Five Ways To Jump Start Your Fall Enrollments

Liz Kistner - Monday, October 27, 2014

What road do you take to find your best prospects?  With fall enrollments right around the corner what strategies are you using to re-engage your in-house leads as well as mine for new qualified prospects? Here are five ways to jump start your fall enrollments:

  1. Leverage your analytics … with data-driven marketing to help you manage your lead flow. Enrollment marketing automation through Enrollment Marketing Solutions provides a turnkey solution for your school with full-service campaign execution with your in-house file.  Our managed services include:  creative development, list/database management, deliverability performance, and insightful reporting.
  2. Understand enrollment trends … According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “Enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 14 percent between 1987 and 1997. Between 1997 and 2007, enrollment increased at a faster rate (26 percent), from 14.5 million to 18.2 million.”  So what?  Understanding enrollment trends up to the year 2017 can give your university the opportunity to look at various trends such as age and capitalize on where the population is shifting in terms of adult undergraduate, outreach, or graduate studies. For example, "35 years old and older" will continue to grow from 3,066,000 (2012) to 3,350,000 (2017).  Incorporate segmentation into your marketing mix to test this age trend.
  3. Mix up your media through multichannel campaigns.  It is critical to always test and mix up your media methods to understand what is working.  Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.  Try QR Codes that turn direct mail into mobile marketing.  Use e-mail marketing to understand more than your click thru rate.  What are their preferences and/or behaviors that are driving them to respond?  Integrate online and offline tactics such as PURL campaigns.  Drive traffic to your offline events through social media.  With the explosion of social media in the last decade use this tool to raise awareness of your brand and drive enrollments at the same time.  Use popular search terms in your e-mail subject lines.
  4. Maximize content that is tailored to your market segment.  Content should speak the language of your audience.  This will increase the number of key word searches improving search engine optimization, increase the likelihood of being found, and engage prospects in search.  According to eMarketer.com search spending is projected to reach $12.3 billion, representing 49% of all online ad spending.
  5. Lead Nurturing through relevance.  What happens to your leads after you work so hard to get them?  Why do some convert and others do not?  The key to relevance is knowing where they are in your funnel, what dynamics will create engagement, and what tools (lead scoring, list segmentation, personalization, online videos) are used to keep them engaged.  Effective new-media platforms such as online videos grew from less than $40 million in 2000 to $1.5 billion in 2009 as quoted by eMarketer.com

Francis Bacon said, "Knowledge is power."  The more you know about your prospect through lead nurturing, leveraging your analytics, and understanding enrollment trends, the more you will see your enrollment numbers increase.