Avoid Enrollment Cliff: Plan, Prepare

Liz Kistner - Monday, October 27, 2014

In the news:  the looming fiscal cliff of 2013.  The U.S. economy will tumble off the fiscal cliff -- $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts - unless Washington avoids it. 

The report from the White House's National Economic Council and Council of Economic Advisers cautioned that consumers will rein in spending next year to the tune of some $200 billion should Congress let taxes increase for middle class American families come 2013. Congress has until Jan. 2, 2013 to avoid more than $1 trillion in automatic budget cuts to higher education.   While Congress and the president to work together to keep higher education, and America, from going over the fiscal cliff we can plan and prepare to avoid our own educational cliff.

When I was young we would just hop in the car and hope for the best in reaching our destination with 4 screaming kids in the car and a dad who did not use road maps.  Now, most likely you use GPS or an App.  How do you plan for enrollment success?  Using your enrollment lifecycle funnel, understand numbers and ratios needed during each stage (lead generation, lead nurturing, application to enrollment, lead generation to enrollment). What role and responsibilities will each stakeholder play? Define and communicate them to each member of your team.

Map out a process flow chart that helps you and your team visually see the light at the end of the funnel.   Flow chart assets may include Campaign Definitions: budgets, go-to market strategy, marketing campaigns, enrollment goals. Campaign  Matrix:  communications planning matrix, program/location tracking, campaign frequency, number of campus locations, number of programs.  Analytics:  Google, tracking reports, response to conversion rates, cost per lead, cost per acquisition.

Solving the fiscal cliff is daunting; a magnitude of unpleasantness needed to make a real dent in deficit-spending. Whether a cliff is eminent only time will tell.  Avoid the pitfalls by being prepared and having a process in place during turbulent