Friday, June 12, 2009

Leads in Education

The value of the “lead” is both overestimated and underestimated in education. At Kaplan we got out of control with lead gathering to the point where it increased our direct mail costs to mail to people that may, or may not have been good. It took us a while to focus our lead gathering on only those people who really might purchase our products.

Meanwhile when I started at ABCTE, we had no real lead generation and capture activity and sales were dismal. Step one was to put our own phone sales team on the phone. I have never been a fan of contract sales groups as they don’t wake up every day wondering how they can get more potential teachers for ABCTE like we do. We brought sales in-house and made sure our phone sales people got the lead information we needed if they didn't get the sale on the first call.

Next we started some google ad buys, worked on getting more traffic to the website and finally put up a webform to capture those who were interested in the program right there on the website. When you provide multiple ways to capture the leads you get a heck of a lot more leads.

With google analytics we are able to determine what works and what doesn’t. We know what adwords give us the most traffic in the states where our program is accepted. Our sales increased dramatically as we worked those leads with emails, postcards and the inevitable discount twice a year.

It worked. ABCTE went from scraping by with our grant and no cash on hand to having a huge cash reserve and sales that will cover our costs. Our next goal is to improve our close rate…