GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

This website uses cookies
We use cookies to analyze website traffic and optimize your web experience. By accepting our use of cookies, your data will be aggregated with all other user data.

Ready to talk? We’re ready to listen. Get started.

Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | June 29th, 2021

Is it time for an enrollment growth diagnostic?

Enrollment growth diagnostic roadmap graphicAs you are wrapping up one recruiting season and preparing to begin a new one, you may be breathing a sigh of relief. You’ve made it through one of the most difficult times in recent history and regardless of the impact on your bottom line, your team has had many accomplishments. But, is it time for an enrollment growth diagnostic?

How do you know if you’re poised for growth? And are your upcoming enrollment targets attainable? Most importantly, are your tactics sustainable, or is it time to pivot to address new challenges?

Although it may be tempting to stay the course, now is the best time to dive deep into how your marketing and recruiting strategies are working. The results you find can help you determine what to continue, start or stop doing.

Why a diagnostic is important

The goal of a diagnostic is to assess how your programs currently market and recruit so you can increase effectiveness. When you dissect each element of your strategy with an objective viewpoint, the outcome can help you develop a roadmap. That will ultimately lead to continued growth and sustainability.

What to examine

We recommend auditing your marketing and recruiting targeted at growing enrollment at the top and middle of your funnel.

  • Top funnel: Start by examining your strategy and audience targeting, move on to tactics such as media mix and creative, and end with evaluating your metrics.
  • Middle funnel: Look at your conversion process and the platforms you use to yield students such as your CRM and communication touchpoints. You can do a thorough review of the data in your CRM to determine impact.

Depending on your school’s appetite for optimization, you can also evaluate data at the program level. You can look at audience personas and review how your internal teams work together, set goals and gauge success.

What decisions can be made

Once you’ve collected the data, you’re ready to create your roadmap for optimization. This may seem daunting; however, you can follow these general guidelines to help you with the process:

  • Categorize your findings: Group your findings by what to continue-start-stop doing. From there, you can assign priorities to what enhancements can be done now vs. later.
  • Form an implementation plan: Detail your next steps from strategic to tactical. Assign timelines, responsible parties and KPIs for periodic check-ins.
  • Document how you will manage change: It is important to acknowledge that even the best laid plans can morph based on circumstances and changing environments. Find ways to build flexibility into your plan and checkpoints to assess whether any pivots are needed.

The GPRS Enrollment Growth Diagnostic

GPRS is a specialized firm with deep expertise and a singular focus on growing enrollment revenue. Over the past 20 years in working with over 60 colleges and 150 graduate programs, we have identified trends, challenges and successful strategies for filling classes. We believe that growth comes from change and are offering our clients a unique opportunity to gain new objective viewpoints into their successes as well as blind spots that may inhibit progress. When GPRS performs a diagnostic on your program, we’ll dig deep into every aspect of your marketing, recruiting, goals, successes and challenges. We’ll emerge with a roadmap that outlines a sustainable path to success for your program with a solid plan that your team can implement.

If you think an enrollment growth diagnostic might be right for your school, let’s start the conversation today. By the time the next recruiting cycle comes around, you’ll be positioned for success with greater insights and a roadmap to address your challenges.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | June 17th, 2021

Communications as the pandemic winds down

Communications as the pandemic winds down At this point in the pandemic, many may be excited that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As states are beginning to open up and drop capacity restrictions, schools are thrilled to be planning for a Fall semester that is going to look more normal than it did last year.

Although this news is encouraging, your prospects may still be in a state of limbo, wondering if now is the right time for them to return to school or pursue an advanced degree. They may also have many questions as things are continuing to evolve.

It’s important for your school to address the questions on everyone’s minds – even if your answer is that “it’s a work in progress.” Your prospects need to know that you are thinking about the same things they are — and that you are available to address their concerns. Your admissions staff is the front line in communicating with prospects so arming them with consistent and unified communication strategies is critical.

Address the big questions

A recent article in Higher Ed Times recommends that schools account for questions regarding the pandemic. This not only includes safety measures, but also what to expect for class delivery and even post-graduation opportunities. Although the answers may still be a moving target, it’s important to address things like:

  • Mask policy
  • Big group gatherings
  • Class delivery (in-person, virtual or hybrid)
  • Professor office hours and interaction
  • The job market
  • Return on investment


Going back to school is a huge decision involving a significant financial investment and many complexities. It can be similar to making a decision about medical care, such as a surgery or treatment plan. And sometimes getting a second (or third opinion) is necessary. The bottom line is: the more information the better.

Your prospects need as much information as possible – especially right now – because things are changing so rapidly, and they may still have a lingering level of uncertainty. Communicating consistently and clearly can help them feel more comfortable with their decision to choose your school. Here are a few strategies you can try:

  • Develop a landing page that addresses all concerns about campus life. This can be in the form of an FAQ page that you modify as things change. Link to it in a banner at the top of your website so it is easily accessible.
  • Update your automated communications flow to infuse key information changes in each mailing, email or text.
  • Launch a social campaign addressing key questions in a concise way.
  • Host a webinar that includes Q+A with admissions or program managers and then post it online and link to it in communications.
  • Arm your admissions staff with talking points so that all conversation touchpoints are consistent.

