GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

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Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | May 29th, 2020

Addressing your prospects’ barriers to decision-making

Addressing your prospects’ barriers to decision-makingOn any given day, your prospects are facing many barriers in the decision-making process of pursuing a graduate program. And now, with the market uncertainty COVID-19 has created, there are even more weighty questions surrounding their ability to experience your campus and gain networking and internship opportunities.

So how do marketing and recruiting teams bridge the gap and find ways to address these barriers? It’s all about connection and communication approach.

Here we examine common barriers, how to tell when a prospect has questions and ways to address them head-on.

What are the common barriers for graduate program prospects?

Many prospects who are considering a graduate program have similar questions in common regarding cost, time commitment and admissions requirements.

And for those considering an MBA or Executive MBA program, they may have the added pressure of current job responsibilities and family commitments.

Enter COVID-19, and prospects are now overwhelmed with market uncertainty, confusion over program format in the age of social distancing and travel restrictions for international students and programs. In addition, many of the reasons people choose to attend business school are now at risk, including the ability to join student clubs, build strong networks by interacting with diverse and accomplished peers and forging relationships with faculty.

How can you tell when a prospect has a barrier?

Prior to your prospects entering your funnel, they have questions that you can address in your digital advertising, website and corresponding marketing materials. Offering direct messaging that acknowledges their hesitations can be done with provocative questions like, “Is now your time?”; or reassuring statements like, “We know you have questions, let’s chat.” You may even carve out a portion of your ad campaign or website to listing the barriers which often go unsaid during the admissions process. By doing this, you are inviting the conversation and instilling comfort and confidence in your prospects.

Once they have entered your funnel, the most critical data you have about your prospects’ interaction comes from your CRM engagement report.

  • If certain groups aren’t opening emails about application deadlines, they may need more information before they’re ready to take the next step.
  • If your leads are opening your emails but not clicking, try varying your calls to action and including different ways for them to interact like a video, an online chat or phone conversation.
  • With inactive leads that haven’t interacted in six months to a year, you can create a re-engagement campaign using an enticing offer to spur action. Some examples include a giveaway or a personal invitation to a value-added webinar.

How do you address your prospects’ barriers?

Instead of altering your strategy, try employing new communications tactics and language that is direct, caring and confident. Consider:

  • Carousel digital ads listing barriers and ending with a call to discuss them
  • Email campaigns aimed at personal consultations to address questions
  • Webinars that encourage investment in personal development
  • Connecting prospects with alumni to discuss initial fears
  • A dedicated portion of your website aimed at the decision-making process
  • Virtual admissions test prep for applicants

Although it may seem counter-intuitive to address these barriers head-on because you don’t want to call attention to them, encouraging honest conversations can go a long way. By offering ways for prospects to connect with you in conversations where they “get real”, you may find that people are more comfortable and therefore more likely to continue to engage.

If you need more ideas on how to use your CRM to nurture your business schools leads through your system or develop communication that addresses your prospects’ barriers, contact GPRS today. We can help you develop a digital strategy to give your prospects clarity and confidence in the decision-making process.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | May 27th, 2020

GPRS Special Report: The Impact of COVID-19 on Graduate Business Enrollment Marketing

Graduate schools must maximize resources in the new normalLike many organizations maneuvering through the intricacies created by the global pandemic, GPRS has been meticulously monitoring graduate program trends, performance data, media impressions and the overall health of the higher ed market. You may be surprised to learn that even in a time of great uncertainty, graduate business programs are experiencing greater engagement with their digital advertising, as well as increased inquiries. What are the secrets for the schools that are thriving rather than simply surviving? Read on for a special report that compiles aggregate data from across our portfolio of business school clients – and sparks ideas to shift your school’s strategies and goals as you navigate the “next” normal.

Click to Download a GPRS Special Report: How COVID-19 has impacted graduate business marketing, and strategies for positive enrollment outcomes during challenging times.

Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions you may have. GPRS is here to help.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | May 13th, 2020

Maximizing resources in the new normal

Maximizing resources in the new normalAs you are settling into the “new normal” that many graduate schools are facing, you are most likely still dealing with the shockwaves that COVID-19 and its impact have created for your institution, the economy and even the mental state of your team, your current students and your prospects.

While you are navigating possible budget cuts, rethinking your enrollment plans and completely altering the objectives you had just a few short months ago, it may seem like there is no end in sight to managing inevitable change within your programs. It’s important to remember the resources you had before the pandemic may still be salvageable. You can leverage them during this time to prepare for what lies ahead. Even if it means your priorities and strategies need to shift.

Here are some tips for making the most of your current resources to weather the storm.


Although your marketing spend might be in danger of budget cuts, it’s actually your most valued asset at the moment. Think of your ads, your website and your emails as the frontline communicators to your current and prospective students. As you are assessing current marketing resources and communication plans already put in place, consider:

  • Reallocating budget planned for events (and the travel most likely associated with them) to a new advertising strategy. Emphasize how you are pivoting your programs and admissions process.
  • Adapting your tone in all communications to appeal to your target’s mindset; they may be worried, so focus on the positive aspects of education that can help them look toward the future with hope. This also includes being mindful of the imagery you use and potentially incorporating the concept of social distancing.
  • Testing different channels, with an eye toward social media, as usage is trending upward with everyone at home.

Enrollment & Yield

By now, many graduate schools are coming to terms with the fact that the yield and enrollment goals they set before the pandemic may not be realistic for the fall or even the following year. Whatever your new goals are, here are a few things to keep in mind for utilizing your existing resources to meet them:

  • Tasking your recruiting team with finding unique ways to connect with prospects at all levels of the funnel – especially the often overlooked top of the funnel.
  • Maintaining strong relationships with applicants through personal communications that show your commitment to them.
  • Using your current recruiting event strategy, but pivoting it online to host webinars, chats and even happy hours (where applicable).

Although change can be stressful, leverage your team’s expertise and resources to help you move forward with confidence.  

Are you searching for expert guidance on ways to manage the change in your marketing, recruiting and online program management? Do not hesitate to reach out to GPRS. We are here to help.



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Souderton, PA 18964



For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

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