Calling all College Conversations

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Calling all College Conversations

With around 3 million learners within Further Education (FE) providers across the UK in 21/22, up around 4% from the previous year, more learners across age groups are considering FE based learning to progress into Higher Education, or within current/prospective careers this Autumn. 

But with a multitude of courses and very different conversations per learner group, how can you effectively nurture that funnel and apply tools like Don’t worry, we’ve got some ideas to get you started. 

  • Determine your audience category quickly: Perhaps the biggest difference in learners are those who are progressing from school and those who are making a return to education. Find that out quickly so you can adapt the style of conversations and supporting information you can provide. 
  • How career confident are they? How much exploration of different careers, courses and opportunities is needed vs a more focused conversation on a vocational theme, where learners are already quite set on where they want to be? Finding this out can help bring details of what you offer around a vocation, as well as allow more exploration around what else you offer.  
  • Where are they? Location is a big factor for the majority of learners. The transition into FE will seem like the biggest step so far and more independence than high school. Helping to provide information about access routes on public transport, how they can apply for travel cards, parking permits once they have their license, cycle schemes or accessibility considerations for those with additional needs, can all contribute to helping learners visualise themselves learning with you. 
  • What additional factors could influence them? This could be down to concerns over money, additional needs they may need support with, advice on what to study, being able to work alongside studying, childcare issues, returning as a learner, or gaining support from an employer to study alongside work. Establishing some of the information above allows you to positive tackle common questions and concerns through Cues as they visit your site in a conversational way. 
  • Lead into open days and opportunities to talk: whether it’s an open day, or open drop in sessions, call backs or simply asking for more information, making sure you have different routes through which prospects can get what they need can help improve conversion rates but importantly, cater for different learner needs at different stages. 

Can you help students and their influencers with Snippets? 

Dropping in snippets from your website, including videos and other useful information, can be a great way to reinforce key pieces of information and make the user experience quick and easy - something that if you’re considering a multitude of options cannot be over valued. 

Check out Snippets here!

Example cues

  • Are you a current student?
  • Are you a school leaver, coming back into learning, or learning alongside work?
  • School Leaver: would you like to search (course types)? Or hear from some other students who joined us from school?
  • Back into learning: would you like to search (course types)? Or hear from some of our other mature learners who joined us from school?
  • Alongside work: have you already lined things up with your employer? Would you like to hear from some other students/access template letters
  • Do you already know what you’d like to study at college?
  • Yes: Great, which area would you like to explore? 
  • No: Ok, would you like to explore some of our popular course areas for some ideas?
  • How near is College for you? Walking distance, Public transport, I’d need to figure that out
  • Signpost to relevant info/access 
  • Are you still working out what course area might be right for you?
  • Yes: come to an open day, drop in evening, have a call back. 
  • No: great, would you like to have a look around that course area study space and meet some of the teachers on it? (Open Day, drop in evening etc)