The Best Kept Secret in Higher Education Lead Generation (Quizzes)

Want to know the best-kept secret in higher education lead generation? Here’s everything you need to know about that secret!

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How amazing would it be if you could turn 1,000 people into 500 new student prospects from whom you have names, emails, and phone numbers? And they are curious about your school? That’s exactly what happened to Eastern International College, and today I’m going to show you exactly how you can do the same thing for your higher education institution, from Colleges to Online Training.

First, let’s take a second to go over where these quizzes fit into your marketing strategy overall. I’ve put together a crude diagram of what an example new student funnel might look like for a school.

education sales funnel

The way I like to describe quizzes is a “not boring” lead generation tool. Not to knock info packets and ebooks, but those are both things you have to read, and everyone knows that a quiz is more fun than reading.

The challenge with quizzes is getting the right mix of fun, information-giving, and lead generation. Go to strong on any aspect and it won’t work for bringing in new students. Today we’re going to analyze a higher ed quiz that is absolutely crushing it in the lead generation game, it comes from Eastern International College. Let’s jump right in and see why they’ve been able to achieve a 50% conversion rate with their quiz.

Part 1: The quiz subject

In higher ed there are three types of quizzes that really work well. The reason they work well is because each of these quizzes answers a pressing question for prospective students. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got.

1. “Which Degree Should I Get?” This is literally the most frequently asked question in higher education, ever. Students never know what to do (my former self included), and while a quiz is not a tell-all solution to this problem, it can shed serious light on the issue.

2. “Which Career Should I Have?” Again, a big life question that hinges a lot on your personality. Since quizzes are all based on the original Myers-Briggs Personality types, you can use them to help potential students match their interests to real occupations.

3. “Where Should I go to College?” If you are an advisory site that isn’t tied to just one college, this can be a really solid quiz idea. We’ve seen this exact quiz done in various implementations hundreds of times.

career quiz

Part 2: The questions

The parallel between quiz questions and higher ed is the guidance counselor. Your organization probably provides some guidance counseling, and in those counsel meetings the advisor asks a lot of questions to the student in order to discover what their interests are and how to best place them in a class or major or program.

Your quiz questions can do the same thing in a scripted way, offering to point a potential student in a particular direction based on their interests. This is a delicate process because there is no human interaction, and thus you have to learn how to emulate an in-person meeting using a script. Here’s a simple guideline to follow when writing your college quiz.

Be yourself. My favorite experiences meeting with counselors in school was when they had a sense of humor and didn’t just act like robots. Now your quiz is actually a robot, so not sounding like one is difficult, but you can achieve a personal factor by just letting loose a little bit. The example below shows a “Would you rather?” question, which brings to mind middle school games, lightening the mood without taking the focus off of the subject at hand.

Ask enough questions to be accurate. Higher ed quizzes are different from your typical “just for fun” quiz because they are offering up real advice. Typically it takes at least 10 questions to understand a quiz taker well enough to give an accurate recommendation, but don’t go over 20, that’s just too many questions.

career quiz questions to ask

Part 3: The lead capture form

This is the most important element of your higher ed quiz, and also the place where most people screw up. The balance here is figuring out how to incentivize opt-in but not get a bunch of junk leads. Let’s look at best practices.

Be brutally honest with your ask. The example below shows just how honest you can be and still achieve good results. This capture form has 50% opt-in rates despite the fact that it basically just talks about how they are going to contact you. The draw of being able to see quiz results is strong, and it’s better to tell people exactly what will happen to their information once they put it in rather than being coy about it.

Only ask for what you need. If you don’t have reps actively calling prospects then don’t ask for phone numbers. If you don’t need to know where someone is located, don’t ask for zip code. You get the idea, only ask for the information you are going to actively use.

career quiz lead capture

Part 4: The Results

After you collect someone’s information in your quiz, the first interaction you have with that person is their quiz result. This is an important first step in building a relationship with a prospect who could become a full time student. Here’s the important elements of a quiz result.

A direct title. Give people a result they can wrap their head around. Don’t say “Technology Worker” as an occupation, say “Front-End Developer/Designer” instead. Be specific so that the result is gratifying after answering all the questions.

Describe the result in a positive light. No matter what you recommend people, they are going to take it personally. Describe the occupation/degree/school you recommend in a positive way so that when people do take it personally it’s personal in a good way.

Provide an instant follow-up. Whether it’s an link to learn more about the results or contact details if the quiz taker want to call and talk about their results, provide some way for the person to continue the conversation immediately after taking the quiz.

career quiz results

Part 5: The Follow-up

Once you’ve collected people’s contact details you have to do something with that information to make it worth it. Please follow these guidelines, it will make you and your potential students so much happier!

Be Timely. If you are calling, do it within 10 minutes, if you are emailing, send the first email immediately. There is almost nothing worse than taking a quiz and then getting a welcome email from the company who put it together a week later.

Be Relevant. Mention the quiz! I can’t tell you how many times people send an initial email that doesn’t mention the quiz and they get tons of unsubscribes. Someone just took your quiz and put in their contact info, that means they care about the quiz subject, talk about it.

Be Personal. When you call prospects who take a college quiz, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how often they are interested in the major your quiz recommended. When you get on the phone or email someone who took your quiz, call them by name, mention their quiz result, make it a natural conversation.

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Josh Haynam

Josh Haynam is the co-founder of Interact, a place for creating beautiful and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. Outside of Interact Josh is an outdoor enthusiast, is very into health/fitness, and enjoys spending time with his community in San Francisco.

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