5 Ways to Improve Lead Gen Performance – By Alex Kreek

by Sara Szado on January 19, 2016

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feedfront-33 cover-188x240Everyone manages the lead gen process differently. As lead generation marketers, we’ve all been in situations lacking enough data, but what we really want is more opportunities to convert pre-qualified prospects—even better, more opportunities without the extra spend.

We’ll explore five strategies any industry can implement, that have been successful in the education sector, to get more lead volume and improve performance.

Stop Returning for Returns Sake
Just because your organization’s representative couldn’t get a hold of a prospect on the phone, when the inquiry appeared on their screen, doesn’t mean this lead should be returned. Prospects with invalid phone numbers may want to be targeted in a less invasive way, such as email, text or direct mail.

Marketers should approach this subject not as a question of getting paid for delivered leads, but as an effort to improve a client’s lead conversion rates—or start rates in EDU.

Implement Call-Auditing Returns
By developing a “three contacts in five days” strategy, we’ve seen client returns drop an average of 45%, and conversions increase 2%. Alternate your contact methods, but don’t go past five days, because you’ll miss opportunities converting additional valid inquiries if you wait to scrub or invalidate at month end.

A weekly scrub minimum will help maximize your budget. Here’s how that played out with an institution we’ll call “Sample College”:

Monthly Scrubbing: 112 valid inquiries, two starts – 23.5% scrub rate
Weekly Scrubbing: 171 valid inquiries, four starts – 15% scrub rate

Analyze Duplication Windows
Most organizations have 30-60-day “dupe” policies. While it’s OK to return duplicate inquiries, it’s more important to create notification protocols to revisit inquiries meeting duplicate criteria. Cycle dupes up to the department head for quality control (QC).

Why are these prospects considered duplicates? How was their customer experience? Why didn’t they move through the process? Your motive behind this “Dupe QC” is to answer the real question: Why are prospects having to re-contact the organization in the first place?

Drip Drop
A “drip” campaign, or “remarketing/stitch-in’’ campaign can help engage current and prospective customers. Lower the attrition rate from enrollment to start with cost-effective methods including text, email, direct mail, social media, and general invites to organization events.

The industry average for higher education is approximately 32%, meaning out of 100 enrollments, 68 will start class. Sample College’s attrition rate went down 7% by adding a drip campaign. On an annual start goal of 350, that 7% translates to 25 additional starts for the year.

Lastly, Has Anyone Seen a Referral Lately?
Make referrals part of your marketing plan. Ask customers for three people who may be interested in your service. Make it a part of your script for those prospects that enroll. Heck, some schools have started a “bring a friend to school” day.

Referrals are free and convert on an average of 18% to start. After all, it’s better to get more opportunities without extra spend.

Alex Kreek is TDM’s Marketing Manager connecting people and products through technology for 10+ years.

This article appeared in issue 33 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in January 2016. http://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-33

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