Website Development

Collecting Form Data: What's Next?

August 11, 2020

A note from Digistorm: This post was originally published in October 2017. We've updated it to include more relevant content and statistics.

Online forms are an incredibly integral part of any school website. They're a great way to collect important information that you use to contact, survey or gain expressions of interest from members of the school community. We've talked extensively about how to design forms that convert in our previous post, but once you have high-converting forms, you will also be left with a mountain of data. By putting a few simple tweaks into place, you can get the most out of your form data, allowing you to speed up and improve a number of your regular school processes.

 

1. Connect your forms to your CRM

Your school's customer relationship manager (CRM), also known as an enrollments management system, is an incredible tool that helps you to capture the details of prospective families and nurture them through to enrollment in your school. 

 

Want to learn more? Check out our post,

Spotlight on CRMs: Why Your School Needs One

 

If you have a CRM, you can link your website forms up so that they send any new information directly into your system. This is a great alternative to exporting a list of all of your form completions (although that can be handy — more on that later) and manually adding the information in. 

 

2. Pull valuable insights

Most website providers will allow your school to export all of your form data into a spreadsheet. Once you've done this, you can start analyzing it to glean valuable insights for your marketing and admissions efforts. You'll want to think about the data that can support your efforts, such as:

  • Which locations are the parents who request your prospectus living in? 
  • How about the parents who are completing enrollment?
  • What percentage of the parents registering for your Open Day are bringing their children?

The key in this step is to think about the data you’re collecting and how you can learn from it.

 

3. Retarget potential enrollments

Having a prospective parent complete an online form is a good indicator to your school that the parent may be interested in a potential enrollment. Collecting their information makes it easy for schools to reach out and share key information about the school.

Most website forms will ask users for, at minimum, an email address in order to keep in contact with them in the future. If you’re collecting email addresses through forms on your website, you have the opportunity to send your contacts valuable email content that encourages them towards enrollment.

For example, if you have a form where prospective parents are providing their details for a school tour, why not include details about your Open Day in the email? Or, add an opt-in checkbox to your form that subscribes parents to your email marketing send list, where you can send them regular, targeted information about joining your school community. There are a whole host of email marketing opportunities that are targeted to the audience that you’re growing through your forms. 

But, if you're emailing prospective parents you'll need to be mindful that you...

 

4. Don’t forget about anti-spam laws and privacy

There are a lot of rules around sending email marketing communications, so make sure you’re aware of them before hitting ‘send’. Each country will have their own rules around how you can contact users who have given you your email address — to find them, search for 'anti-spam laws' and make sure you have a good read before embarking on an email marketing campaign.

However, there are some consistent rules across the board, which you should be mindful to follow:

  1. You need consent from the recipient to send email marketing. Depending on your country's laws (and the country where your user is located), 'consent' in this case can either be inferred or express. Inferred consent is where a recipient can reasonably expect to hear from you (because they have dealt with you recently) and express consent is where a recipient has indicated that they would like to receive communications from you. To keep on the safe side, make sure you have express consent before you send any marketing materials.
  2. You always need to offer a method for the recipient to unsubscribe. And if they do unsubscribe from receiving marketing material from you, you'll need to honour their request and stop emailing them.
  3. Your emails should never be misleading to the recipient.
  4. You need to clearly indicate the sender of the email (your school and its details).

Another key consideration is the GDPR (General Data Protectional Regulation), which applies if you are located in the EU or are sending email communications to users in the EU. Along with getting express consent before sending, the GDPR requires you to have a robust privacy policy about the data you're collecting and what you're going to do with it. You will also need to keep records that prove you obtained express consent from your subscribers.

 

And that's about it! Dealing with form data can be tricky, which is why you'll want to make sure you have an easy-to-use form builder for your website, and a powerful CRM that can help you to keep your lead details up to date. Digistorm can help! Talk to a member of our friendly sales team about Digistorm Websites and our school CRM, Digistorm Funnel for more information.