Four digital marketing automation quick wins your university can implement today

Posted by Jemma Legg

Automation is regularly used to help decrease time between initial enquiry and follow up. But what is even more impressive, is its ability to maximise your communications' efficiency, without putting further strain on your resources and budget. This means you can focus on other areas of your marketing strategy whilst improving your conversion rates, engagement stats and data quality with the power of automation.  

New to automation? CRM systems can be used to automate workflows, freeing up much-needed resources, our CRM guide explains how this can be achieved.  

1. Capture the right data to personalise the student journey. 



Look to standardise your website conversion forms to capture essential data and use queued 'smart' form fields that contain additional profiling questions for secondary conversions. You can use this insightful data to validate leads, segment audiences, and personalise communications.   


A student visits your website and downloads a piece of content, sharing their name, email address and phone number to access the download. Afterwards, they browse other pages on your website and decide to register for your next open day, requiring them to complete another web form. Since you have already collected their essential data (name/email/phone), you can ask more qualitative questions at this next stage. 

 Example of useful form fields. 

  •  Postcode – great for future audience segmentation. 
  • Course interests – allowing for more personalised content.  
  • How they heard about you – provides an analysis of your marketing channels.  

 Collecting this detailed information helps you build a more accurate picture of your prospective student and shape future campaigns, personas and personalisation options. 



2. Appeal to more students with the use of landing pages. 


Create a campaign-specific landing page that sits outside your main website but includes your marketing assets (brand colours, logo etc.). Landing pages created for distinct campaign personas can consist of personalisation not possible on the main website, resulting in improved conversion rates. 



For the next academic year, you are tasked with increasing admissions for the Modern Languages department. Your course content sits on the university's main website, so the page needs to appeal to as many students as possible. Creating a landing page for your Modern Languages persona means you can tailor the copy, imagery, and content to better resonate with your audience, resulting in more conversions.  

Use your landing page URLs for paid search campaigns, triggering them for specific search terms within different Ad groups. For example, if your persona searched for 'best modern language courses in the UK' your personalised landing page would appear in the results.  


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3. Re-connect with paid advert re-targeting. 


Integrate your marketing platform/automation tools with your paid social advertising and paid search accounts to target specific audiences. 



Have you ever bought something from a website only to be followed around the internet with advertisements for the same brand just a few days later? Then you have experienced automated re-targeting.  

Imagine you have an audience list of prospective students who have not engaged with your communications in a while, and you want to remind them of your brand and offerings. Using your audience list to create paid social and search adverts enables you to target them with brand images and messages whilst scrolling through social media or browsing the web.  


4. Use A/B testing to increase engagement and conversion rates


Create different variations of a particular asset (email or landing page for example), but focus on testing one key variable to confirm which version performs the best when sent to a sample of your target audience.  



You have created an email to generate open day registrations, but you want to confirm which email subject line will appeal most to your audience. You can use A/B automation to test two different email subject lines on 20% of your target audience. Half the audience will receive email A and the other half email B. You can then automatically send the winning template to the remaining 80% of our audience 

Like capturing qualitative data through website forms, automated A/B testing gives you an insight into your audience's preferences, helping you shape future campaigns. 


We hope these automation tips inspire you to try out a quick win in your next campaign. 

Tribal has compiled a CRM guide to help institutions get the best out of their system. The guide offers further actionable top tips to make the most out of your CRM and marketing campaigns.  It also discusses the recruitment challenges and opportunities faced by higher education and how the support of a modern CRM system can address these. 


Download the guide to get the most out of your CRM


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