When it comes to recruiting talent for companies, you find people dressed up in office attire as they make their way into a building for an interview. It is a face to face process where word-of-mouth still matters. If a person you trust vouches for a candidate, then you are likely to accept their candidature and hire them. This is where the referral program culture began.
But it is not the same when it comes to the education industry and students. They do not have any sort of obligation to refer their friends to an institution once they have finished their course.
Nonetheless, a student’s word-of-mouth also plays a vital role in referring to an educational institution or courses to their friends and family members.
We have seen multiple generations of students in a family attend school at the same universities. Why? Because of the word-of-mouth culture and pride that students have by being associated with a particular institution.
Student Referral Programs
If you run an educational institution, you must focus your attention on creating robust student referral programs by engaging your alumni.
Much like an employee referral program, you can engage college students and motivate them to become your brand ambassadors through a well-designed referral program.
How Does It Work?
Now, the foundations of a referral program start from the culture at school. If students had a great time at your institution, then you can rest assured that they will happily spread positive word-of-mouth for you in person and on social media platforms.
Of course, you can improve upon it by coming up with innovative ways to market your institution. In the following lines, we will look at how you can create an effective student referral program for your educational institution.
Have an Engaging Culture at School:
The only way you will be able to inspire your students to encourage their peers to study at your institution if they have had a good time both academically and personally.
Your school should ooze creativity and continuously find new ways to encourage students to bring their creative insight to the surface.
Give them user dashboards on the school’s portals that remain active once they leave. Add new features that work in a gaming environment and encourage them to unlock new achievements by completing tasks that matter to you. These include referring a student, assisting existing students with assignments, bringing in recruiters, etc.
Stay Active on Social Media:
A place where you can reach students is social media. They spend a great deal of time on these platforms, and you can leverage them to reach out to your students effectively.
Social media platforms are their life’s crucial going on, and they do everything there. Do not spend money on sending letters, emails, or invitations to your students to inform them of the student referral program.
Instead, do it on social media. Additionally, they might be able to point you in the right direction and refer some students using their profile links.
Create Merchandise That Cannot Be Ignored:
Merchandise is a common finding in the education industry today. Every well-known institution makes outstanding merchandise that their students love to rock in different places.
Do not hold back, and do not restrict your merchandise to students alone. Allow them to buy more merchandise to share with their friends or hand out as gifts to family members.
Why? Because more people wear your merchandise, the more exposure you will get. It gives a positive impression of your institution and encourages people to look for your institution online.
Try to find new items that students carry with them every day. Do not get stuck with pens or diaries; instead, invest in creating smartphone chargers, swanky t-shirts, quirky magnetic erasers for the fridge, and more.
Incentivize the Referrals:
The biggest motivation for anyone is monetary benefits and non-monetary rewards. If organizations can do it to turn their customers into brand ambassadors, then you can too.
Create referral programs that incentivize every admission by your students. While cash prizes are the best, you may also give additional incentives like discounts for students at several partner stores.
There is no specific way to structure referral bonuses for students. You need to stay up to date with education industry trends and students’ buying behavior to create a balanced program.
Benefits of Student Referral Programs
Let’s be honest, a referral program can optimize your enrollments and generate more qualified leads than ever. It leads to better ROI and drives your marketing efforts further.
Some prominent benefits of student referral programs include:
- Improved revenue
- Higher conversion rates
- Better return on investment
- Improved brand exposure
- Positive word-of-mouth marketing
- Creates more brand ambassadors
Once you have figured out how to execute a student referral program effectively, you will build a special relationship with your students to go a long way into the future.
But remember this, your referral programs should clearly outline the courses and services you are offering, and the students should be aware of it.
To Wrap Up
Referral programs are the much-needed support for the education industry and will play an integral role in boosting an institution’s marketing ROI.
If this sounds like a tough job, then you do not have to worry about it. You do not have to work manually to make magic happen.
You can enlist the help of top engagement solutions offered by NextBee to drive your referral programs in the right direction.
Our AI-powered solutions foster seamless integrations with your existing technology stacks and can streamline your engagement initiatives in no time.
To find out more about our solutions, sign up for a free consultation today.