Using Marketing Automation in Higher Ed to Scale Efforts

Using Marketing Automation in Higher Ed to Scale Efforts

Marketing Automation Tools are Great – But Do You Know Why You Need Them?

You spend a lot of time, energy, and resources obtaining new leads. Automating follow-up communication is a great way to extend the life of your initial efforts and help to convert leads to enrollments. You can increase enrollments, reduce costs, improve the prospective student experience, and get better data with marketing automation.

With marketing automation, we’ve helped clients to:

  • Develop a consistent communication mix for new prospective students
  • Instigate enrollment for prospective students that have high lead scores
  • Maintain enthusiasm for long-term enrollees like international students
  • Communicate to students via “personalized emails” from their enrollment advisor
  • Upsell expired online course extensions to students
  • Drive leads through high converting landing pages and move them through the marketing funnel

While email marketing has been the cornerstone of marketing efforts over the past decade, marketing automation tools are helping marketers to deliver more relevant messaging, at the right time.

Email marketing tools

Setting up email marketing is the lowest barrier to entry because many of the tools are user-friendly and it can be easy for any member of the team to learn how to create effective emails. Some of the most commonly used email marketing tools include Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, or MailChimp

Today’s email marketing solutions are becoming more robust, offering nurture stream capabilities as well as more flexible segmentation tools, and for some marketing teams, this is all you need.

Choose an email marketing tool if:

Marketing Automation Tools

However, if you’ve been doing email marketing for a while, and you’re ready to start accelerating your efforts, now is the time to consider implementing a marketing automation tool.

Marketing automation – expanding your view of the prospective student

Perhaps the biggest benefit of switching to a marketing automation solution is that these tools provide you with greater knowledge of your prospect and allow you to use this information to provide more timely and relevant communications through various channels.

Whereas email marketing tools are mainly focused on providing email and click data, marketing automation systems provide the same tracking but also dive deeper:

  • Website and page visits for known and even unknown prospects; capturing this information even before you have their name
  • Landing page and forms with completion actions for source tracking, segmentation data, autoresponders, tasks enrollment teams and more
  • Behavior scores based on email data and website activity to identify more engaged prospects
  • Connection to student data allows you to remove enrolled students from prospective student sequences

In addition to gaining access to highly valuable prospect data, marketing automation solutions such as  Pardot, HubSpot, or Marketo allow you to:

  • Centralize leads gathered from multiple channels and standardize source tracking
  • Send prospective students timely and relevant messages through automated email sequences based on interest and/or behavior
  • Create dynamic email lists based on a prospect’s field values, such as interest, as well as behavior, such as recent web page views
  • Free up human hours by automating manual, repeatable tasks
  • Gain data-driven insights into the impact your marketing activities have on enrollments

And, it’s important to note that the benefits of a Marketing Automation system extends beyond just the marketing department. It can also be used to automate data updates, create timely call tasks for enrollment teams, and to support Live Chat efforts.

Transitioning to a marketing automation solution allows you to scale marketing efforts and it provides invaluable tracking and measurement for you to base future marketing decisions on. Get more insights on marketing automation in this article.

Choose marketing automation if:


Both email marketing and marketing automation can help you to scale your higher education marketing efforts though there are many advantages to adopting a marketing automation tool over stand-alone email marketing. When implemented properly, marketing automation will help you to centralize leads, scale marketing efforts, reduce manual human intervention and gain data-driven insights to better direct future marketing efforts.