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How To Segment Your Existing Vs Prospective Student Database

Segmenting your student database provides you with the intelligence you need to proactively reach out to prospective students.

Many RTOs segment their student database to reach different groups of students with the right messages. Existing students have different needs and challenges compared to prospective students. Even within these two groups, you’ll have smaller groups with varying needs. A single message or campaign will not resonate with all of them. To communicate with all your target markets effectively, you need to implement a segmented communication and marketing strategy.

How to segment your student database

Both existing and prospective students have one commonality: they are interested in studying to further their careers. Now to refine the segmentation further, you need to look for other commonalities. Start with your current students and alumni, as your best prospects are likely to have similar interests and needs. Segmenting your student database provides you with the intelligence you need to proactively reach out to prospective students. Questions to ask to create segmented lists include who, what, how and where:

 1. Begin by asking who your prospective students are

Your prospects are likely to be very similar to your current students. Look where your current students geographically live, as your future prospects are likely to come from these areas. They are also likely to have attended similar schools and have similar demographic data.

 2. Ask what your prospective students will be like

The needs and interests of your current students will likely be similar to those of your prospects. Look at what your current students enjoy and what their challenges are. Observe what kind of messages get their attention and what are their preferred media channels.

 3. Ask how to reach your prospects

Start by looking at social media platforms and media sources that your current students and alumni prefer. Then compare your profiles by segment to those in the market to decide how you best pursue these prospects. This analysis will highlight how your prospective students like to get information and where they are spending their digital time.

 4. Ask where to find your prospects

By establishing designated marketing areas, you can see where your best segments are situated – all the way down to street level. This can help with your online marketing, including Google adwords, social media campaigns and direct mail.

Once you have segmented your database, you have all the intelligence you need to proactively reach out to prospective students. Most importantly, this will help you identify the type of campaigns and messages that will be most effective in reaching and connecting with your different target markets.

Types of campaigns your segments will be interested in

  • Prospective Students: Prospective students will be interested in receiving information about courses your RTO offers, the admission process, fee structure, Apprenticeship / Traineeship opportunities, scholarships and possible campus tours. If they receive irrelevant information, they will likely look for more engaging content elsewhere.
  • Current Students: Your current students will want information about how to further their careers. Any information relating to postgraduate studies or exploring how other professionals have advanced their careers while studying similar courses will be of interest.
  • Your alumni: Your alumni are your biggest advertisers. You need them to promote your RTO to interested prospects, elaborating how you helped further their careers. Work on creating a sense of community by encouraging participation in an alumni club. Inform them of college accomplishments to create a sense of pride.
  • Your students and parents: Your current and prospective parents are emotionally and financially invested in the success of their children. Keep them informed about latest developments and initiatives they can be involved in or attend. The more they feel your RTO is invested in them, the more likely they are to recommend to their peers.

Lupo Digital is an inbound marketing agency that specialises in using marketing segmentation to attract prospects and converting leads to your RTO. We help convert leads by using personalised campaigns appropriate to each lead’s stage in the admission cycle. We have a passionate, experienced team dedicated to bringing all the benefits of inbound marketing to RTOs. For more information on how inbound marketing work for RTOs, download our lead management guide.

download our inbound marketing guide for RTOs

Michael Wolf

Written by Michael Wolf

Founder of Lupo Digital, Michael is extremely passionate about digital and inbound marketing. Michael helps organisations drive rapid and sustainable customer and revenue growth.