Be available

As people are getting out more and the economy is showing signs of rebounding, your prospects may be both excited about moving forward and uncertain about their future. Their barriers may still include questions about their work life, school for their kids, the job market, financial stability and even how comfortable they are with large groups of people.

Being available at this juncture is extremely important and could be a critical piece to helping them decide on your school or a competitor.

  • If you happen to miss a call or an email, try to adopt a 24-hour return policy.
  • Establish automated responses.
  • Answer questions as quickly as possible or let them know you’re looking into it.
  • Be honest, open and available to ensure that you don’t lose them.

Although these practices may seem like second nature to any admissions or marketing professional, it’s important to note that stepping it up a notch in the current environment will pay off.

GPRS is your communications partner

Working with a firm that has a deep understanding of the educational landscape can help you determine what types of communications are right for your school. GPRS tracks industry trends and has a long history of helping schools develop strategic enrollment strategies that get results. Start the conversation today.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | May 12th, 2021

Metrics matter when you’re making decisions

Metrics MatterIs 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.

Identifying metrics

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.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | April 29th, 2021

Using your school’s blog to tell your story and increase traffic

Blog to tell your storyIf you are looking for ways to increase traffic to your site, boost social media activity and tell your story, blogging could be your answer. Here are three ways you can use a blog to tell your story and make a huge difference in your content game.

Boost SEO

An SEO audit of your school’s website may show that one of the key areas that stores SEO-rich content is your blog (if you have one). Even if you haven’t made efforts to update it consistently, it acts as a housing area for all of the keywords and phrases people search for. Since blogs are more conversational in tone, they often include the real questions people might type into a search bar, like “Is an MBA right for me?” And if your content doesn’t include these types of questions or keywords, now’s a great time to start doing research so you can make those updates.

Without getting too technical, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) means that your site includes the keywords and phrases people search for, which will make it more likely to come up as a top result in search engines. You can either pay to do this through pay-per-click advertising or do it organically – or both. To organically make your site more valuable, you need to have both quantity and quality of content which starts with including keywords and phrases with high search volume. This brings us back to your blog. Before you write your next blog, try doing these things to make sure it is SEO rich and traffic-worthy:

  • Do a search of keywords and phrases on your topic. You can do this using a free or paid web listening tool, or by digging around in your own site’s google analytics.
  • Add relevant keywords and phrases throughout the content, while ensuring that the content reads well.

Guest bloggers increase credibility

Although your admissions and marketing team is the frontline in your recruiting process and can definitely be expert bloggers, from time to time, see if you can mix up your authors. Guest bloggers draw a varied crowd and boost the likelihood that your blog will be read and shared more widely, not just by those who frequent your website often. Guest bloggers can also offer a different perspective, objective viewpoint, or even a bit of additional notoriety to your articles. You can try using:

  • Alumni – High profile alums who are well known in their industry or have an interesting and successful career trajectory are ideal.
  • Current students – Giving a close-up view of the classroom, student activities or an internship can serve as eyes and ears for prospective students who want to know what daily life looks like.
  • Faculty – Highlighting faculty research or a particular class in the curriculum can give a window into the high caliber professors you have at your school.

Regardless of who you get to tell your story, make sure they have a story. And always tie their relevancy back to why they are the blog author by adding an intro for context.

Blog to tell your story

Your website has been designed to highlight your programs, benefits, outcomes and faculty. It is a formal space for prospects to visit when they can’t visit you in person. But no matter how inviting your website content is, there is no substitute for the informal conversation prospects are seeking. What’s the real story? How will I really feel when I’m on campus. Will I fit in? Will I get the job I’m looking for? Is it worth it?

Use a blog to tell your story, and address these concerns and barriers in an honest way that lends itself better to real conversations.

To focus on your blogging efforts, you can start small. Recruit a couple of guest bloggers and do some keyword research. Try adding one new blog per month and then work up to one per week. Then push anything you write out on your social platforms. Encourage sharing. You might be amazed at how quickly you start to grow your traffic just by telling your story.

GPRS is an extension of your team

If you are looking for ways to add to your digital marketing strategy with blogs, GPRS can help. Enlist a partner that can identify where you need help, offer you solutions and suggest new strategies for setting and achieving your goals. If you’re ready to start the conversation, contact GPRS today.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | April 15th, 2021

Finally, some good news for higher education

Goods news for higher educationGMAC’s 2021 Prospective Students Survey Report has reported some great news for higher education. While the pandemic is still a major part of our lives, vaccines and dropping case numbers are giving hope after a year of uncertainty and chaos. What does this mean for the higher education industry, and your programs specifically? As prospective students are emerging from their pandemic hazes, concern about the virus is waning. Prospects are showing more interest in graduate education.

