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How Captar Alunos doubled its client roster with automations

The agency, which specializes in education marketing, thrived during the pandemic by using automations and a refined and empathetic message.


Industry: Digital Marketing

Location: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Company size: 0 - 10

Year founded: 2019

Captar Alunos (Attracting Students, in Portuguese), the education marketing branch of Mailchimp partner agency Digital Marketing 360, provides digital marketing services to education institutions in several categories: open courses, regular schools, vocational education, among others. A sector that is considered a niche and peculiar in many ways.

As any other country in the world, Brazil was struck with the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and all Brazilian states implemented restrictive measures that eventually led to total isolation and the suspension of all classes.

What could have been a very challenging scenario for Captar Alunos, turned out to be a unique opportunity for new business. After refining its messaging and being more careful with content distribution, the agency managed to double its number of clients.

"An optimistic message could have seemed out of tone. We preferred to be empathetic with the difficulties of our potential clients. With Mailchimp's CRM tool, we used automations to help create solutions."

— Paulo Prudencio, Marketing Manager, Captar Alunos

The Challenge: Convincing customers to invest during the crisis

The Brazilian economy isn’t as solid as that of developed countries. In Brazil, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs are more vulnerable to market changes. During the social isolation, education institutions had to confront many uncertainties.

Usually, when facing this situation, the first thing that comes to mind is to cut costs. And oftentimes, one of the costs being cut is digital marketing, which we know, it could be a big mistake. We needed to show that we offered much more than just attracting students.

Our potential clients felt lost like never before. Therefore, our strategy was to study the market; deliver information, data, and trends; explaining the risks; but also be reassuring and offer solutions.

One might be curious as to why we didn’t say "hire Captar Alunos if you want to overcome the crisis." We chose to discuss the issues, which helped the institutions realize that they needed experts to support them and help them prepare for a comeback.

The tools: Forms, tag and group segmentation, automations

First, we believed that the search for the main keywords on Google wouldn’t decrease during isolation. We were right on the money; isolated at home, managers of education institutions seemed to have more time to get informed.

Therefore, we kept our investments in paid traffic and further refined the content, focusing on the period of social isolation.

We used Mailchimp’s form creation tool to collect data about our readers. In exchange, we offered a practical guide to attract new enrollments.

Then the reader would follow an automation flow that answered some of their questions. At the end of this sequence of emails, we would offer the service provided by Captar Alunos as a means to prepare people to go back to school.

To do this, we used a reconversion form created on Mailchimp. We offered an experience that simulated how to attract new students, making our offerings much more tangible for managers of education institutions.

Using Mailchimp’s group and tag segmentation tools, we widened our reach – and further optimized our sales approach – meeting the expectations of each of our leads in a much better way.

The result: 100% growth in number of clients

  • 60%*

    Email Open Rate

  • 54%*

    CTR Rate

  • 367

    New Qualified Leads

At the start of the campaign, our expectations were low: we would be glad to stop a large number of our clients from dropping out of our program, and making them feel safe about the difficult decisions to come. However, in the first few months after launching our new message, the number of people contacting us and the success of our commercial attempts both spontaneously increased. The institution managers recognized our efforts and appreciated our honesty when we shared that content.

Content alone was not the reason we turned the table on the pandemic: we relied on Mailchimp marketing platform to turn every new idea we had into an impactful touchpoint with our audience.

Another thing: when investigating the options available on Mailchimp’s CRM tools, we were happily surprised by new features that gave us new ideas to further improve our campaigns.

For example, some metrics presented by the reports – which we weren’t checking very often – started to draw our attention: the best campaigns showed 90% of clickthrough rate per unique open.

For the program Captar Alunos, this success was a huge lesson in the importance of empathy.

We had to be empathetic to reach and help our clients and potential customers through their hardest period. And we relied on the empathy of Mailchimp, who understands users' needs and offers well targeted services, in tools and functionalities which are simple to understand and operate.

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