Some of your leads are more valuable than others. You know it, but are you using this information to make your marketing decisions? For instance, if a referral lead comes in, you can probably be pretty sure they’ll end up signing an agreement. But if a lead comes in from a Google search, you might not be as sure.
This kind of information is intuitive, but why run your school on intuition when you can use metrics to make the best decisions possible? We’re going to show you how to get the most out of your marketing and student acquisition efforts by tracking leads and using trends to guide your decisions.
To get started, you’ll need to track your lead sources. When a lead comes in, label the lead source in your student management system. Common sources include Facebook, Google, your referral program, your website and special promotions. You’ll also bring in students from more traditional methods like print ads and direct mail flyers.
Once you’ve started tracking lead source, run a report and look at the different ways you’re getting your leads. See if your report aligns with the advertising you’ve been doing. If something doesn’t look right, dig in to learn why.
For instance, let’s say you’ve just introduced your referral program, but you haven’t gotten many leads from it. That information tells you that you need to do more to promote the program or look at why the program isn’t attracting leads. Maybe the program is too confusing, or maybe the incentive isn’t attractive enough.
Next, you want to look to see how valuable each lead and the overall lead source is. To do that, you’ll need to look at your conversion rate or close rate for leads. For instance, if you notice that your referral program leads close 70% of the time, but your Facebook leads only close 25% of the time, you’ll have a better idea of how to allocate your resources.
It’s important to remember that some leads take longer to close, even though they might end up closing at a higher rate. For instance, some leads will be less familiar with your school, or martial arts in general. So they might need longer to make the decision to sign an agreement. For this reason, it’s best to look at your close rate for a 60 or 90-day period, as opposed to lead source, which we recommend looking at monthly.
ROI on Marketing and Advertising
Now it’s time to look at your close rate compared to the expense and effort you put into marketing and advertising per source. For instance, if you spent money advertising your referral program, look at what earned from the students you gained from that source. If you look at the cost to advertise against the students gained for a specific period, you will be able to calculate your cost of student acquisition- for your overall advertising program, as well as each lead source.
Of course, if you notice that a particular lead source brings in more leads for less money, and the leads convert at a higher rate, you know where you should put your effort and resources. Conversely, if you see that a marketing channel is bringing in fewer leads, and those leads aren’t signing student agreements, you might want to stop advertising there.
Using your metrics to understand your leads will help you make better business decisions. From where to advertise to why some leads aren’t closing well, all you need to know can be found in the data your leads provide.
If you’d like to learn about additional ways to get more students, get your copy of our Insider’s Guide to Student Recruitment.