Presidents and Provosts,
Are you wondering if your marketing dollars are driving the activity? Question: Does your school’s website deliver 60% of your lead volume? Too often we see internal marketing departments disconnected from the concept of lead generation instead they hide behind “the brand” and become siloed design studios while admissions departments scramble meeting enrollment targets. Your enrollment or sales team is need of exclusive, in-market prospects – leads. However, as a rule school websites do not convert well as they are not informative, responsive or actionable.
We believe that brand is overrated. Sorry, but it’s true. Unfortunately, schools exaggerate the importance of their brand, and thus over-rely on awareness media and branding. While brand marketing often has the goal of awareness, which aides in conversion, it doesn’t necessarily produce it. Direct marketing has one goal: Convert prospects to customers or, more simply, drive sales. Awareness and branding is expensive, low yield, and very difficult to measure, attribute, and monetize.
Today, too many marketing departments and large enrollment service providers are still relying on acquired lists, elaborate and expensive communication flows, and websites that don’t convert traffic into real inquiries instead they target “suspects” only to miss out on driving real organic prospects who are interested in your institution to your website. Since branding and student list acquisition isn’t going to work, what will? Direct, exclusive digital strategies drive higher quality inquiries, and enrollments.
We believe marketing departments should be comprised of experts in lead generation, not creative or communications directors. Why? Because your target prospects are digital natives and successful marketers of today and tomorrow recognize that the space in between the beginning (awareness) and the consideration set (desire) is critical, which make both direct response and inbound marketing strategies vital. Unfortunately, just being in the game isn’t enough. Universities need to excel at it, and the ones that do will have an overwhelming competitive advantage.
Here are simple questions for tuition driven colleges. Especially the marketing department to assess marketing spend and effectiveness. We like to call it the Art of Spending Wisely. Show me a CFO or president who doesn’t like that?
1. Is the measurement for marketing success leads or inquiries from specific ad sources or nebulous impressions, reach and frequency?
2. What percentage of your marketing is spent on awareness or direct response?
3. What percentage of your inquiry and enrollment volume is coming from your website v. external volume? It should be at least 60%.
4. Which ad sources are producing the highest number of enrollments?
5. What is the cost-per-enrollment for each ad source?
6. What percentage of your inquiries are inbound phone or Live Chat. Are you even leveraging these channels?
7. How many inquiries are from mobile devices? 60% of searches are on mobile devices.
(And let’s be honest, if you’re not getting these questions answered you need to call us).
Put it all together and spending wisely begins with an honest evaluation of the strategies you have in place, and even more important, how well you execute those strategies. In the high-stakes game of university enrollment, success is always in the details and the data.
If you need help with the details on the path to converting more leads, call us at 877-434-1828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help your university succeed.