- General Best Practices
Inbound marketing is complex and time consuming. You need content — but not just good content, you need great content. You need to invest in SEO and PPC, and maybe social ads now, too. You need a strategy. You need to create a journey that prospective families want to follow. Your emails need to go to the right person at the right time to increase conversions.
The list of requirements goes on and on.
And thinking about that, on top of all your other day-to-day tasks is certainly enough to make your head spin. Luckily, the Finalsite Platform has some built-in tools that make getting your inbound marketing campaign off the ground, easy.
Here are three of the most useful inbound marketing tools on the Finalsite Platform that you should incorporate into your digital strategy.
Form Button Customization
It's the little things — the attention to detail — that can truly set your school apart online and generate a conversion. And, step one in creating a form that converts is to never ever leave the button with the term "submit."
Using Finalsite Forms, you can customize the button text on every single form by toggling the "Show" button next to "Form Layout." Here, you can change the submit button text.
For example, change "Submit" to "Donate!" on a giving form, "Inquire" on an inquiry form, or something fun like "Count me in!" or "Sign up" on forms for events.
You can also try different submit button text on the same form over a series of months to see which text generates the most conversions.
This is a brilliant hidden gem in Forms Manager that if you're not taking advantage of already, you need to. Now.
In the "Notifications and Redirects" tab in Forms, you have two different types of redirects:
- Respondent Confirmation
- Email Confirmation
These two simple features provide you with endless opportunities to continue to send site visitors down a path you control.
First, Respondent Confirmation. The default setting here is to display an in-line thank you message. In most cases, schools have something along the lines of: "Thank you so much for inquiring! Someone from our admissions team will be in touch with you shortly."
What? That's it? You just had a conversion — someone who is interested in your school! — and you just merely said thank you? If someone visited your campus, would you send them home with merely a "thanks for coming!"?
I didn't think so.
Using the Respondent Confirmation, you can actually redirect to an internal site page.
Now, this doesn't mean just send them to a random page on your website. Be strategic. Each form on your school's website should have a specific "Thank you" page, that displays relevant messaging and content based on the form they just completed.
In general, each redirect page — AKA thank you page — should have:
- Specific messaging about the form submitted
- Media or content to further engage the converted site visitor
- A next step, such as a CTA to go to another page, download content, fill out another form, etc.
Remember: at this point, you already have their attention — so capitalize on it!
Here's an example. If someone donated to your Annual Fund, send them to a page that has:
- A thank you message from the Advancement team
- A video or photo slide that shows where their donation goes
- A call to action to volunteer, to attend an upcoming event, etc.
The other option for redirects in Forms is an email. This tool is just as useful as a Thank You page, and provides you another opportunity to further engage your website visitor.
You can use these emails to:
- Display similar content to what is on your "thank you" page
- Offer something new and different for your submitter to engage with
- Attempt to get another form submission — AKA conversion
Content Marketing Using the Finalsite Platform Webinar Download
List Segmentation in eNotify
During a presentation at FinalsiteU, someone asked me, "How do I get people to stop unsubscribing from my emails?"
And I wish I had a good answer.
There are a million reasons why email recipients hit "unsubscribe." Maybe the emails don't feel relevant. Maybe you're sending too many. Maybe you asked them to donate to the annual fund one too many times.
Regardless, eNotify has a few built-in tools that help schools with this issue.
First and foremost, using eNotify, you can build dynamic email filters to ensure you're targeting the right people with the right message. First, select the list you want to use. Then, you can filter that list by state, grade level, city, bus route — virtually any of the data you have in Constituent Manager.
Aside from targeting the right people, sometimes schools face the issue of targeting the right (or wrong) people too often, which leads to unsubscribes. It's important to speak to those who opened your email, and those who didn't, differently.
eNotify has some great reporting tools that can help you be more selective about who receives your emails. On the eNotice Report Dashboard, you get an overview of click-through rates, opens, popular links, etc.
From here, you can actually export the data of anyone who opened your email.
Simply use this list, along with your previous list, to create two separate emails:
- One email for everyone who previously opened
- One email for everyone who didn't open
For those who did open the email, you may want to skip them, and try again in a couple weeks. For those who didn't open, try changing up the sender name, email, and subject line. Something as simple as who the email is coming from can encourage opens.
These Finalsite Platform tools are only a portion of what you need for inbound marketing! Blogs, social media, SEO, PPC, responsive design — they all play an important role in helping you make the most of your admission funnel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Finalsite's Content Marketing Manager, Mia plans and executes a variety of inbound marketing and digital content strategies. As a former TV and news reporter, freelance cinematographer and certified inbound marketer, Mia specializes in helping schools find new ways to share their stories online through web design, social media, copywriting, photography and videography. She is the author of numerous blogs, and Finalsite's popular eBook, The Website Redesign Playbook.
- Inbound Marketing