5 Steps to Take Now for Enrollment Campaign Success

February 9, 2016 Digital Media Solutions

Back in the “old days” of marketing, annual planning was a month-long process inclusive of presentation decks, vendor meetings, budget discussions and more. With extensive lead times and static creative, once established, a plan was often set in stone.

The velocity of change within the digital marketing environment distorted the practices of many marketers. We’re now able to start campaigns the same day we conceive of them. We have real-time data and a duty to optimize at a similar speed. For too many, this has resulted in a lackadaisical approach to planning ―a “fly by the seat of your pants mentality,” if you will.

Research, planning and smart execution are essential for long-term achievement, no matter whether you have rolling starts or the need to quickly adjust inbound inquiry volume to meet varying program needs. In the list below, I’ve outlined five steps you need to take immediately for enrollment campaign success. If you’ve skipped any of them, I recommend you immediately get to work. After all, as expressed many years ago by Vince Lombardi, “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

  1. Talk to your students. Do you know why your students selected your school or a specific program? How did they first learn about you? Where did they do their research? How was the experience with the admissions team? Were they considering other schools? If so, what was the deciding factor? What’s the current student experience? Does it meet their expectations? The more you know about your students, what drove them to enroll and what propels them to continue, the more success you’ll have getting more students to follow their paths.
  1. Schedule a synergy planning session. If you have multiple teams managing different elements of the marketing and enrollment process, it can be tough to ensure collaboration. Before more time passes, bring together the full squad. Outline the overall goals, the responsibilities owned by each party and the communications that must be shared across all players.
  1. Post-Its Planning BoardDraft a six-month plan. Digital marketing campaigns should never be static. The ability to make changes within an instant allows for continual testing and optimization. But the knowledge that tomorrow’s campaign may look very different than today’s, does not alleviate the need for an enduring outlook and strategy designed to meet your long-term objectives. Evaluating metrics, like conversion rates and cycle time by source, will help you calculate how many leads you need and when you need to receive them. That will enable you to build out a cross-channel marketing calendar that addresses every stage of your funnel.
  2. Maximize your website. You’ll never regret time and effort spent to improve your website performance. A strong user experience should engage prospective students while encouraging inquiries. But it can also boost your SEO performance, driving even more prospective students to your website. Keep content conversational and personal, and update it continually to improve keyword performance.
  3. Calculate your effective cost per action. It’s essential to know key metrics, like CPE, for individual channels, campaigns and more. And while this data can – and should – enable you to optimize your campaign at the deepest levels, too much focus on last-click attribution numbers can inhibit cross-channel performance boost. Display campaigns, for example, are not typically known for strong lead generation or conversion results. But a display campaign at the top of the funnel can provide significant lift to the more typical high-conversion lead generation tactics, like branded search. When you calculate your effective cost per action (CPA) across all channels, you start to view your campaign holistically and let all channels work in unison to achieve your ultimate performance goals.

Have I whet your appetite? Click here to contact DMS and get more tips. 

 


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About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Founded by a team of lifelong athletes, Digital Media Solutions (DMS) is an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients win in their business ventures and realize their marketing goals. The company’s set of proprietary assets and capabilities in the world of performance marketing and marketing technology allow clients to meticulously target and acquire the right customers. DMS relentlessly pursues flawless execution for top brands within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, careers and automotive.

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