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How Lynn University’s Lori Kukuck Optimizes the Slate-Halda Connection to Drive Student Interest and Enrollments

How Lynn University’s Lori Kukuck Optimizes the Slate-Halda Connection to Drive Student Interest and Enrollments
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When you ask Lori Kukuck, Director of Enrollment Services at Lynn University, about Halda’s recent integration with Slate, she brings up the same subject she seems to tie everything back to: The Student Experience.

“It’s given our team more to think about as they’re doing their outreach and truly realizing that a one-size-fits-all approach is not the best approach,” explains Kukuck. “For instance, if a lead comes through a Halda personalized plan we map it all to Slate. We see where they are in the enrollment process, if they have a financial aid question, all of it goes to our counselors. It’s at the tips of their fingers to inform the conversations they have with those students.”

Kukuck finds that this context–easily accessible in Slate–has upleveled her team’s ability to connect with students, especially on the graduate side.

“It’s all about being more strategic–more personalized,” she explains. “It’s about being thoughtful and pointed in our messaging, so our team has the context to really reach those students.”  

"We’ve got to make information relatable...and we’ve got to get the information that means the most to (prospective students) in front of them." -Lori Kukuck, Director of Enrollment Services

It’s also helped her keep a constant finger on the pulse of what her students are looking for in their website interactions.

“Working with Halda and our account manager, Jud, we have the flexibility to A-B test the Halda forms to make sure that we’re asking the right questions, getting the right information, at the right time. This partnership has allowed us the flexibility to see what works and what doesn’t work.”

This process of experimentation has resulted in a lead generation engine more effective than the standard RFI.

“Finding out those more thought-provoking questions like where students are in the process, what you want to gain out of a degree; our counselors use those insights to guide their conversations,” Kukuck continues.

With that at-their-fingertips information conveniently located in Lynn’s Slate instance, this process has never been easier for the people making those crucial connections.

Providing on-the-spot content to higher ed prospects

Kukuck has over 25 years of experience working in admissions at Lynn University. Over that time, she’s developed a more flexible perspective on student outreach than you often see in higher education as a whole.

“From the top down, we’re a data-focused institution. We dig into the data and act on it. That’s our overall philosophy,” she explains.

It was digging into that data that uncovered some new website interaction patterns she felt her team had to work swiftly to accommodate.

“Back in the day it was like, ‘what’s the origin source for a lead? What was the first point of contact that got them into our system?’” Kukuck elaborates. “Now we know that the process leading up to that moment could have involved 12 different points of contact. We know they’re digging into materials about our institution well before they ever let us know who they are.”

For Kukuck, that slow-burn interaction pattern necessitates a shift in communication strategy.

“We’ve got to make all that information relatable; we’ve got to make it understandable; and we’ve got to get the information that means the most to them in front of them,” she explains.

Kukuck wanted to streamline the information-gathering process and make the top-of-mind topics more immediate for her students–similar to the kind of thing Slate does for her team.

“We realized one of the ways we could service today’s student was to get away from that traditional RFI that takes two minutes to complete. The results page with Halda gets them to the meat of the information they want, while still capturing enough of their key contact information. Adding that capability to our site has elevated the experience.”

Kukuck also works with Halda to tailor the experience for returning visitors.

“One of the tools I was most excited to deploy with Halda was the Retargeting Hub for return visitors,” she explains. “We know people come to the site multiple times. The Hub gives them that low-key option to click back through what they’ve seen and explore some new areas. With the quick links on the side and the ability to add or subtract DLPs, I was really excited about implementing that element. And we’re getting conversions from it. Return visitors are going back and finishing the interactions they hadn’t finished before.”

And thanks to the integration with Slate, all that information finds its way into the accessible Slate database. “With Slate’s flexibility to add fields and update layouts as needed, we can capture and sort the data, then query and report on what we’re doing with that information,” Kukuck elaborates. “Drilling down on these answers helps my counselors narrow the pool of students so they aren’t wasting their time.”

Aligning admissions and marketing efforts in higher education

Creating these types of website interactions usually requires getting multiple teams on the same page. And while that’s not always easy, as an admissions leader Kukuck is proud of the relationship she’s built with Lynn’s marketing team.

Top Lead Capture Forms

“We’ve made great strides together on the .edu site. Both sides understand that we have to be adaptive. We have to be open to new ideas. We have to be able to make swift changes based on what we’re seeing in the market.”

A robust Slate instance, informed by Halda interactions, goes a long way toward creating alignment on what those changes need to be.

“With Halda’s two-way integration with Slate, we can slice and dice the data however we want to,” explains Kukuck. “We have the flexibility to run queries and reports based on our lead sources or who’s coming in from different DLPs.”

She finds that this transparency makes it possible for the teams to have honest, strategic conversations.

“We value transparency in our office, so it’s always an open conversation about what’s working and what isn’t. Both teams have access to the Halda dashboard which now includes admission funnel information from our Slate instance. This provides visibility for everyone.”

This rapport closely resembles the relationship she’s built with Halda, as well, as she connects with partners who share her flexible, data-driven perspective.

“I absolutely enjoy this partnership.  What we’ve built after nearly two years working with Halda, this is probably one of the easiest integrations we’ve ever done. There were pain points, of course, but we had the flexibility and open candor on both sides to get this to the finish line,” she explains.

Transparency, candor, flexibility, and vision–these are the characteristics Lori Kukuck looks for in a solid higher ed partnership. Through our integration with Slate, Halda demonstrates a commitment to the same values as we build the student journey together.

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