Inquiry Volume Up & 6 More Higher Education Lead Generation Trends

March 27, 2018 Jeff Meola

It seems higher education marketing never stays the same for long. That’s why the team at Digital Media Solutions reports on higher education lead generation trends every quarter. The highly anticipated DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review was published today.

Click here to download the report. Read on for highlights from the report.

Higher Education Lead Generation Trend #1: Inquiry Volume Up

Higher education inquiry volume rose from 2015 to 2016 and again from 2016 to 2017. In 2017, volume was up 3.8%. Read more about this trend in the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review.

Higher Education Lead Generation Trend #2: Online Programs Generated Largest Share of Leads

Campus-based programs traditionally generated the greater share of leads. That changed after the first quarter of 2015, when online programs jumped ahead. Since then, the gap between format share has widened considerably. In Q4 2017, the delta was 25.2%. Read more about this trend in the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review

 

Higher Education Lead Generation Trend #3: Conversion Rates Rose

The average conversion rate across all program formats and all lead types was elevated in 2017 compared to 2016. In general, campus-based leads converted better during the second half of the year. Conversely, Q4 was the worst performing quarter for online program leads. Read more about this trend in the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review

 

Higher Education Lead Generation Trend #4: Third-Party Share of Volume Grew

In 2017, the share of third-party leads grew due to a combination of our factors:

  1. First-party channels have been difficult to scale.
  2. Paid search has become increasingly crowded and more competitive.
  3. Inquiry buyers were more comfortable with third-party compliance.
  4. Third-party quality has improved.

Read more about this trend in the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review

Higher Education Lead Generation Trend #5: Internal Website plus PPC Channels Combined to Account for Almost 1/3 of all Leads in 2017

Together, the internal website and pay-per-click (PPC) channels brought in 32.5% of all volume in 2017. For conversions, this duo was even more dominant, clocking a combined 58.2% share. But the performance trajectory for these two channels did not align in 2017. Read more about this trend in the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review

 

Higher Education Lead Generation Trend #6: More than 1/2 of All Leads in 2017 were for Associate or Bachelor’s Degrees

Combined, associate and bachelor’s degrees represented 55% of all leads in 2017. For campus-based programs, certificate and diploma programs were hot. Master’s and doctorate programs were most popular in the online format. Read more about this trend in the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review

 

Higher Education Lead Generation Trend #7: Health Programs Dominated

By a wide margin, health programs held on to the top program category spot in 2017. The health program SOV dropped from 44.5% in 2016 to 41.1% in 2017, but the health category share was still more than double the business category share. Read more about this trend in the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review

 

About the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review

Published by Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review covers trends in the inquiry generation and student acquisition activities of higher education institutions for the period of January 2015-December 2017, with an emphasis on January-December 2017.

The following topics are featured in the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review:

  1. Inquiry volume trends
  2. Conversion rates
  3. Media channel performance
  4. Degree-level distribution
  5. Program distribution

The DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review Webinar

The objective of the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review is to provide a snapshot of education-specific marketing evolution and highlight trends to help marketers better understand and adapt to the continually changing landscape. Click here to download the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review. [insert link to report page]

Join us on Wednesday, March 28th at 2:00pm ET as DMS Director of Analytics Jeff Meola and DMS EVP and General Manager of Education Cliff Libby present findings detailed within and commentary related to the DMS 2017 Year-End Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review. Click here to register for the webinar.

About the Author

Jeff Meola

Jeff Meola is the Consumer Insights & Marketing Analytics Director at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest growing independent agency focused on performance marketing. In this role, Jeff is responsible for managing and analyzing DMS industry data and customer trends. Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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