The Most Useful Applicant Lead Source You’ve Ever Seen, and Free!
By Rodney Alsup, MBA News Digest

The major challenge for most graduate business program managers is enrollments. Often overlooked is that lead generation is the key. Without leads, there can be no applications. Yet, many program managers ignore or neglect one of the most useful applicant lead sources that is available to them. And, it’s free!

What is the Most Useful Applicant Lead Source?

Each year, your college or university awards a baccalaureate degree to a large number of students. When properly managed, each of these graduates can be a lead.  More importantly, the contact information for these leads is current and readily available. All you need to do is to tag them and then nurture them for 10, 15, or perhaps even 20 years.

How Large is this Lead Source?

The answer depends on the size of the college or university. Here are statistics from one state institution. During the 2016-2017 academic year, this university awarded more than 5,600 baccalaureate degrees including 1,300 in engineering, 800 in business, 140 in design, and 700 in sciences. Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system makes these leads manageable and makes them a useful resource for recruiting.

How Much Work is Involved?

Most campuses use a CRM to manage recruiting. Thus, you can use the CRM to do the heavy lifting. While the set up involves considerable work, overall the following outlines the process:

  • Tag Graduates–CRM tagging is useful for classifying graduates for campaign management.
  • Create Automated Workflows–CRM workflow tools offer a way to create near-term and long-term nurturing campaigns. Nurturing campaigns are useful for maintaining relationships, keeping contact information current, and for managing a lead through the recruitment process.
  • Data Use–CRMs not only do the heavy lifting, they collect data that is useful for refining campaigns and workflows.

Nurturing campaigns can target specific subsets of leads. For example, one campaign targeting engineering graduates with GPAs in the top 10 percent can offer them an automatic GMAT waiver.  Another campaign can focus on the business graduates emphasizing they have met the prerequisite course work requirements for admission. Effectively, the CRM allows you to build a recruiting and enrollment funnel for each targeted group of leads.

Published with permission of Rodney Alsup, MBA News Digest. Visit here for a free subscription to MBA News Digest.