A Guide to Essential Marketing Measurements Used by the Most Successful Education Marketers

October 15, 2018 Charlene Sterphone

A Guide to Essential Marketing Measurements Used by the Most Successful Education Marketers

Successful enrollment marketing campaigns require the review and analysis of multiple key performance indicators (KPIs) throughout the prospective student journey, including pre-lead and post-conversion metrics. From understanding lead flow to measuring performance, campaign metrics allow successful higher education marketers to evaluate the past and make predictions about the future of their enrollment marketing campaigns and how they will likely impact efforts to fill seats and achieve start objectives.

For many higher education marketers, lead generation is a newer form of enrollment marketing that comes with a long list of confusing terminology. While the language may be new, from lead pace to scrub rate, understanding the nuances of campaign performance is vital for creating predictability and scalability while achieving optimal performance.

Here’s a look at some of the essential lead generation campaign measurements and how to put them to use.

Essential Lead Generation Campaign Measurements

The list below represents some of the most important and most frequently measured lead generation campaign metrics.

  • Application rate: The percentage of leads that progress to the application milestone.
  • Click-through rate (CTR):
    • For display and paid search: The percentage of ad impressions that receive clicks.
    • For email: The percentage of emails that received clicks. This can be tracked as a percentage of emails sent and as a percentage of emails opened. The click-to-open rate (CTOR) is most commonly used.
  • Contact rate: The percentage of leads with which your team successfully makes contact. This measurement is most commonly used for outbound dialing of leads.
  • Conversion rate: The rate of leads that convert. There can be multiple conversions (including application, enrollment and start) within a customer journey, so it is important to identify the specific conversion that is being measured.

Cost per click (CPC): The average cost paid for each click on an ad. This metric is most commonly calculated for pay-per-click advertising campaigns, including paid sCost per click (CPC): The average cost paid for each click on an ad. This metric is most commonly calculated for pay-per-click advertising campaigns, including paid search.

  • Cost per application (CPA): The average price paid for each application. (CPA can also refer to cost per action, with the action being any pre-defined action taken by the target audience.)
  • Cost per conversion: The average cost for each individual conversion. As noted above, there can be multiple conversions within a customer journey. The average cost per conversion can be calculated for each of these milestones.
  • Cost per enrollment (CPE): The average price paid for each enrollment.
  • Cost per lead (CPL): The average cost paid for each lead. This metric is most commonly calculated for pay-per-lead campaigns, but it can also be calculated for campaigns with other payment models.
  • Cost per start (CPS): The average price paid for each start.
  • Email bounce rate: The percentage of emails that “bounced” and did not deliver. Bounces include:
    • Hard bounces: Returned undelivered without ever being accepted by the recipient’s server. This is often due to bad email addresses.
    • Soft bounces: Returned undelivered after being accepted by the recipient’s server. Soft-bounces are usually due to short-term issues including message size, full mailboxes, unavailable servers.
  • Enrollment rate: The percentage of leads that progress to the enrollment milestone.
  • Good lead rate: The percentage of all leads categorized as “good” after being evaluated. Often, leads are called before being categorized as “good” or “bad.”
  • Impressions: The number of times an ad has been served. This number should represent the number of times an ad has been seen by the target audience.
  • Lead count: The number of leads delivered, generated or acquired.
  • Lead pace: The projected lead count for a period of time (typically the current month) based on lead flow to date.
  • Open rate: The percentage of emails opened, as a share of all emails delivered.
  • Scrub rate: The percentage of leads scrubbed, as a share of all leads delivered.
  • Start rate: The percentage of leads that progress to the start milestone.
  • Total media cost: The total cost of all media spend for a specific campaign.

Using Lead Generation Campaign Metrics to Understand & Optimize Enrollment Marketing

Using Lead Generation Campaign Metrics to Understand & Optimize Enrollment Marketing

Pre-lead campaign metrics, such as impressions and clicks, calculate the volume and frequency of early milestones. Meanwhile, post-conversion campaign metrics provide insight into campaign performance once a lead has been generated.

Whether pre- or post-conversion, measuring and analyzing campaign data allows enrollment marketers to compute past performance to understand what is possible to achieve, including scalability and cost. Throughout the month, enrollment marketers that pay close attention to metrics are able to compare current performance in comparison to historical averages and predict results expected by the end of the month or an upcoming start date.

Enrollment marketers with full, lead-level campaign transparency can slice and dice data to identify pockets of superior and inferior performance. Optimizing a campaign to bring in more of what is working and less of what is not should, over time, deliver more enrollments for less media spend.

Connecting Pre-Lead and Post-Conversion Metrics to Properly Optimize Enrollment Campaigns

Especially for marketers with long-lead lifecycles, integrating data from disparate marketing systems helps provide a holistic view of marketing performance. But due to technology or other limitations, too often many marketers never connect pre-lead measurements (like CTRs) with post-conversion metrics (like enrollment rates). As a result, ads with high CTRs are deemed successful even if they produce low start volume. Click here to see an analysis of last-click tracking versus cross-channel, multi-touch tracking to learn more about why it’s important to visualize the full prospective student journey.

Sparkroom Puts Customized Intelligence at the Fingertips of Education Marketers With Ease

Sparkroom performance marketing technology, a proprietary technology of Digital Media Solutions that is also licensed by a long list of education marketers, gathers, translates and reformats data from multiple sources to provide holistic views of marketing performance. Connecting the pre-lead and post-conversion data, Sparkroom allows enrollment marketers to easily draw insights and optimize campaign performance. Click here to request a Sparkroom demo.

About the Author

Charlene Sterphone

Charlene Sterphone is a Marketing Manager at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients grow their businesses and realize their marketing goals. 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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