Putting Your Admissions Process on Autopilot
In this series, we are looking at ways that simple cloud apps can be used to automate and enhance school operations.
Admissions is really important to all independent/private schools. Eighty-five percent of our revenue is from tuition, so we treat admissions like it’s the lifeblood of our school (because it is).
I’ve been writing over the past few weeks about how to handle recurring and one-time donations using Wufoo and Stripe. Everyone from our donors to our finance folks love the setup. This week, I want to cover using Wufoo to power how you track admissions at your school.
We have a pretty generic form in Wufoo that gets some basic information from the prospective family. Our goal is to make it as simple as possible for folks to receive information from us. Wufoo makes it extremely easy to embed forms into our actual website as well. Once a form is filled out, an email is generated to our Headmaster, his administrative assistant, and our Director of Development. We have a whole process we kick off from there. We mail them a packet of information about the school, and then the Headmaster personally emails the family (we are all about relationships at my school).
While Wufoo tracks everything in a database that you can export easily, I’d rather it send all of the data to a Google Spreadsheet for ongoing tracking/notes. While Wufoo doesn’t offer this functionality natively, they do have an API that other applications can use.
I found a service called Zapier that offered some options. Zapier exists to help you connect applications that don’t normally “talk” to each other. It’s similar to IFTTT, but it’s aimed at enterprise type services. They have a built-in “Zap” that allows me to create a new row in a Google Spreadsheet from each new Wufoo entry.
Once you activate the “zap,” you’ll need to connect your Wufoo and Google accounts to Zapier so they can talk to each other. Zapier allows you to match specific Wufoo fields into the spreadsheet. This is handy if you only want a small subset of information from the form to be added to the spreadsheet.
You can also add additional columns on the spreadsheet without affecting how the data is written. We added a column for follow-up dates, a place to note a tour was scheduled, and a place to note if they enrolled in the school.
All of this data helps us understand how our marketing efforts are working, and overall how well we are doing at enrolling students based on our admission efforts. Since the data is in Google Spreadsheets, multiple people can be working on it at the same time.
Wufoo is a versatile platform, and connecting it with Zapier allows you to extend it further.
Next week, I’ll discuss how to use Wufoo and Stripe to setup a simple online store for schools. If you are new to this series, be sure to catch up on how to setup one time donations along with recurring onine donations.
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