Salesforce automation is not new but is rarely used in higher education contexts. Even so, students cycle through a recruitment cycle from prospective student to alumni which is like a sales and marketing cycle.
Salesforce and marketing automation enable you to trigger certain campaigns based on the behaviour of your prospective students.
An example of a marketing automation implementation is as follows:
- Google Adwords campaign with a custom designed landing page and webform
- Webform subscribed visitors to receive a white paper introducing how to select between providers
- Reading of the white paper triggered an email a week later with a list of courses
- Reading and clicking on a course triggered an email to that course coordinator
- An email from the appropriate course coordinator
- Course coordinators
There are off the shelf systems to do this sort of thing. Marketo is one notable example but there may be free alternatives that are slightly less automated but still powerful. For example, we use a free version of Mail Chimp as a semi-automated education emailer.