There’s no such thing as the perfect enrollment marketing plan. Creating a plan that works takes good data, some experience and a certain amount of trial and error. By measuring your metrics, you can get closer to perfection and minimize waste in the process.
Tracking your overall marketing metrics shows you whether your enrollment marketing plan as a whole is having a positive effect. More than that, it shows you exactly which parts of your plan are most effective and which still need some adjustment. The longer you track, the more data you amass and the better able you will be to maximize success at every stage of the enrollment marketing lifecycle.
Before you even think about metrics for your marketing efforts, set clear numerical enrollment goals. Write your goals down and make sure that everyone on your team knows what they are. Then, start tracking your progress.
Once you have defined your program goals, you’ll have a better idea of how effective your marketing efforts need to be in order to meet your enrollment goals. Work backward from your enrollment goals, using historic conversion rates from years past, if you have them.
Effective goals are reasonable, achievable, specific and measurable. Here are three such goals that will help you track your performance.
Prospect to Inquiry Rate
The Prospect to Inquiry Rate metric helps you optimize your online presence to get more verified leads. Prospects are the students who visit your website in response to your marketing efforts. They are signaling interest and you have the potential to sell to them. Inquiries are the students who actually fill out forms, email, or call your institution. A student who inquires becomes a verified lead.
If you’re getting a lot of prospects but few inquiries that implies a breakdown in one of two areas.
You are not attracting high quality leads to your site
Your prospects are not finding the information they need once they get there
Begin with an analysis of your lead quality. Are the individuals that are converting likely to proceed through your enrollment management funnel? If so, evaluate the characteristics that make them high quality leads and refine your targeting to attract more individuals with similar characteristics. If you are having trouble furthering conversations with the leads you are attracting, consider a more thorough analysis and narrowing of your targeting.
Once you get the right people to your site, you still need to convince them to make contact. If your web copy is not compelling or if it focuses on the wrong subject areas, prospects won’t be interested enough to inquire. Check that your web copy clearly outlines your value proposition and encourages students to learn more. Additionally – check your web content and your ad content to make sure it aligns. Are visitors to your site finding what they thought they’d find when they clicked into your site?
In addition to the quality of the content, pay attention to the quality of the user experience. Does your page load quickly? Is the text formatted so it’s easy to read? Can prospects clearly see where to click to fill out the form. Is the form well-designed and easy to use? Have you asked only the most essential questions? Forms that are too long or too complex can lead prospects to abandon them part way through the process.
Conversion rate of leads
Understand which lead sources are the most effective and which ones might not be worth spending your time on.
Most institutions have an array of potential lead sources including search engine optimized content, paid search advertising, paid social advertising, purchased leads from strategic partnerships… the list goes on. Each source can add value and provide quality leads – when properly managed and executed.
To figure out which campaigns and platforms are working well for you, look tie your enrollments back to the original lead source or sources. If 60% of students who click on a paid social ad eventually enroll, but only 10% of SEO content readers did the same, you might want to spend more of your marketing budget on paid social while you spend time working to improve your SEO efforts.
Cost per enrollment
Cost per enrollment shows you how much money you’re spending on each enrollment. While it is helpful to understand your overall cost per enrollment for a program, the real value here is breaking down your enrollment by marketing platform.
Platforms will generate prospects at varying rates and cost per conversion. A lead generated via paid search may carry a higher cost per conversion but is more likely to convert than a lead generated via social media forms with a lower cost per conversion. Remember, your ultimate goal is a specific number of enrollments. Understanding your cost per enrollment by marketing platform and campaign will help you recognize your currently strong channels and your opportunities for improvement.
At EducationDynamics, we optimize our marketing campaigns and engagements to enrollments. Specifically, we optimize to cost per enrollment. Whether you are managing your campaigns in-house or outsourcing some or all of your lead generation efforts, it is important to make sure you understand your cost per enrollment by platform AND optimize your efforts to enrollments.
Start Optimizing Your Marketing
Knowing your metrics will help you make smart choices about where you should spend your limited resources – both financial and optimization efforts. If you would like to learn more about taking advantage of the latest digital marketing trends, download our Digital Marketing Playbook today or request your free marketing campaign assessment.