Lead Generation Tips for Business School

How do we get more butts in seats?

This is a question many grapple with to some extent in the business education space. A related question is how do we improve the quality of the students attending our school.

Key to addressing these questions is lead generation. One way to generate new leads is by creating a compelling lead magnet: offering a valuable form of content in exchange for a new user’s email address and other contact details.

A good example of an effective lead magnet within higher education is IMD’s Global Leader Index. (IMD is a business school in Switzerland — I worked there from 2007–2011). The Global Leader Index is a survey in which individuals sign up and answer a series of questions. At the completion of the survey, respondents can see how their leadership skills compare to others. Over 12,000 individuals have completed the survey. IMD has used this survey to support various aspects of its sales, marketing and communications. The survey has also been used by a center within the school for research.

James Henderson, a professor at IMD and a member of the management team responsible for programs and innovation, provided the inside story about the Global Leader Index. Among the topics he discussed are:

  • How to create a compelling lead magnet
  • When to begin incorporating sales
  • Tips on promoting a lead magnet
  • The value of conversation-based marketing
  • The importance of collaborating across an institution so various departments can benefit from the content initiative.

Listen to the interview.

About James Henderson

James Henderson is Professor of Strategic Management at IMD. Prior to joining IMD, he was an Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Babson College and Babson School of Executive Education, based in Boston, MA. Learn more.