifies these channels, helping you make data-led decisions by monitoring and measuring campaign performance. With this insight, a CRM will help your team to focus on where resources should be invested for the best results, which channels and campaigns are performing well, and what needs to be improved.  

It also helps to redefine the measure of campaign success through trend monitoring, helping you to realign and optimise future campaigns. Whether you hope to improve email open rates, or lower the response time for enquiries, a CRM will become the foundation of effective student recruitment, providing a centralised place to measure and plan.  

Are you responding quickly enough to your prospective student enquiries? 


5. Student lifecycle management 

Improving the student experience can help you save on costs by lowering the risk of students leaving during the course, bolstering retention rates. However, it’s first important to note that a CRM can help to attract the right students during the initial student recruitment process. Delivering key information about what you can offer and sharing an accurate depiction of what life looks like at your university will help to manage student expectations which is essential to retention.   

Yet beyond initial recruitment, CRM systems can also be used to improve processes which impact the student experience. This may include streamlining case management for student support services, or tracking student attendance and attainment for timely interventions.  


Saving with an education CRM 

Tribal’s Student Marketing & Recruitment solution is an education CRM that revolutionises the student recruitment process. Our platform will help you deliver efficient and effective campaigns with in-depth insights across every platform, ensuring return on investment for your student recruitment efforts. 

With detailed audience segmentation and seamless automation, you will be able to unify your student marketing and recruitment with Tribal.  

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