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A Quick Guide to a CRM for Education

CRM software is an excellent tool for schools and institutions looking to enhance their enrollment and onboarding experience for new students. If you’re part of the enrollment staff, a CRM for education helps you create lasting relationships with new students and manage them efficiently throughout the student lifecycle.

Learn more about education CRMs, the tools they offer, and how you can use them to streamline your admission processes.
Two laughing students looking at laptop in college canteen

What Is a CRM for Education?

An education customer relationship management software (CRM) manages all your institution’s interactions with prospective and current students. It also supports managing communications with alumni, employees, donors, and other members of the education sector in your institution.

Education CRM software collects essential customer information from different channels and stores it in a single easy-to-access database. Some of the information a CRM system might collect includes:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Educational background
  • Contact information (e.g., email, phone number, and social media)

Using this data, you can personalize messages for your students across all channels. 

Do I Need a CRM for My Institution?

In this new digital age, students rely on different forms of digital communication. To find them, you must adapt your communication strategy to meet their needs. For that reason, it’s no longer “nice to have” an education CRM. 

CRMs for education are fast becoming essential apps, regardless of the size, location, or type of institution you run. 

So, what can a CRM do for you and your institution? 

Manage Students Through Their Enrollment Journey

Although sometimes a hassle, onboarding new students is a vital task you must perform. 

What is your enrollment process like? How many school departments does it involve? How many prospects do you anticipate onboarding? 

When dealing with hundreds of new students, you can make plenty of mistakes while collecting their contact information. Suppose you get a student’s email address or phone number wrong; you’ll have lost a potential student for your institution.

Good CRM software can take this pain and its associated costs away. 

A CRM platform does that by helping you create a straightforward journey that assigns leads to specific enrollment officers within your organization. Using your staff at hand, you can create a reliable data capture and contact management system that keeps track of all your new enrollments and stores that information systematically.

Contact management tools are especially useful for large institutions with multiple campuses across cities and states. 

Handle Student and Internal Communications and Inquiries

CRM for education: The student journey for education institutions.

Communicating with thousands of students at once can be a major challenge if you have no system to support it. 

If your system is inefficient, you’ll fail to pass vital information to your students. Sometimes, part of your student population will receive your communication, and part will miss it. You may struggle with timely communication, slowing down other essential institutional processes. You may even send messages to the wrong audience.

The right CRM software gives you sufficient tools for communication while also offering other opportunities for personalized and targeted messaging.

Personalized sequences ensure that all your prospective students hear from you at the ideal time. Once a prospect responds in your desired manner, you can set up scheduled meetings or calls. 

Measure the Progress of Your Institution

Every single action you take for your institution helps it grow and expand. However, how do you tell your institution has grown? How do you measure your successes and failures at the enrollment level? How do you benchmark your achievements against your goals?

Failing to have a system in place to collect data and produce reports robs you of the opportunity to test your institution's growth. Without analytics and reports, you’re flying blind, unable to tell if you’re meeting your goals, let alone exceeding them. 

A CRM helps you track your institution's progress, giving you valuable insights into different success metrics. Education CRMs can produce reports based on data analysis from all your students.

Monitor Fee Payments and Reminders

Collecting and tracking payments from students can be a hectic process. That is especially true if your institution accepts payments across all platforms and banks. How do you account for each dollar paid to your school without losing any financial records?

You can use education CRM solutions to track payments students make for their modules and courses. Besides showing how much you’ve collected from student payments, you can also tell how far or close you are from your financial targets.

The right CRM software also helps you produce fee statements and manage reminders to students who haven’t paid yet. 

Measure Marketing ROI for Your institution

How do you know your marketing efforts are working? How do you identify your most successful marketing channel? How do you monitor your ad spend and measure it against your return?

You can use an education CRM to assess the sources of your highest converting clients. 

Education CRMs can be an essential tool in your marketing process. Using analytics tools, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the success of your marketing efforts and the ability to attribute your admission success to specific platforms.

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How a CRM for Education Can Help Your Institution Grow

Education CRM software can play a vital role in growing your institution. Let’s look at how that plays out for your students and admission staff.

Establishes Better Record-Keeping

Good CRM software collects all essential data from prospective students and stores it in one database that your admission staff can access. 

Moreover, with proper contact management systems, CRMs also make it easy for recruitment staff to identify hot student leads and communicate with them.

Besides that, a CRM’s automated data capture and workflows eliminate errors in your records. It merges duplicate student profiles and assigns each student a unique admission number. 

Makes Handling Enquiries Easier

You can manage multiple inquiries effortlessly using a CRM for education. 

