Marketing Automation in Education: Streamline your processes
Within the education sector, there is often a wide range of marketing activities that will take place. Manually managing all of these can be a time-consuming process, taking up valuable resources that could be used elsewhere. However, with the right Education CRM Software in place, organisations can automate various tasks across marketing, increasing efficiency and productivity as result.
Dynamics 365 Marketing is a comprehensive marketing solution that can easily handle all marketing efforts across an organisation. In the following blog, we explore the automation possibilities that this solution can achieve:
Correctly targeted marketing communications can be the difference between successfully engaging with customers and failing too so. One common method used to ensure accurate targeting is defining clear contact groups and keeping them up-to-date. These groups are also often referred to as marketing segments.
In the education sector segments may exist for current students, students that have joined in the last year, donors that have shown interest, etc. The number of groups can be indefinite and manually keeping track of these can be difficult and time-consuming, with the potential to miss out on or misallocate contacts, resulting in less effective consumer engagement.
How can marketing lists be automated?
Dynamic segments can be used within D365 Marketing to create, manage and automatically update audiences. By defining criteria in advance, your segments will update automatically based on this information.
For example, a dynamic segment could be created for students that have joined in the last four-week period. Any new student that meets this requirement will be added to the segment automatically, and students who have been enrolled for more than four weeks will be automatically removed.
By leveraging this functionality, organisations can avoid time-consuming, manual processes and ensure that any marketing communications are reaching the most relevant audience.
Email communications play an important part when keeping in touch with stakeholders. They can be used to drive engagement, attract & retain new student, share vital information, and much more.
However, the larger an organisation, the more complex it can become to manage all email communications effectively.
How can email marketing be automated?
Automation of emails can make it much easier to manage high volumes of email communications. There are various capabilities within Dynamics 365 Marketing to assist with this:
- Sending Emails: You are likely to be sending regular mass communications for areas such as new courses, student onboarding, course completion, and many other things. Automating this process within Dynamics 365 could save you a significant amount of time.
- Email Tracking: D365 Marketing integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook and can automatically track all email correspondence and marketing campaigns against the relevant record within your CRM system.
- Automatically generate insights: Understanding the impact that email communications are having is crucial; Are your campaigns achieving what you intended? Is your audience opening the emails? Are they opening them but not clicking any of the links? All of these are key questions that gaining answers to can help improve future communications. Dynamics 365 Marketing can help you understand these areas, by analysing your data and providing intelligent, actionable insights.
A customer journey is a series of steps or touchpoints that a person might go through when interacting with your organisation. Ensuring that you are interacting with your audience in the best way possible at each stage, is crucial for creating a positive experience.
However, at any given time, there will be people at different stages of the customer journey, which is determined by their interactions with your organisation. Manually managing communications at each individual level is time-consuming and complex, and can be easily solved with the right solution.
How can customer journeys be automated?
Leveraging Power Automate and Dynamics 365 makes automating elements of a customer journey possible, reducing the need for manual intervention and creating a seamless experience.
An example of how a basic customer journey could be used is for communications around an upcoming university careers fair. For instance, a fair is being hosted for all third-year students and you want to encourage a high attendance rate. To do this, you could create a customer journey with four stages, and two pathways; one for those who do engage with the communications, and the other for those who don’t engage:
- Step 1: Introductory email sent to all third-year students making them aware of the event
- Step 2: Registration link sent to all students who interacted with the first email / Reminder email sent to those students who didn’t engage with the first email
- Step 3: Reminder for all students that registered / Final reminder to sign up for those who haven’t already
- Step 4: After the event, a round-up of key highlights is sent to everyone who registered or attended. They are then also put into other relevant segments for future events
All of the communications within this journey can be automated, saving employees a significant amount of time as well as ensuring messages are delivered at the optimal time.
There are plenty of other activities that Power Automate can help with outside of marketing processes, so take a lot at our top automation examples.
Understanding where your marketing efforts are performing well and what activities need improvements, is essential for any organisation. However, manually gathering data from various places and interpreting information in a way that provides valuable insights, can be a challenge.
How can reporting be automated?
Dynamics 365 Marketing provides a holistic overview of all marketing activities and presents data in easy-to-read dashboards, automatically gathering the information from the necessary campaigns. This allows employees to quickly identify the campaigns that are doing well and those that need more attention, without spending a significant amount of time looking into this data manually.
For example, you have recently launched a campaign with the aim to enhance student engagement across courses. A dashboard can be created that shows immediately the key metrics related to this campaign, such as; how students are interacting with course communications, most/least attended courses, best/worst performing courses in a chosen period, which demographic is attending the most courses, to name but a few ideas.
Overall, dashboards allow employees to gain quick, actionable insights into their activities without spending hours on reporting, and can focus their efforts instead on implementing the improvements identified from the data.
There are various ways automation can be useful within the education sector, and the above blog post demonstrates just a few examples in relation to marketing activities which hopefully gives you a glimpse into the possibilities.