Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Leads to Enrollments

We talked about leads in the last post. But leads to build your cash - enrollments do. So how do you move your leads into the customer category.

There are two things we know about the American market. The first is that people are basically lazy. The second is that they love a discount. These were the “knowns” that drove a lot of our marketing at Kaplan and now our marketing here at ABCTE.

At any meeting where we were discussing a new strategy that dealt with our customers we had to hold it up to the Basically Lazy bar. If the bar was too high, customers would never put the effort in to get over the bar and we new it would fail.

Here at ABCTE, our previous website had way too many steps in the process to enroll. We could see that we were losing people during this lengthy application process. We had to reduce the number of steps so that the payment screen came much earlier. After they paid, the rest of the enrollment could take place.

Also, any time someone says “we just have to explain to them” we know it will fail. No one will give you enough time to explain anything. It has to be simple and it has be easy or you are in trouble.

We look at everything we do to make sure we are not making our customers work too hard to give us their money. We have to make sure that our website, our products, our phone trees and all aspects of our service don’t make our customers work too hard or we will lose them.

As for getting customers, discounts are the crystal meth of the marketing world. Once you start, you’re corporate DNA is changed so that you forever addicted. So it is a decision you need to make early on. You know Americans are conditioned to buy when it is on sale. At Kaplan we had a regular discount schedule and we have followed that here at ABCTE as well. We have a Get Back to School and Teach special and a New Years Resolution: Teach. Both are highly effective at driving business. It also gives an excuse to reach out to our leads and encourage them to enroll.

Back in the day, I thought that discounts were just moving people who would have enrolled anyway. After 10 years of this, I can honestly say that they do build your business, especially in a start-up mode, and it can help you in the long term.

To increase your sales in education, make it easy for your customers and throw them a bone every once in a while with a discount. Both are highly effective tools for building your business.