Features like canned snippets make it easy to respond to students' common queries for your enrollment staff. Canned responses are short reusable blocks of text that simplify messaging students. 

Based on the nature of the query, you can assign a recruiter or other staff members to it. If a lead is confused about the admission process, you can schedule a call to help them onboard faster. 

Helps Boost Your Admission Numbers

With CRM software, you can improve enrollment numbers by running effective student recruitment drives. Since you also get to identify the largest source of qualified leads, you can allocate appropriate resources to support that drive. 

Better yet? You can streamline the process by using marketing automation. You can also plug your social media pages and other marketing channels into your CRM. That allows you to coordinate all your marketing activities within the CRM interface. 

By prioritizing channels that give you the best return on investment, you increase the number of students who enroll in your school and classes. 

Integrates Seamlessly With Other Tools

The best education CRMs support myriad integrations. That allows your recruitment staff to extend the functions of your CRM beyond its basic functionality. For example, you can integrate your CRM with social media, letting you manage and track your marketing efforts there.

You can also integrate your CRM with email accounts. That way, you can receive system emails instantly and respond to them fast without ever leaving your Gmail or Outlook inbox.

Support Cooperation and Teamwork

Teamwork is made easy with a CRM for Education.

Cooperation between teams and departments is a must for your institution to work. Using a content repository in your CRM software can make teamwork seamless. 

Team members can share data across departments and levels, and departments can collaborate to produce successful results on tasks that intersect. That speeds up processes within your institution and makes work easier for your staff.

Also, CRM systems with mobile capabilities make the process accessible to all your staff. They can log into the CRM and perform tasks using their smartphones and tablets, speeding up enrollment.

Generate Analytics for Your Institution

You can generate customizable reports that measure the success of your institution at any time. Your staff can extract useful information from huge databases and use those metrics to assess success patterns and make decisions that increase student retention. 

Features of an Education CRM

What features should you look out for in a CRM for education? Let’s take HubSpot’s CRM for Education as an example.

Elevate your admission process with HubSpot’s CRM for education.

Application and Enquiry Management

Does your education CRM system let you manage applications and inquiries? 

Many people will search for your website and apply for your classes and courses. Some may leave inquiries for further information, and you need a CRM to connect with these potential learners. 

For instance, with HubSpot’s CRM, you can do all the above and more. Using the Marketing Hub, you can:

  • Generate and manage website traffic.
  • Qualify leads and respond to inquiries.
  • Manage applications and qualify leads for admission.

Learner Communications

Look out for education CRM software that lets you use communication tools efficiently. Whether you’re dealing with a single student or an entire faculty, your CRM should facilitate easy and seamless communication to make up an excellent user experience. 

The best CRMs should help you personalize communications and support two-way feedback. So how does HubSpot for Educators support communication? It does so by:

  • Providing you with chatbots or live chat to help you gather student feedback or their queries in real-time.
  • Empowering students to book appointments with ease to follow up on their queries. 
  • Enabling you to use email automation to connect with students in an instant, whether it’s marketing messages or news.

Analytics and Reporting

Does your CRM help you collect and analyze marketing data? Can you measure your return on investment or keep track of all your student conversions? 

HubSpot for educators comes with this advantage. You can monitor and create reports on multiple metrics. For example, you can monitor:

  • New leads converted.
  • Source of leads.
  • Speed to leads.
  • Leads by stage.


Can you extend the features of your CRM with integrations?

HubSpot’s CRM allows you to integrate hundreds of different plugins for extra functionality. For example, it supports:

  • Email integrations like Gmail and Microsoft Outlook
  • Scheduling apps like Google Calendar and Calendly
  • Live chat apps like Facebook Messenger and SMSZap

And much more. 

Elevate your admission process with HubSpot CRM

Whether you’re a small or large institution, a CRM for education is essential for your admission process. 

You can try out the HubSpot free trial today and access one of the best CRMs for education. HubSpot CRM software comes with a forever-free plan for Sales, Marketing, and Service Hubs.

If you’d like to upgrade to a premium version with more features, connect with one of our team members and learn about the best plan for your institutional needs and budget.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes. Schools use CRM systems. CRMs for Education help schools and other higher learning institutions manage massive student data in an easy and accessible manner.

  • The most significant reason is that institutions need help with seamlessly managing their data and effectively using their communication channels.

  • A college can use CRM software for several reasons, including:

    • To manage student information and communication.
    • Manage the student lifecycle. 
    • Manage the recruitment process.
    • Qualify and onboard new students.
    • Create lasting relationships with students and other clients.