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HubSpot for Higher Education

Matthew Fall

In the fast-paced world of higher ed, staying up-to-date with the latest tools and strategies is key to attracting and retaining students. One tool that’s gained a lot of attention is HubSpot. But what exactly is Hubspot, and how can it benefit your college or university?

Understanding Hubspot for Higher Ed

HubSpot is a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) tool that can revolutionize your marketing and sales efforts. Unlike other tools in the market, Hubspot offers a " Hubs " suite that goes beyond just marketing and sales, covering operations and customer services. 

This makes it incredibly user-friendly and accessible to all types of marketers, especially those in enrollment. 

Key Hubs for Higher Education

HubSpot features five main “Hubs”: Marketing, Sales, Service, Operations, and CMS (for website hosting). While all the Hubs are interconnected and can enhance your recruitment and retention strategies, for institutions with limited budgets and resources, the Marketing and Sales Hubs usually provide plenty of functionality as an academic CRM.

The Power of CRM and Data Collection

Data plays a crucial role in any marketing strategy, and HubSpot’s CRM allows you to effectively store and organize prospect and student data. We’re talking about one central place (the HubSpot CRM) that tracks every digital touchpoint, from website pages visited to email opens and social media interactions.

This wealth of information allows enrollment marketers to segment and communicate with prospects and students in highly personalized ways, allowing enrollment marketers to paint much clearer pictures of the prospective student journey, and in turn, make better, more informed decisions about how to spend their marketing dollars. 

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Automate Processes and Engage Prospects

We can’t talk about HubSpot without mentioning marketing automation. Think custom-crafted comm flows, text/SMS message cadences, and the ability to create hyper-personalized advisor outreach sequences to engage prospective students. HubSpot’s “workflows” tool is a powerhouse, allowing enrollment marketers to automate several different components of their marketing and outreach strategy and in turn, focus on converting those high-value prospective students.

Benefits of Hubspot for Higher Education

A True Marketing Tool

Unlike other options in the market, HubSpot originated as a marketing tool, allowing enrollment marketers to create beautiful landing pages, deploy stunning emails and design conversion-centric campaigns that stay on brand. 

Simplified Tech Stack

This is a major issue when it comes to admissions CRM software. We see it time and time again in higher ed — schools piecing together multiple platforms just to run basic marketing campaigns:

  • Salesforce or Slate for your CRM/Application
  • MailChimp to deploy Emails
  • Hootsuite for Social Media management
  • Mongoose for Chat & Texting
  • Calendly for Advisor Meetings
  • Ellucian for your SIS

Hubspot minimizes this complexity by replacing several tools, allowing you to centralize prospective student engagement data and streamline your efforts. For busy enrollment marketers, this feature alone makes Hubspot a contender for the best CRM for higher education. 

Most institutions will maintain a separate system for hosting their application but use HubSpot for everything in between. Some schools choose to integrate application systems to HubSpot to ensure data transparency and accuracy between the two systems (in other words, ensuring that both systems show John Smith as an applicant and Jenny Doe as an inquiry).

Here’s how to integrate HubSpot with your institution’s CRM without spending a penny.

In-Depth Attribution and Source Reporting

Using Hubspot for recruitment lets you measure the effectiveness of marketing channels and campaigns, providing valuable insights into the source of your highest-quality prospects. This data helps you make informed decisions about your recruitment strategies.

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Marketers and admissions pros in higher ed use HubSpot to find answers to their big recruitment questions, like:

  • Where are my new prospective students coming from?
  • Which marketing channel contributed the most conversions during our recent campaign?
  • Which ads are resulting in the highest number (and quality) of new prospective students?
  • On average, how many events do students attend before enrolling?
  • What was our strongest (and weakest) performing marketing channel last year (or month/quarter)?

Uncovering the REAL customer journey 

Most schools don’t know who their prospects are (or anything about them) until they submit an inquiry form. That leaves a lot of unknowns prior to the point of inquiry about who these prospects really are, where they’ve come from, and what content they’ve already read on your website! 

With Hubspot, you can start collecting information on prospective students even before they submit an inquiry form. This comprehensive view of the customer journey, including their web interactions and referring sources, allows you to optimize recruitment efforts and marketing campaigns.

Uncovering the REAL customer journey has HUGE implications for enrollment and admissions teams. What some enrollment marketers believe to be a customer journey that starts at the point of inquiry becomes a journey that starts with a Google search or the click of a link from a referring website or blog post. Those insights are invaluable to adjusting and optimizing recruitment efforts and marketing campaigns.

Getting Started with HubSpot for Higher Ed

HubSpot is the top marketing platform for higher education institutions — not only for its robust suite of tools, but also its ability to simplify the higher ed tech stacks, answer critical attribution and marketing performance questions, and also uncover the real prospective student journey. For more on how to use HubSpot at your institution and to see a demo of HubSpot, request more information.

Want to learn more about using HubSpot for higher ed? Access this slide deck for more details on:

  • The problems that HubSpot solves for higher ed
  • How HubSpot tools are designed for colleges and universities
  • Which schools are already on HubSpot and which hubs they use
  • The results and ROI for schools using HubSpot

Access the Deck

HubSpot for Higher Ed

Topics: How to Use HubSpot, HubSpot Marketing Tools, Education Software and Technology

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