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Education Inquiry Volume Up in Q3 2017

December 19, 2017 Melissa Piccinich

Click here for our latest quarterly report, the Q3 2018 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review published by Digital Media Solutions (DMS).

Education Inquiry Volume Up in Q3 2017

According to the Q3 2017 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review, published by Digital Media Solutions LLC, overall lead volume was on the rise. Q3 2017 had a 10.1% quarter-over-quarter (QOQ) increase and a 2.4% year-over-year (YOY) increase. Inquiry volume in Q3 2017 was up 6.5% from Q3 2015, indicating a long-term positive growth pattern.


Though demand rose in Q3 2017 for both online and campus-based formats, online programs brought in 34.9% more volume than their ground programs. As a result, in Q3 2017, the delta between inquiry volume for online and ground formats widened to its largest point since at least before 2015.

Overall across all program types, the average conversion rate (CVR) rose to 8.9% in Q3 2017 from 8.6% the prior quarter. Since Q3 2016, online and ground CVRs have been telling divergent stories. 2017 was the start of a rebound for ground conversion rates, with the CVR up to 9.6% in Q3 2017. Meanwhile, the online CVR was down to 8.4% in Q3 2017 after declining every quarter of 2017.

The interest among prospective students for flexible and affordable education does not seem to be losing steam, but online institutions may be having more difficulty closing the sale. Based on the slipping CVR for online programs, it appears schools may be experiencing increased competition in the online format due increasing supply of online programs.

The Q3 2017 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-September 2017, with an emphasis on July-September 2017. The report features inquiry volume trends, conversion rates, media channel performance, degree-level distribution and program distribution.

Click Here to download the Q3 2017 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review.

The data used for this report is derived from aggregated higher education industry inquiries processed through and stored within Sparkroom performance marketing technology. Sparkroom is owned by Digital Media Solutions, LLC. and is used by the DMS Digital Agency and licensed by a long list of higher education marketers. This report was previously published under the name Sparkroom.

About the Author

Melissa Piccinich

An innovative problem solver by nature, Melissa Piccinich is both experienced and passionate about the digital marketing industry. She has held a number of high-level positions within the real estate, mortgage, entertainment and digital advertising industries, including Director of PR and Business Development at NJ Lenders Corp. and Director of Communications & Government Affairs at Eastern Bergen County Board of Realtors. As Director of Content at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), Melissa demonstrates a strategic, creative and tactical approach when handling the thought leadership programs and marketing and communications efforts for DMS and its family of brands. She manages all conferences, sponsorships and event execution and plays a pivotal role in the creation of written, digital and video content for all campaigns. Melissa has consistently positioned the team at DMS as experts in performance marketing across multiple industries.

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