Higher ed lead generation is competitive and difficult. As a marketer in the industry you’re responsible for hitting ever-increasing quotas of new leads and it can feel like a hamster wheel of constant effort not leading to the results you want.
Today I’m going to show exactly how five different higher ed institutions are generating new student prospects using quizzes. Then we’ll walk through how you can do the same thing at your university. By the end of this article you’ll be able to create, implement, and promote a quiz that drives new students into your school.
This private school offers a variety of nursing and health programs. Each one fits a unique style, and different students enjoy different programs. The quiz they created helps prospective students find the program they are most likely to enjoy based on their personality traits. In order to see which degree is recommended, the student has to give their name, email, and phone number. Eastern International then follows up with students who take the quiz and talks to them about their recommended major.
Why it worked. The continuity of it all is what made this quiz such a success (50% conversion rate). A prospective student is on the Ei College website, takes the quiz, gets a call, and talks about their interests. These are all things the student wants, and the quiz makes it a fluid process.
How it generates new student prospects
Eastern International isn’t shy about the fact that they are going to call if you if you opt-in. However, because there quiz solves such a real problem for prospects, that’s not an issue. They have been able to drive hundreds of new calls through this quiz because it is direct and to the point when it comes to helping out the student.
This University of Cincinnati quiz is eerily similar to the one from Ei College, and that’s not by mistake. It turns out you can pretty much just create a “Which major/career?” quiz for any University and use it to generate leads with positive ROI. This quiz from UC is for their school of public health, and helps students find the right major to fit their personality.
Why it works. UC does a good job of reconciling the quiz takers’ personality to their quiz result. They make it obvious that you are “Investigative” for example, and that’s why you are being recommended certain majors over others.
How it generates new student leads
At the end of the quiz there is a lead capture form for students who are interested in learning more about their recommended majors. Because these recommendation pages are personalized and speak directly to the person taking the quiz, conversions are strong.
Seeing a trend here? “Can’t decide on which degree is right for you? Take our quiz and find out!” This is literally the same quiz template as the last two, but applied to film school instead of health or nursing. There’s something very personal about deciding on a major, and every prospective student thinks about the question of what to study. Answering that question is an excellent thing to trade for a lead.
How it generates new student leads
The LA Film school plays the long game on their quiz. Instead of asking for a lead in return for the quiz results, they simply link to an application form where the prospect can turn themselves into a lead by applying. The reason for this
Harvard attracts new students because it is Harvard. What I mean is that you can’t go more than a few days following the news or media without seeing some study conducted by Harvard. They are all over the place and that’s how they maintain their brand value. One of the recent additions to the vast repertoire of brand awareness campaigns is quizzes. Harvard runs polls that find really interesting facts about health in America and then turns those facts into knowledge quizzes that discover how much someone really knows about what’s happening.
Why it worked. It shows that Harvard is a leader in the world of health. For students thinking about where to get the best education in the public health domain this quiz acts as yet another reminder of who is coming out with the latest research and findings.
How it generates new students
just a subtle link to check out the School of Public health site at Harvard. From there you can opt-in to get other articles and quizzes, but the connection is really meant to be optional.
Of course Stanford is doing something about the drought in California.
How it drives new student leads
Stanford takes a very traditionally “Stanford” approach to marketing using this quiz. Other than the fact that it’s made by Stanford and shared on their social channels, there’s really no direct connection between the quiz and the student, but at the same time there is. The reason Stanford attracts the top talent is because if its name, and quizzes like this are very subtle ways of showing that the University is a thought leader.
So these quizzes all look excellent, and we already alluded to the fact that they are all basically the same thing repackaged for each University, but what exactly is that “thing”? What makes a quiz that converts well versus one that sucks? In the interest of not over-complicating things and not boring you all to death, I’ve broken down what makes an excellent higher ed quiz into five steps.
1. Solve a problem only a quiz can
A quiz is interactive content. It’s a scripted conversation between two people – you, the writer, and the prospect, a potential student for your institution. (side note, I say scripted, but don’t read into that as a bad thing. Check out legendary football coach Bill Parcels’ book The Score Takes Care of Itself to find out why) Because a quiz is a bottled conversation, you have the ability to help answer questions that simply can’t be answered without some sort of back-and-forth.
There are basically three of these questions you can answer with a quiz.
1. “Which degree should I pursue?” This is a tough question for any prospective student, and not one that you can answer without knowing something about the person. A degree is the key to a career, and students often ponder this question well after they even start school. A quiz can help make the decision by matching the students’ Myers-Briggs personality type to a major that fits the attributes of the personality.
2. “What job is right for me?” This one works well for post-secondary school systems and such, where people are thinking more about careers than just the courses. The setup is virtually the same though, using personality scoring to match attributes to careers.
3. “Which school should I go to?” For Higher Ed mentoring and counseling systems like Noodle, a quiz about where to actually go to school is a really cool thing to offer and a way to break the ice with potential customers.
2. Build trust through a scripted conversation
Again, scripted is not bad, scripted is a good thing when done right. For example, in the screenshot below we see a “Would you rather…?” question that is both humanizing and thought provoking for the right person who is considering a career in the medical field and has to decide what they like and don’t like about it.
By breaking down the barriers of interaction with quiz questions that ask for preferences, tastes, etc, you can begin to build the connection with a potential student that could end in them coming to your higher ed institution.
3. Ask for something very small in return for something very big
Lead generation is a barter economy. The prospect has something you want (the rights and information to contact them), and you have something they want (in this case the answer to the question your quiz answers). In an ideal higher ed quiz, you’ve done such a good job of answering a hard question with your quiz that someone’s contact information is a small “price” to pay in return.
4. Follow up promptly and personally
The best Universities contact students who put in their information within 10 minutes. At the end of a quiz the prospect is very interested in your place of learning and wants to talk about it. If you wait hours to ever call, the person will likely have forgotten all about the quiz and no longer be interested.
You’ll also want to mention the quiz result that the person got. Often the student will have questions about the degree or career that’s recommended and if you’re there to talk about it, that’s the beginning of a longer conversation that could lead to a new student.