Reach More. Enroll More.

Marketers, we know you work hard trying to generate leads for your graduate and online programs and it can be frustrating when you’re generating leads but getting little to no conversions. So, what are the possible reasons? Here are five common reasons your leads aren’t converting into students – and what to do about it so you can increase conversions ASAP.

1. Lead Response: Prospects are more likely to do business with whoever calls them back first. According to the Harvard Business Review, if you’re not following up quickly (5 Minutes or Less), your leads could be converting. There are a couple of ways to fix this. First, hire more staff. But what will you do during after-hours when many leads are generated? A good tip is to establish clear lead response KPI’s and measure lead-to-contact and contact-to-activity. The alternative? Hire us! Since 2008, we have been higher ed’s most successful lead manager providing branded, speed to lead.

Student experience is critical. Students are digital natives and demand a great experience. What makes dominant online universities like SNHU, Liberty, WGU, and GCU so successful? Why are so many universities struggling to grow their programs, and yet other schools are growing and thriving?

Can we all agree that these schools are disruptive organizations in a mature sector? They radically transformed the space, undercutting their competition by creating a whole new customer experience at better prices. And, of course, you could fill a dozen PowerPoints with all the reasons why they’ve succeeded so well. One major difference is they deliver immediate, rapid responses, eliminating competition completely.

Another reason they convert leads is they stay with prospects longer – they persist and nurture.

2. Persist and Nurture: Let’s go back to SNHU, Liberty, WGU, and GCU. What makes them successful? They value leads. They nurture and persist longer and remain front-of-mind to stretch ROI and drive applications. They keep showing prospects why they are the right school for them. Persistence is also the secret weapon to your enrollment success. Contrary to popular opinion, persistence doesn’t require brute force, willpower, or a thousand phone calls. It takes finesse, which begins with your unwavering belief that your institution is the ideal home for your prospective student.

Most sales occur after the fifth attempt. It’s similar in enrollment. Most schools are using (and often over-using) email, which can be blocked, and heavily relying on text messaging. What they’re missing is the persistence with live humans.

Based on our internal data, fifty percent of graduate leads take six months to apply. So, if you have not built a relationship or remained positioned when they are ready to learn more, you lose.

How can you fix this and persist longer? A couple of options. The starting point is to analyze “Lead Lag-Time,” which is the length of time it takes for a prospect to move from lead to application and then build a cadence that includes voice and digital + SMS that persists with prospects. One option is to staff it yourself. Or, hire us and you now have a partner willing and ready to help when you need it. Since 2008, Education Connex has been privileged to provide conversion solutions to some of higher ed’s most successful non-profit universities.

3. Optimize for inbound leads. Live is best. Have you ever wondered why 98 percent of your web traffic leaves your site without submitting the slightest bit of information— no form fill, no chat, no inbound call, nothing? Well, we did. In fact, recently we researched 100+ non-profit universities offering and advertising an online program or graduate program. Our key finding is that 84% of schools are missing major inbound lead opportunities. Unfortunately, schools are spending money on paid media, expensive SEO, and technology without seeing results. Enhance and increase high intent inquiries through strategic inbound marketing and circumvent your competition. Convert your brand-aware audience into students.

4. You’re a Caller Unknown or Being Flagged as Spam. Is your number showing up as an “Unknown Caller”? Maybe you are making the calls, maybe they are being flagged as spam. We offer a solution that allows your brand’s caller identity to show up correctly on the calling screen every time. This service covers more than 360 million consumers across the major U.S. phone carriers: Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Cricket Wireless, Xfinity Mobile, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and more. We know it works; we’ve measured it. Our research shows branded caller ID increases contact rate by 5%. Increase contact rate and you increase applications.

5. Your Marketing Channels. Your leads are not admissions ready: Look at your funnel. What type of leads are you generating? Are they awareness, higher up the funnel, and not admissions ready? What percentage of your leads are inbound, referrals, or organic? Awareness leads have very little familiarity with your school. Too often we see poor lead quality as a reason why leads do not convert. Our marketing solutions drive organic and inbound admissions ready leads.

Opportunities abound for online universities to convert more inquiries without spending more money. There is an incredibly good chance you are missing growth and missing opportunities because your leads are not converting. We can help!

Reach out to me at and let’s discuss how we can grow enrollment.