A Campus CRM to Drive the Entire Admissions Journey

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—Lenell Hahn, 
Director of Admissions

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The school’s aim is to empower everyone from marketing staff to faculty members to play a role in recruiting students, explains Lenell Hahn, Director of Admissions. 


Each year, Southeast enrolls an average of 1,647 undergraduate students. Across its undergraduate and graduate colleges it serves over 10,000 students.


The big names in higher education CRMs submitted bids, but it was Element451 that stood out.


“From a student perspective Element was leaps and bounds ahead of the others,” says Hahn. “With Element we can deliver a cohesive experience all along the journey from prospect to applicant to admitted student.”


She also notes that “for internal users, there’s no coding required, everything is easy to brand to our school, and we felt we would have the customer support we needed.”

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When the contract with its previous CRM was up, Southeast saw an opportunity to select a new CRM that would help it better meet the expectations of prospective students and their families. And at the same time position the school for the future with advanced features like marketing automation and analytics.

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“You can tell that Element was built by people with higher education and marketing experience,” 
says Hahn.
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“It’s such a smart, marketing-oriented system,” 
says Hahn of Element451.
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Details about the application also impressed Southeast as it evaluated Element451 and began implementing it.


Conditional logic, for example, enabled the school to reduce the number of the applications it needs to manage. Instead of four applications, it now has two, one for international and one for domestic. People indicate if they are applying for undergraduate or graduate and the application automatically displays the fields relevant to them.


The way that applicants are able to complete the application impressed Southeast too. Applicants can select the SnapApp mode which presents them with only the required fields. After they’ve filled them in they have the option to enter their information in the remaining fields or submit their application.


“We really like everything about the application portal,” says Hahn.


When prospects or applicants have questions they can chat with admissions counselors using Conversations451, Element451’s instant messaging feature that also works with texting or email.


It has a shared inbox, something that Southeast didn’t have before.

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“We can better work as a team now,” says Hahn“If a counselor is out sick or on vacation another team member can easily jump in and work with the student.”
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Southeast will review applications using Element451’s application reading and decisioning module. Previously that work was handled by Banner.


“We knew that system well and it was a big decision to change,” says Hahn. “Ultimately it came down to what would give students and their families the best experience.”


With everything in Element451, Southeast can use one system to take leads all the way to enrolled students. Students can track their application online and be guided through the acceptance process in one place. It streamlines the student experience as well as the operational activities behind the scenes.

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Another benefit of having each step of the applicant journey in one system is the ability to collect and analyze data.


The marketing department, for example, can see which digital ads and other tactics were most effective and adjust budgets accordingly.


Insight451, which powers things like predictive analytics in Element451, will give Southeast a pulse on its funnel activities in real time. It will also produce reports that can inform Southeast’s enrollment strategies.

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