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Build Awareness and Target Admissions Prospects with Marketing Tools

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Explain the basics of Salesforce marketing automation tools to engage students.
  • Describe how to use campaigns with marketing automation tools.

How Do Recruitment and Admission Teams Use Campaigns?

In Salesforce, a campaign is an engagement initiative that you can plan, manage, and track. The Campaigns object can be used to track any outbound marketing project that asks a contact for a response.

Let’s take a quick look at campaigns in action: Cloudy’s recruitment and admissions team is using campaigns for an upcoming admissions information session. After setting up the parent campaign for this event and adding campaign members (prospective students they want to invite), the team adds child campaigns for each avenue of outreach. The child campaigns include an email invitation, social media reminders about the event, and an email follow-up after the event that includes admissions deadlines and FAQs.

Default and Custom Campaign Member Statuses

In Salesforce, a campaign member is represented by a junction object that links leads and contacts to specific campaigns. Campaign member statuses help you track engagement and filter campaign members for additional outreach. There are default campaign member statuses like Sent and Responded that are automatically available in the campaign member status field. With the help of a Salesforce administrator, your team can create custom campaign member statuses that make sense for your specific use case.

For example, Cloudy’s recruitment and admissions team collaborated with their Salesforce admin, Nina Brown, to create custom campaign member statuses for managing outreach efforts like the admissions information session. Here are the campaign member statuses they requested.

  • Invited
  • Registered
  • Attended

With these member statuses, Marquis and other recruiters on his team are able to keep track of which prospective students have already been invited to the admissions information session, who registered, and who actually attended. Follow-up communications can be tailored to prospective students based on their attendance status.

Campaign Reporting

Campaign reporting helps teams determine the impact of the campaigns they’re running. Having insight into the impact and efficacy of a campaign allows teams to make informed decisions on where to spend their dollars on events and resources that have proven to be highly engaging to prospective students. While campaign reporting shows you what’s working so you can invest in it, it also shows your team where there’s room for improvement. (We know you’re working hard, and campaign reporting helps you work smarter.)

Marketing Automation

Salesforce marketing automation works with campaigns to create the full picture of prospect engagement. Salesforce’s marketing automation tools allow you to automate activities like emails, forms, landing pages, and nurture programs. Salesforce has two options for marketing automation: Marketing Cloud and Pardot. Both empower you to stay engaged with your prospects without spending all day sending emails and posting messages, and each has its own unique qualities. Take a look at the chart below for a summary of each tool’s key functionality.

A Venn diagram compares Pardot automation features to Marketing Cloud automation features. Pardot features include: lead scoring, lead distribution, sales alert, and Sales Cloud feature. Marketing Cloud features include transactional messages, promotional messages, web behavior tracking with predictive recommendations, mobile (SMS and push), social listening, publishing and engagement, and social ads. Shared features include email campaigns, landing pages, and basic forms.

Pardot

Pardot can support recruitment and admissions teams by helping them profile prospective students with scoring and grading. Scoring identifies how interested a prospective student is in your school. Scoring metrics are determined via explicit signals such as opening emails, clicking on links, registering for events, and downloading brochures. Grading, on the other hand, identifies how interested your school is in the prospect. Grading metrics are informed by profiles you create for the “best fit” student for your institution. Pardot automates grading that looks at the criteria you specified in your profile and assigns a grade from A+ to F.

For example, Marquis is interested in recruiting prospective students that have high engagement. He uses Pardot’s scoring metrics to track those prospects that click on his emails or attend webinars. He uses the grading metrics by establishing criteria in Pardot to flag those that are a good fit for Cloudy College.

Pardot is also very useful for creating and managing forms and landing pages for gathering more information about students. Your team can “gate” information (like webinar and event registration or brochure and resource downloads) in order to gather information that will be useful in future communications. For example, if a student wants to download an on-campus housing brochure, they are required to enter their full name, email address, phone number, and indicate an area of study interest from a dropdown of programs in order to access the resource. This information is helpful for segmenting and targeting prospective students and informs the type of content your team will send next, based on the information provided. When a prospect selects Biology as an area of interest on the housing brochure, you can send them information about the Biology program and curriculum.

Marketing Cloud

Students communicate beyond just email. Whether it’s text, social media, email, or all of those channels, students today expect to be engaged across all communication channels. Marketing Cloud is a multi-channel platform that offers a variety of tools that recruitment and admissions teams can use to engage with prospects.

  • Social Studio lets you analyze student sentiment about your institution and address it. For example, if a new program on campus gets people talking on social media, you can send information to prospective students about that program at the right time.

  • Ad Studio gives your team the power to target ads based on a prospective student’s personal information. For example, you can deliver ads based on geographical region or student type (first-year vs. nontraditional). Ad Studio keeps track of which channels work best and also helps you target lookalike audiences, which are prospects that your school hasn’t identified yet, but who have similar qualities to your current prospects.

  • Google Analytics 360 helps you understand email and website visit performance. It shows you where people are clicking, when, and where they go from one page to the next. With Google Analytics 360 you can track where prospects are coming from (Google search, Facebook, and Twitter, to name a few) and lets you make outreach decisions based on your most impactful channels.

Build Engagement Journeys

Few features of marketing automation capture the platform's simplicity and power as well as automated lead nurturing. Regardless of which tool is the best fit for your institution, both Pardot and Marketing Cloud empower you to build engagement journeys. Pardot offers Engagement Studio, a tool that lets you build, test, and report on engagement programs that send targeted emails based on prospect behavior and critical qualifying values. Marketing Cloud offers Journey Builder, a tool that empowers you to design and automate campaigns that guide customers through a series of interactions with your institution.

Salesforce marketing automation gives your team the opportunity to communicate with prospective and new students in ways that are engaging, personalized, and relevant to their student journey. Automation makes it possible to scale these efforts so they’re more impactful than ever before, and still manageable for your staff.

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