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Funnel Conversion & Enrollment Increase in Higher Education

A Colorado university was experiencing enrollment declines based on breaks in the internal process amplified by external market forces. As a result, they needed to create a focused marketing and sales strategy with limited resources to put their programs on a positive enrollment trajectory.

  • Establish accurate cost per enrollment to guide budget modeling and enrollment projections.
  • Evaluate the current sales funnel to identify breaks in the process contributing to enrollment drop-off.
  • Harness first, second, and third-party data across traditional and digital technologies.
  • Deploy and optimize digital media & content to drive engagement for prospects throughout the different stages of the sales funnel.

The Strategy

Based on 1st and 3rd party data insights, we generated tailored personas and deployed paid social and display advertising campaigns to those specific audience segments. In addition, we utilized remarketing strategies to engage prospects within the applicant funnel. Lastly, we used lists of prospects to target individuals in specific stages of the admissions process directly.
Leveraging the strong brand and reputation of the university, both local and national paid media messaging focused on the overall brand. In contrast, remarketing campaign messaging focused on specific programs with which prospects had engaged. Budgets and messaging shifted throughout the year based on seasonality and application deadlines. Over time, campaigns were also tailored based on which messaging and personas were garnering the most engagement.

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The Results

As a result of our digital media efforts, the volume and quality of traffic to our client’s website increased for all primary metrics. Within one enrollment cycle, our client achieved a 13% increase in year-over-year enrollments, even with a more restricted budget. By identifying breaks in their internal sales process, we implemented changes to nurture leads better and increase down-funnel conversion rates. Lastly, we established an accurate cost per enrollment to help with forecasting and budgeting for future enrollment cycles.

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