Less Leads, More Starts: A Higher Education Case Study

The Problem

Our client was experiencing enrollment declines based on breaks in internal process amplified by external market forces. With lead flow not translating down-funnel into enrollments, a revamped marketing and sales strategy was needed in order to optimize conversion rates and put their programs on a positive enrollment trajectory.

The Solution: Maximizing Efficiency – Not Lead Count – in the Student Journey

Finding the Ideal Student

Based on 1st and 3rd party data insights, we generated tailored personas and deployed digital media &
content to drive engagement for prospects throughout the different stages of the sales funnel. Messaging and channels were adjusted throughout the year based on seasonality and enrollment trends. In addition, we utilized retargeting strategies to reach prospects who had already engaged with the university online and push them further down the applicant funnel.

Identifying Breaks in Internal Sales Process

In order to better nurture leads and increase down-funnel conversion rates, we evaluated the existing sales funnel to identify breaks in process that were contributing to enrollment drop-off. Based on these insights, we created visibility and implemented changes related to student journey; in particular, baselines were established to ensure an optimized contact rate between admissions counselors and leads.

The Results: 19% Increase in Year-Over-Year Enrollments

Within one enrollment cycle, our client was able to achieve a 19% increase in year-over-year enrollments, even with a more restricted budget. In addition, as a result of our digital media efforts, volume and quality of traffic to our client’s website increased for all major metrics. By identifying breaks in their internal sales process, we were able to implement changes to better nurture leads and increase down-funnel conversion rates. Lastly, we were able to establish an accurate cost per enrollment to help with forecasting and budgeting for future enrollment cycles.

higher ed enrollment
Our strategies combined to reverse a declining enrollment trend without a significant increase in applications, indicating higher “quality” applicants and more efficiency in the student journey.