Whether you refer to PPL (pay-per-lead) as paid leads, affiliate leads, aggregator leads or something else entirely, many schools today still receive a majority or at least some of their lead volume from PPL leads.
In some ways, PPL leads get a bum rap. They are not exclusive, have wrong numbers, are job seekers, etc., but you have to look on the bright side of PPL traffic. It’s not easy in today’s digital self-service marketplace to receive a name, address, email and phone number for someone who may want to or need to train for a new career. Make the most of your PPL leads by using a few simple strategies:
- First: contact the prospective student. At a minimum, schools should contact 40-50% of the PPL inquiries. This does not necessarily mean you can have the Ad Reps “pound the phones” and get 40-50% of the prospective PPL inquiries to chat on the phone. It means “contact” them, i.e., communicate with them until you get a response. These days, that means texting and email messages, online information about the school and its programs, and phone calls. PPL leads can take 3 months or 6 months or longer to “contact”. While being the first school to contact the prospective student is important, with PPL leads, being the school that is still contacting the student when he or she is ready to engage is even more important. Working PPL leads is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Second: don’t over-scrub your PPL leads. Often times, schools are quick to allow Admissions Representatives to “scrub out” leads, especially PPL leads. You wanted Nursing but we don’t have that program, only 12 other types of Allied Health specialties? Scrubbed – Invalid program. You tried to call the prospective student 8 different times in 2 days but the student has not called you back? Scrubbed – Bad Contact Information. Over-scrubbing not only gives you fewer potential contacts, it actually reduces the quality of the leads that you are being sent from vendors. Vendors cannot afford to send you good leads when your return rate is so high that is causes them to lose money sending leads to you. Reasonable return rates give you better quality prospects.
- Third: turn every contact into new prospective students. We all know that every college is not right for every student nor is every student right for every college. Use every contact as an opportunity to ask for referrals. Your prospective student may not be the right person but may know other people who are the right students for your school. This is not only true via phone when your Admissions Representative asks “do you know someone who may benefit from furthering their education and training for a new career?” but also extends to the type of messages and online correspondence you are sending to your prospective students.
In the end, all lead types need to be contacted and nurtured to get the best possible result. Handled effectively, PPL leads can result in more students for schools at an effective cost.
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