Make Forms Interactive to Engage More Successfully

For most admissions programs, the volume of communication directed at a student in the form of viewbooks, visit postcards, and emails exceeds the communication you receive from a student. Students inquire, sign up for a visit, apply, and deposit—beyond that, their engagement with you can be limited.

How do you increase and track engagement more successfully? One way is to add interactive forms to your website or microsites that tie back to your CRM or communication system. Increasing the channels through which a student can communicate with your school can provide you with a wealth of information for better segmentation and help you develop deeper, more positive relationships with your prospects. Here are some tips for creating forms that get results:

Reduce The Number of Fields on Your Inquiry Form

Fact: the fewer fields on your inquiry form, the higher the conversion rate. Typically, the inquiry form is the sole source of volunteered information provided by a student until a visit registration or an application submission, hence the common practice of putting a lot of fields on it. But once a student has ‘cleared’ the inquiry form hurdle with fewer fields, they can complete forms and surveys, ask questions, opt-in to text messaging, and refine information about their goals at their own rate—as long as you provide them with those capabilities.

Utilize Interactive Secondary Forms

By trimming the inquiry form and allowing students multiple opportunities to volunteer information on secondary forms, you simultaneously obtain a higher form-completion rate for your inquiry form and a more interactive relationship with students. And the information you store in your CRM can better inform your counselors for person-to-person conversations.

From a student’s perspective, completing secondary forms is almost second nature. Clicking and completing short dynamic forms, particularly forms about their interests and activities, is a very familiar activity for teens. And remember, interactivity doesn’t just have to be about gathering data points. Leaving open fields for questions or comments, creating a space to make a college wish-list, and even developing a quiz that can be completed by going on a digital scavenger hunt through your website drives students to more sustained and invested interaction.

If you’d like to start incorporating secondary forms on your website or microsites to boost interactivity in your campaigns, here are a few form ideas to get started with:

  • Supplementary applicant info: Remove inessential items from application for brevity.
  • Secondary inquiry: Remove inessential items from primary inquiry form.
  • Contact information: Let them opt-in to receive texts or provide parent emails.
  • Scholarship questions
  • Study abroad/gap year: Mention they can also receive a newsletter to stay in tune with campus happenings.
  • Visit follow-up survey
  • Get more information about a major
  • Get more information about a club
  • Athletic questionnaire
  • Special orientation event sign ups
  • A special survey that sends a student a coupon to the bookstore on completion.