What CRM Is Right for Your Higher Ed Department?

What CRM Is Right for Your Higher Ed Department?

Posted on Feb. 08, 2021
Capture Your Audience with Compelling Visuals
Capture Your Audience with Compelling Visuals
Fostering Lifelong Relationships in Higher Ed with CRM Software
Fostering Lifelong Relationships in Higher Ed with CRM Software

By Cordelia Miller

There are many options out there for CRM, or customer relationship management, software. Today, we’re taking a look at which CRMs are suitable for higher education to help manage relationships with prospective students, applicants, matriculated students, alumni, and more. 

When your department is picking a CRM, here’s what you should ask yourself:

Below, we explore why you might want to choose each specific software.

Best for building a marketing funnel: HubSpot

HubSpot’s software makes it easy and seamless for a marketing team to set up a funnel and capture lead information for prospective students through compelling content, like ads or landing pages that showcase your school’s offerings, and then nurture those leads down the funnel with emails and blog posts providing more information and encouraging prospects to apply or enroll. The analytics will help you figure out what messaging will capture the attention of your prospective student demographic and improve your strategy.

Also, the system is user-friendly, pretty darn easy to use, and most plans include unlimited, high-quality customer support. And integrations with tools commonly used in higher ed marketing—like YouTube, Tableau Connector, Zoom, and more—further solidify HubSpot as a powerhouse top-of-the-funnel solution. 

Best for nurturing applicants: Slate

Slate is a CRM that was built specifically for institutions of higher learning. It includes tools to recruit and retain applicants, manage students, and keep in touch with donors. We typically recommend Slate for its awesome capability to nurture prospective students once they’ve begun the process of applying. Users will get automated, personalized emails that provide helpful information and reminders to guide them through this phase of their educational journey–and help boost enrollment rates. 

Best for student services: SalesForce

Once students have enrolled, SalesForce is often the way to go in terms of retaining a robust database of student contacts. Going beyond the basic information needed to market to students, SalesForce has the capability to store and leverage much more data that the school can use to help students to succeed. The system’s powerful capabilities enable schools to connect with matriculated students in ways that drive an enhanced student experience. 

Other options

HubSpot, Slate, and SalesForce are the three options that we at Viv typically recommend, but there are other CRMs out there that can help higher ed teams achieve their goals.

Ultimately, when choosing a CRM, start with your department’s goal. Are you looking to attract new prospective students? HubSpot might be the system for you. Are you focusing on moving students through the bottom of the marketing funnel to ultimately enroll? Consider using Slate. Do you want to connect on a deeper level with your current students, whether for academic advising or career services, or maintain relationships with alumni? SalesForce just might have the robust data storage you’re looking for. 

As you may have realized from everything we’ve discussed here, your school likely won’t have one CRM to rule them all, because different departments will have different needs depending on what stage of the student lifecycle they are serving. That’s why it’s important to pick the right CRM for each stage and ensure that data flows seamlessly among CRMs so that the right information goes to the right administrators, counselors, and educators. 

Stay tuned for later posts in this series when we’ll talk about how, exactly, to leverage a CRM to meet your institution’s goals–from increasing applicant yield to cultivating alumni relationships. 

Does this seem like a lot to handle? Viv Higher Ed has CRM and content marketing experts on our full-service team who can help your school leverage the power of transformative CRM to achieve your goals. Contact us today for a free consult and see how we can help. Schedule a consult now.