Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | December 21st, 2022

Construct an actionable dashboard to fill your funnel

Construct an actionable dashboard to fill your funnelTo fill your funnel with qualified leads, you need both a solid strategy and a way to track performance. Not only will metrics help you optimize your campaign throughout the year, but they can also help you determine which tactics worked and tie your spending back to ROI so you can justify your budget. But where to start? To construct a comprehensive, actionable dashboard, include the elements below.

Digital Advertising

First and foremost, it’s important to create a tracking system (prior to beginning your campaign) to capture activity in 3 key ways:

  • Cost per Click (CPC)
  • Cost per Lead (CPL)
  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA) – or seated student

In higher ed digital advertising, you often can’t get a true CPA until you have your final seated class. At that point, you can do a match-back process to see how many seated students came from your marketing and how much each lead cost. But since that may happen at the end of the year, the CPC and CPL are what you should be measuring and optimizing throughout your recruiting season.

Year-Over-Year Application Activity

While capturing started and submitted applications is critical, the total number only tells part of the story. Many admissions teams tend to focus solely on the finish line number needed to hit enrollment goals. However, it’s important to assess data based on certain benchmarks throughout the year. Try creating a 3-year snapshot of quarterly numbers. For example, where do started/completed apps stand:

  • By season
  • Monthly
  • After major yearly events (for example after the first large admissions event of the year)
  • After application pushes

Be sure to factor in changes to event schedules and any additional items that couple impact numbers – for example, moving admissions events online, having an event canceled due to weather, etc. This will give you the closest YOY snapshot possible.

Email Engagement

The true value of using a CRM to nurture leads comes in tracking, measuring, and analyzing your data so you can act on your findings for better results. You’ll want to consider tracking general communications flows, event registration emails, and application emails.

A CRM gives you all of the data you need to make decisions on how to nurture your leads:

  • Engagement level
  • Subject line performance
  • Clicks within the email
  • Filters

Website Activity

Whether you use Google Analytics or another software platform to track your website activity, it’s important to stay on top of this data because it can signal when it’s time for a change. Try looking for data on:

  • Where your traffic came from, organic vs. paid
  • Any landing pages set up for specific campaigns
  • Bounce rates

When you have data, you can pivot your plan in real-time to increase or decrease your spending in certain areas and ramp up or pull back based on interactions. It is recommended that you use a firm that is skilled in tracking ROI and building dashboards so that you can focus your time and effort on marketing and recruiting. Our experienced team can help you create a tracking dashboard that will inform your decision-making for future campaigns. Contact us today to start the conversation.