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Higher Education Inquiry Volume Up; Conversion Rates Down

September 28, 2017 Melissa Piccinich

Higher education inquiry volume has maintained its upward trajectory since 2015, according to the Sparkroom Q2 2017 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review. Although Q2 2017 experienced a slight dip, since Q2 2015 there has been an 11.3% increase in overall inquiry volume.


Since May 2016, online programs and campus-based programs have been neck and neck in terms of share of inquiry volume (SOV). In Q2 2017, campus-based programs held the number-one rank, grasping a 50.3% SOV.

Both online and campus-based programs have been experiencing steady declines in conversion rates (CVR), however it is campus-based programs that are at the root of the downward trend. The average CVR for campus-based programs in Q1 2017 was 6.9%, which is quite a fall from the 8.5% CVR just one year prior. Data for Q2 2017 is still maturing, however it appears to be on track to match the prior quarter’s performance. In Q1 2017, online programs achieved an average CVR of 8.0%. As a result of the stronger conversion rate, online programs are bringing in a higher share of conversions (SOC) than campus-based programs. In Q2 2017, the SOC for online programs was 55.5%, up from both Q2 2016 and Q2 2015.

Increased market saturation and decreased quality of inquiry capture are just two of many possible trends that have caused shifts in the average CVR over the reported period. Even so, the market is overall quite stable.

The Sparkroom Q2 2017 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review addresses overall trends in the inquiry and student acquisition activities of higher education institutions for the period of January 2016-June 2017, with a focus on April-June 2017. The report details trends related to inquiry volume, conversion rates, channels, lead costs, program distribution and degree-level distribution.

Click here to download your free copy of the Sparkroom Q2 2017 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review.

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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