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Accelerate Enrollments by Executing on Channel Strategy

Liz Kistner - Monday, October 27, 2014

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The air is crisp, cool, and filled with golden colors of leaves falling from trees. Pumpkin pie is baking in the oven and squirrels are outside collecting nuts while driving my dog Ivy crazy. Leaves and temperatures are not the only things dropping. According to Crain's New York Business (April 2011), MBA programs face decline in enrollments and applications. Prestigious schools are not immune. For-profit colleges are facing a tough test: getting new students to enroll. New-student enrollments have plunged-in some cases by more than 45% (Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2011). What strategies do you have in place that will help accelerate enrollments? Deploy a pronged channel strategy to help accelerate enrollments.

  • Execute a strategy that will evaluate which marketing channels are optimal and should be used to reach your various target segments. Listen to social media to determine the kinds of conversations those students have and their area of interest. Based on that learning, an appropriate positioning can be used to reach those audiences taking into consideration if a prospective student is more interested in the quality of an academic program, flexibility, or financial aid. Other channels for consideration may include mobile enabling, QR Codes, direct mail, email marketing, or search engine marketing/optimization.
  • Create a DNA or persona of each targeted segment which will then optimize each activity with a higher level of engagement through resonating message for each channel used.
  • Craft a custom journey based on the persona generated that will walk a potential prospect through various stages of collegiate considerations. Initial touch points could be around awareness. Then, based on engagement, the next touch point would be followed by specific collateral mapped to a student's interest to help him/her learn more about the culture and the grain of your school. Follow that, perhaps with personalized phone calls, with information about scholarship opportunities or the opportunity to meet the dean of a specific program during an open house. 

Use the right marketing channel for the right target segment at the right time with the right message to create a structured, metrics-driven approach that enables real-time insight driven marketing to optimize your budget allocation. This will not only create a uniquely and clearly quantified approach at every stage of the enrollment process but at the same time will develop an infrastructure that provides for quality prospects in the short and long-term in a more predictable and consistent manner. 

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