Universities with big online programs have wildly different strategies for communicating with prospective students, according to student success company InsideTrack.
Posing as potential students, three InsideTrack employees submitted requests for information from 20 unnamed but “well-established” colleges with large online degree programs. The company published a report on its findings earlier this month.
Two institutions made just one attempt to contact the potential students, but one institution attempted to make contact a staggering 47 times, including 45 phone calls. The average number of contact attempts was 15. Five colleges called the potential students in under three minutes. The other institutions had “speed-to-lead” times of between 12 and 84 minutes. Text messages were used sparingly by most institutions. Only four schools texted potential students, and each did so just once. The majority of institutions offered chat functions on their websites, and around a third offered live webcasts for prospective students.
In a series of best-practice tips, the authors encouraged colleges to reach out to potential students via multiple channels, but avoid spamming them with impersonal messages.