2 min read

Rethinking and RE-Searching Your Inquiry Pool



In the past few months, I’ve been on campuses where I’ve discovered inquiry pool sizes ranging from 17,000 to 100,000 students.

Initially, looking at the numbers, the one thing we can be certain of is that there will be a lot of soft leads in almost any school’s inquiry pool. In most cases, I would go so far as saying that more than 50% of the names are simply noise in your enrollment communications ecosystem.

Recently, our leadership team championed a concept that we are calling RE-SEARCH. It’s a little different from traditional research. It simply means that your inquiry pool could often afford having the techniques of a top-of-funnel, student search campaign applied.

[ Joke: Your inquiry pool’s so fat you need to treat your prospect names like you’re doing student search all over again. (Spoken in the rhythm of your “momma’s so fat jokes” from middle school.) ]

Many schools are paying large amounts of money for inquiry pools and soft applicants that simply aren’t REAL. You’re being duped by the shining fascination of statistics. In the movie Money Ball, it was runs scored that mattered, not the glitz of high batting averages.

Recently, I did a RE-SEARCH campaign that originally had an inquiry pool of 65,000 names. Our response rate with our RE-SEARCH campaign was less than 5%.

“So, are you telling me that there are only 3,250 names in my bloated inquiry pool worth my investment?” the client asked.

My answer was “maybe.” More importantly, we shared how they could find out.

6,800 names in this campaign had a cookie baked on the responder’s device allowing enrollmentFUEL to capture whoever returned later to the client’s .edu website; that promoted insight for the school to do their own independent research.

The number of students who came back to the school’s website was far less than 3,250. But, the ones who did come back were the ones who could make all the difference for a school—if, they were properly engaged in a timely and relevant way.

Large, soft inquiry pools led me on a journey this year to commission a team of smart folks to develop our clickCAPTURING™ and meritBADGING™ solutions.

Our mission at FUEL is to help develop remarkable insight by showing you who’s clicking on your website weeks after student search, and then, scoring these behaviors so that they help you focus your busy staff on the efforts that will yield the greatest results.

One thing I’m sure of today is that every school has soft inquiries in their inquiry pool. And maybe it’s time now to RE-SEARCH your pool, so we can tell you who’s real and who’s wasting your time.

Allowing us to do a simple, cost effective campaign on your existing inquiry pool with our new technologies could have a great impact on your Fall 2016 enrolling class. It might be worth a short conversation to get the year started with some “depositing” students and early momentum.

For more information on visit: enrollmentfuel.com/microsearch/

If you want to discuss if a RE-SEARCH solution is right for you, email me at mike.wesner@enrollmentfuel.com