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Case Study

How eCornell Sped Up Their Admissions Cycle and Re-engaged Contacts with TextUs

eCornell ⚡ by TextUs

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Lisa Hatfield

Vice President of Individual Student Enrollment, eCornell

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Executive Summary


Online learning platform eCornell offers a wide variety of professional development courses — from sales and leadership training to veterinarian programs. As a result, their prospective and current students need highly individualized customer service attention.

eCornell has 48 enrollment counselors looking to touch base with a constant influx of professionals who are interested their learning programs. But these busy executives and industry leaders are tough to get ahold of — and the eCornell team was having trouble connecting with contacts, exploring their interests, and moving them down the funnel.

Reaching out by phone alone was becoming increasingly ineffective. Sometimes it would be days before counselors got a call back — if it all. eCornell needed a communication solution that would help them get precise, unique info from their contacts — fast.

By integrating with business-class text messaging™ platform TextUs, eCornell shortened their sales cycle and boosted their response and re-engagement rates.

Here’s how.



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The Challenge: eCornell was having trouble getting busy professionals on the phone.

 
 

eCornell’s process might sound familiar to you. They enter their prospective students into their CRM and nurture them through marketing automation. But, their scheduled outreach was informed by the kind of unique information that’s difficult to get from a web form or a mass email.

They needed to understand their contacts’ current job roles, the skills they’re looking to develop, what their current responsibilities are, and how they would like to grow. In short, they needed the kind of information that required a conversation.

But, like many companies, they were seeing dwindling returns with phone calls. A phone call isn’t always the most efficient or convenient way to connect with busy people. So, eCornell was looking for a solution that would help them build relationships faster.

Enter TextUs.

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The Solution: With TextUs, eCornell boosted response rates and set appointments more quickly.

 
 

TextUs gave eCornell a new way to communicate with their high volume of prospective students.  

The eCornell team was able to connect with contacts who they couldn’t get on the phone. By texting out a calendar link, enrollment counselors invited prospective students to pick a meeting time that worked best for them.

Lisa Hatfield, eCornell’s Vice President of Individual Student Enrollment, has found that contacts respond to these texts in two ways. “Some folks will set the appointment through the link to the enrollment counselor’s calendar and that’s been very efficient. What we didn’t expect was that other people will actually engage back and forth on TextUs and answer all of our vetting questions via text.”

 
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“Honestly, a lot of people are just more comfortable texting than talking on the phone.”

Before TextUs, the eCornell team wasn’t always able to call every contact the day they first expressed interest. Now, the enrollment counselors are able to send TextUs Group Broadcast messages to anyone they haven’t been able to reach by phone each day.

In the past, potential students might wait a day or even longer to get a call back. “Texting has been really helpful for making sure everyone feels like they get personalized attention, right off the bat,” says Hatfield.

TextUs has also helped eCornell’s enrollment counselors stay in touch with contacts over time.

When a contact has been dormant for a few months, text messaging is effective for jumpstarting conversations. “If we haven’t heard from a contact in 90 or 120 days, we send a quick text, just to check in,” said Hatfield. “Something simple, like, ‘It’s been a little while since we heard from you, are you still interested in our program? Love to chat with you about it.’”

“TextUs has been a powerful re-engagement tool for us.”

 

Partnering with TextUs has made the eCornell enrollment team more efficient and effective. “The team absolutely loves TextUs because it’s increased their response rates and given them a more effective tool to reach out and connect to people.”

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Whenever eCornell has a question about the TextUs software, TextUs’s customer engagement team has been helpful and responsive. “Any time I have a question, I shoot a note off to the support team and they’re back to me within five minutes tops. eCornell acts very much like a start-up. If we see something working, we step on the gas. If we see that something’s not working, we pivot quickly, Working with a partner that’s as quick and nimble as we are — that’s really earned my loyalty,” says Hatfield.

“TextUs makes our jobs much easier. It’s become mission critical for us.”

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About eCornell

eCornell, Cornell University’s online learning platform, provides online professional and executive development to students around the world. They offer more than 30 award-winning professional certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, including marketing, finance and managerial accounting, healthcare, hospitality and foodservice management, human resources, leadership and strategic management, project leadership and systems design, plant-based nutrition, and veterinary medicine.


eCornell‘s unique approach to online learning combines the most effective elements of an Ivy League classroom with the flexibility of an online learning environment. eCornell courses are all developed by Cornell University faculty, and often include practical insights from other industry experts. All eCornell course content comes from top-rated programs with proven curricula.

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