If you are new to higher education marketing automation, this is where to begin.
You’ll learn the basics of automations including definitions of related terms and ideas. I’ve also included some automation examples and use cases to illustrate the types of things you can do with automations. The article ends with some resources that might be useful as you start creating automations.
What are "automations"?
An “automation” is a chain of events that runs when triggered by starting conditions you define. An automation is created by combining triggers, actions, and logic. Using our automation builder, you can mix and match these elements in unique ways to create automation workflows that accomplish a wide variety of tasks.
With the automation builder, you can easily create fully automated workflows tailored to your institutional communication goals. Automations can save you time, help you stay organized, and increase enrollment, event attendance, or outreach, by improving your communication processes.
After an automation is set up, it can run with no input from you, so creating automations is an extremely high-leverage activity.
Use cases and example automations
You can use automations to:
Improve your enrollment marketing process:
- Create intelligence-driven automated email follow-up
Rather than creating a basic drip sequence (a timed sequence of emails) that treats all your prospective students exactly the same, you can create sophisticated "conversations" that treat student differently depending on what they are interested in, what messages and web site pages they have interacted with, and what stage they are on in their individual enrollment journey.
For instance, your automation could check to see which student activity link a prospective student clicked in an email. Depending on which link they clicked, you could send them a follow-up email with information the specific student activity they clicked on.
- React to contact behavior in real-time
Automations can begin when your contact performs an action such as visiting a page of your website, opening an email, or submitting a form. You can create automations that perform actions in “reaction” to this behavior. For instance, if a student visits your online application page repeatedly (but have not yet applied for admission) you could send them an invitation to schedule a time to speak with a recruiter by phone to answer their questions.
- Gather data to create profiles of your contacts
You can use automations to track your contacts as they interact with your app, website, and marketing assets. Their behavior gives you insight into their needs, interests, and concerns. For instance, if a contact clicks a particular link in an email you send, you can assume that is what interests them most. You can tag them as having that interest and then begin follow-up with content that targets that interest.
Improve advancement outreach:
- Qualify and automatically distribute leads
Evaluate your leads using multi-dimensional lead scoring. Qualify them using characteristics of your target market and engagement by increasing their score as they interact with your website and emails. When a lead or contact reaches a score you define, a deal can be created and the lead can be assigned to a sales person.
- Deals can be managed and updated automatically
To cut down the amount of time salespeople spend updating deals with notes, tagging contacts, and creating tasks, you can create automations that add these updates for you and move deals through your pipeline stages so deal records are kept up-to-date without requiring time and attention.
- Use contact data to improve sales insight
Automations can apply tags and notes to contacts so that by the time they reach your sales team, you’ve generated insight into their interests and what they are hoping to get out of your product.
Improve faculty and staff engagement:
Resources to help you start creating automations
Automations are created with our automation workflow builder. You can access the automation workflow builder by clicking “Automations” located in the leftside menu.
We’ve also created a step-by-step walkthrough of creating a follow-up sequence. This might be a good way to become familiar with how the automation builder works (if you tend to “learn by doing.”)
If you unsure of how automation triggers work or what a specific action does, we have documents explaining each of the triggers and automated actions.
For more in-depth information on automations, read this guide.
For a guide to best practices with building automations, click here.