Metrics matter when you’re making decisions
Is every dollar in your marketing and recruitment budget allocated? During a time when resources are limited – time, money and people – it’s important to focus your efforts on clear measurable strategies and tactics that will give you a solid return on your investment. This doesn’t mean that you can’t try new things; on the contrary, carefully planned innovation may give you that much needed enrollment boost you’re seeking. Just be sure that you’ve outlined a clear path for setting and measuring your success so you can continue to make informed decisions about the future.
Let’s take a look at why metrics matter and how you can use them to optimize your enrollment campaigns.
The most common key metrics to gauge marketing campaigns in higher education are leads in the top of the funnel that yield seated students. But there are many other areas in between that you can track that give you a good read on how your campaigns and recruiting strategies are performing.
- Digital advertising lead generation: In this arena, you’ll want to keep a close eye on cost per click (CPC), cost per lead (CPL), and cost per acquisition (CPA). These show how much you spent to get someone to click, convert into a lead and then turn into a seated student.
- Engagement: Tracking the ways that leads are engaging with you and then attributing it to a conversion can give your team key insights. For example, you can track interactions on social media that turn into requests for information. You can also find out what is resonating the most with your audience. Executive students may be more likely to engage with admissions staff through a personal conversations while MBA students may prefer connecting via email or social. Other audiences may gravitate toward texting.
- Event attendance: Although events may continue to look different in the near future, you can keep track of the types of events you’re hosting, and which ones yield real conversations and applications. This can help you determine how to spend your time and marketing dollars to promote the events. For example, an online preview day may take tons of time and effort to yield a couple applications vs. an interactive webinar that yields 15 applications.
Tracking your metrics
While your CRM can do a great job of tracking interactions once they’ve entered the system, you’ll also want a dashboard that can keep tabs on how your leads found you and how your advertising is performing against your planned budget. Some key metrics to include are:
- Inquiries and enrollments based on marketing campaign, channel and message
- Trends based on seasonality, geography and audience segment
- Leads broken out by program
When you have this data, you can pivot your plan in real-time to increase or decrease your spend 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.
Evaluating your data and planning for the future
What you do with your data is more important than how you collect it. When you can attribute your key metrics back to leads and seated students, you can identify what worked and what didn’t. And when you have benchmarks that you can track year over year, it allows your team to develop strategies, make important decisions and allocate resources for your next round of recruiting.
GPRS is an extension of your team
If you’re looking for an agency that is well-versed in digital campaign optimizations, GPRS is your partner. Our proprietary campaign optimization system, GP InsightsTM, shows your real-time campaign data and can even display industry benchmarks showing how your peers and competition are trending. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to give you a demo.