Enrollment marketing has changed, has your strategy changed with it?

April 1, 2016

Traditional enrollment marketing methods that lean heavily on direct mail and mass e-blasts are failing to engage today’s student. In response, many colleges and universities have over-corrected with insincere and poorly targeted social media efforts that rely too much on data and not enough on thoughtful, experience-driven strategy.

These outreaches fall flat as well because they don’t connect with the experience today’s prospective students are not only expecting, but demanding. Successful digital enrollment campaigns are now combining strategy, technology and content to produce real, measurable results. In our work we’ve found the following elements to be the cornerstones of strategies that not only increase the quantity of applications, but the quality as well.

1.) Frequency

We live in an age of information overload and reaching today’s students calls for a balanced contact frequency to push through the clutter and deliver your message. Marketing Automation tools are especially useful in building efficiency as they distribute rich, personalized content across a variety of channels.

Enrollment leads are nurtured to build strong relationships on the student’s terms, adding value to the experience and separating your institution from the pack. More advanced marketing automation tools can trigger alerts so that admissions counselors will know when students are advancing in their decision-making process. These triggers are based on behavior and interaction and can be customized based on your recruitment process.

BroadBased & Jacksonville University Enrollment Campaign Testimonial

“We turned to BroadBased in 2015 to help enhance our digital marketing efforts with the goal of increasing new enrollment applications and decreasing melt of accepted students,” said Brooks Terry, Senior Director, Integrated Marketing & Communications at Jacksonville University. “They performed a detailed evaluation of our current campaigns and fine-tuned our marketing automation tool with custom, targeted messaging to not only students but parents as well. We exceeded our enrollment goals by a wide margin and BroadBased played an integral role. We’re currently working with them for our 2016 landing page campaigns and consider them an extension of our marketing team.

2.) Diversity

Where do your future students spend their time online? What devices are they spending it on? Before we can tell a story and begin creating an experience it’s critical that we answer those questions. More and more higher education campaigns are incorporating emerging social networks and apps like Snapchat and Periscope. Incoming students’ Facebook pages allow them to create communities with their peers and have an open dialogue to answer questions and provide guidance.

To compete in this ever-changing landscape you need data to guide decisions and ensure that you’re reaching your target audience. Cutting-edge tools help us identify the optimal platforms and devices to market our content, establishing deep connections with students and strengthening them over time. Yield is increased and melt is reduced with a well-rounded content marketing plan.

3.) Personality

The root word of ‘personality’ is ‘personal’, and herein lies one of the most common mistakes colleges and universities make in their digital marketing strategies. Campaigns should be personalized at every touch, from using the student’s name to customizing content based on their unique demographics and preferences.

Tools and technology provide more insight and information about students who interact with web and social media assets than ever before, and that data has to be leveraged to drive maximum yield. Schools need showcasing their values, beliefs and benefits to students on a personal level vs. a generic “one-size-fits-all” are the most successful.

If you’d like to collaborate on refining your existing enrollment marketing campaigns, or if you need a partner to guide you in selecting the tool and setting up a new campaign, contact our EVP Chris Ramaglia at 904-398-7279 ext. 17 or email him to schedule a time to talk.

Chris Ramaglia

Chris Ramaglia

EVP and Partner

Chris Ramaglia leads our digital strategies at the agency. He has more than 17 years' experience with online lead generation, holds nine digital marketing certifications, and has a borderline obsession with helping our clients smash their new business goals.