• Issue #11

Let's talk about your funnel

A snowmobile glides along the snow on a sunny afternoon.

Hi there. This week, how to reduce funnel friction with hospitality and a potential game-changing announcement from Instagram. Thanks for being here.

How To Remove Friction from your Funnel

This week, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released its news about the student enrollment decline. Initial estimates suggest a drop of 1.1% in undergraduate students overall. Over the last three years, U.S. colleges and universities have enrolled 1 million fewer students.  **So what steps can you take on behalf of your institution?** I suggest you work on developing a more accessible, hospitality-focused recruitment strategy by removing these five potential friction points in your recruitment funnel.  **One: You ask prospects to fill out an RFI form too early in the process.** When students arrive on your website, they need to get a sense of things before you invite them to surrender personal data. It’s a lot like when you’re in a store, and a sales associate hovers over you. Except, in this case, the associate is insistent that you must give her an email address before you can continue browsing.  **Two: You don’t accommodate your prospects’ preferred communication methods.** I used to work with an administrator who insisted all communication occur through email, so she had a written record of everything. It was very lawyerly of her, and I’ll grant her - she was never “gaslit” by an applicant. But, it wasn’t accessible to the prospects who needed deeper clarification. I’ve also seen teams get excited about texting or calling every prospect. And this is great until you encounter someone who finds a phone call really off-putting because they need the space to collect their thoughts when discussing big financial and personal planning decisions.  **Three: You hide information about application fee waivers because you don’t want to explain to students who don’t qualify why they are ineligible.** Sometimes we gatekeep our most convincing assets because we don’t have enough to go around. Trust me; I get it. Institutions are working on tight budgets at a time when a lot of people need a lot of help. The trouble is that the people that need the most help are sometimes the least likely to search for it simply because they don’t have the capacity.  If this is something you do, stop it. If the program has too broad of a set of eligibility requirements or too difficult-to-explain cut-off points, go back to the drawing board. But, tucking it away from the general public so that only the people who work hard enough find out about it, privileges those who have extra time on their hands to search and be squeaky wheels.   **Four: Your brand says one thing, and you do another.**  Sometimes a college will claim they are friendly and adaptable to working adults’ needs or students who are also parents. But this doesn’t start on the first day of classes. This friendliness begins in recruitment. Consider the timing of online info sessions or when you offer slots for phone calls. **Five: You don’t like admissions, and it shows.** Higher Education often includes staff and faculty program advisors in their recruitment funnel. The trouble is that staff and faculty who work both sides of the program, the recruitment, and the support, are effectively increasing their workload on the support side every time they do a great job on the recruitment side.  If they are high performers, the scales will tip at some point, and they will simply have too much work. This leads to increased stress and burnout, which comes through in the recruitment process. This one is hard to fix for departments that have less capacity where people need to wear multiple hats. Plus, teaching recruiters everything they need to know about a program and its value can be challenging. But, the alternative is leaving prospects with a bad taste in their mouths.  \- Kristin Van Dorn

Instagram is Testing In-App Scheduling

Now you can schedule posts on the Instagram app! ✨

You can schedule posts and reels by going to Advanced settings when creating new content. #Instagram @MattNavarra pic.twitter.com/yJykq108wK

— ㆅ (@WFBrother) October 18, 2022

Last week Meta announced that they were *“testing the ability to schedule content (inside of Instagram) with a percentage of their global community.”* This is wonderful news for the hordes of social media managers that have been eagerly awaiting this day like it was a Taylor Swift album drop. New features come and go, but this one will definitely have a noticeable impact on most SMMs’ weekly productivity.  **So what does this mean for Higher Ed Marketers?** **Easier Collaboration across teams and departments.** Instead of sending creative assets back and forth across multiple devices and shared libraries, individual team members could capture photos/videos with their own smartphones. This would give managers (or anyone else with account access) the ability to preview the scheduled content on their respective devices, shortening the turnaround time for feedback and approval. **Perhaps most importantly, less time will need to be spent inside Meta’s Dumpster Fire, AHEM, COUGH, I mean Business Suite.** While the Business Suite has allowed users to schedule posts on Instagram since 2020, the sentiment among the social media community has always been trending downward. The interface is confusing, it changes frequently, and support is lacking.  It’s not yet clear how soon this feature will be available to all users, but if there’s one thing Social Media Managers have an abundance of, it’s patience. Now, if only we could get them to let us add clickable links to posts… \- Carl Gratiot