Are your enrollment goals where they need to be? Don’t panic!
As the year winds down, admissions and marketing staff at many schools are busy analyzing funnel activity and determining what’s next. Do you have enough leads? How many applications are started vs. completed? What are your attendance numbers for upcoming events? What needs to be done to ensure you hit your enrollment goals?
While it can be tempting to make a split decision to try something new if your numbers aren’t where you want them to be, it may be more advantageous to first re-examine your strategy and find ways to make minor tweaks to the plan you’ve already put in place.
Consider these key questions prior to making major shifts to your marketing or recruiting plans:
Does your strategy have these key elements?
Every good recruiting and marketing strategy has key elements that make them more likely to succeed.
- Audience segmentation based on prospective students’ needs
- Accurate positioning of your school and programs based on audience
- Tactics organized by channel
- Plan for monitoring
If you have these pieces in place, you can rest assured that you have a solid foundation to build from when planning ways to fill your funnel.
Did you document key performance indicators (KPI’s)?
For admissions teams, it’s easy to focus only on the end goal of seated students. But it’s likely that you have historical data at your disposal that can help you determine Year-Over-Year (YOY) numbers so you can track progress during the recruiting cycle. If your KPI’s don’t currently align with key dates throughout the year, this is an excellent place to begin charting a path toward analysis.
For example, you can start by examining event attendance for Fall, Winter and Spring events and comparing them to the current recruiting year. Are you on track? You can also look at application data to determine when a majority of your applications were started and completed over the last 2-3 years. You may be surprised to find out that you are in alignment with previous years and closer than you thought to your target.
What are the levers you can pull to optimize your marketing?
In your marketing and communications plan, you may use several tactics to communicate with leads and encourage action. Some are easier to increase than others depending on effort, resources, and budget. For example, for your unpaid tactics, consider optimizing your website, increasing emails, social posts or adding an admissions webinar. For paid tactics, does it make sense to shift a portion of your digital advertising budget from an area that isn’t working to a tactic that is performing well? Or to try a new channel or media product?
If you are looking for ways to determine whether your marketing and recruiting strategy will hit your target enrollment goals, GPRS can help. Our experienced team can evaluate where your strategy stands, how to enhance your tactics, and ways to increase enrollment through digital advertising. We can also help you create a tracking dashboard that will inform your decision-making for future campaigns. Contact us today to start the conversation.