Read on to find out about recently reported trends and advice on how to communicate to your prospects amid these positive shifts in the market.

Women are on board with remote learning

While the pandemic has impacted everyone in different ways, studies show women have been disproportionally affected. While working from home, women often shoulder the additional responsibilities of managing remote learning for their kids. Many woman have put their career aspirations on hold and moved into survival mode. But restrictions are starting to loosen and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Women are starting to focus on their next steps professionally. They are considering higher education as a means to give them a boost.

According to Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC, “It is especially encouraging to find female candidates seeking advanced business degrees for career advantages despite the unique challenges and barriers they faced due to COVID-19.” But they still need flexibility. While considering graduate programs, many women say they prefer online programs. They consider them to be equivalent to in-person options as it relates to education quality, career opportunities and networking.

So how can you communicate to your female prospects during this time?

  • Realize prospects are looking to brush up on professional “soft skills.” Highlight your leadership development program and how it can further their skills as leaders.
  • Focus on how an advanced degree can make them competitive amongst peers, especially when emerging from a career shift or pause.
  • If your program is online or hybrid, be sure to communicate specifically and simply about the logistics of course delivery, group work, networking and opportunities to interface with client companies. Women want to know what their time commitment will be.
  • If your program is in-person, take the time to offer personal consultations that facilitate a two-way conversation.

International candidates prefer on-campus learning

One of the main drivers of international students’ ambitions to pursue advanced degrees is the opportunity to work and network outside their own country. According to the GMAC report, amidst the pandemic, over 70 percent of international candidates reported they still plan to continue pursuing an in-person degree experience vs. their domestic counterparts (52%). In addition, the U.S. is a top choice for students from India and Canada. There has been a small drop-off in prospects from China, which could be due to political tension and more business school programs in Asia.

So, how can you communicate to your international students during this time?

  • Continue to utilize the media and communication strategies you’ve used in the past. Although nothing about the past year has been “status quo,” you can rest assured your international candidates are still interested. They want to hear from you.
  • Enhance communications about internships, networking and job opportunities. These are the key drivers to their decision making, so be sure to highlight these.
  • If your program is online, let them know there are still ways to network with their cohort. They can attend recruiting events that can lead to employment opportunities in their country of choice.
  • If your program is in-person or hybrid, address any concerns regarding travel and living in the U.S. Ensure their comfort level with plans to study abroad.

Although this report only addresses a portion of your prospect pool, the news is encouraging. Demand for graduate education is increasing and now is the time to double down on recruiting efforts.

GPRS is an extension of your team

If you are looking for ways to update your digital marketing strategy to account for shifts in the market, GPRS can help. Enlist a partner that can identify where you need help, offer you solutions and suggest new strategies for setting and achieving your goals. If you’re ready to start the conversation, contact GPRS today.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | March 30th, 2021

What are your blind spots in marketing and recruiting?

What are your blind spots? Person with help sign on forehead.Admissions and marketing working together as a team can be an extremely impactful combination. As partners, you address challenges, lean on each other for help and celebrate wins that come at any cost. Your team can set and achieve goals with a solid roadmap. But when things don’t go as planned, or your blind spots in marketing and recruiting prevent you from seeing a clear path, who can jump in to help you?

Just like any famous dynamic duo, at some point, you will face adversity and need support. Even Batman and Robin depended on Alfred Pennyworth for guidance, intel, identifying opportunities for growth and even managing logistics. He often knew what they needed even before they did. If they didn’t have Alfred to maintain the Batmobile and cover for them while they were off fighting crime, would they have been as successful? (Truth be told, I’m not a huge Batman and Robin fan, but this seemed to be the perfect analogy. If you have a better one please leave it in the comments!)

Although your team has a wealth of knowledge and experience, you won’t always have the solutions to every problem. When you hit a roadblock, you may need to seek help.

Your marketing team doesn’t have all the answers

You depend on your internal marketing team for so many things. They work hand in hand with your admissions team to fill your classes. They immerse themselves in the student experience so they can communicate the brand to prospective students. And, they also help you keep an eye on the competition, stay up to date on best practices and even find ways to highlight faculty, staff and alumni.

But they can’t do it all alone and they can’t solve every problem. Especially now, with limited capacity, bandwidth and constantly changing parameters, your marketing team may require specialized resources to extend their reach or tackle specialized challenges. Enlisting this type of help from a firm that is deeply experienced in education marketing and lead generation, can improve results.

For example, your marketing team may be stellar at conveying the student experience but need a boost in social marketing. Or they are superstars at generating leads but need a more sophisticated way to track funnel activity and evaluate ROI. To take it a step further, this past year has presented challenges that none of us ever thought we’d face, and the educational landscape is completely different. During a time like this, leaning on a partner that has a broader view of how schools are pivoting their marketing and recruiting strategies can be the difference between success and floundering.

Enlisting help can improve morale

When internal teams are taxed, overwhelmed and burdened with too much to do, morale can take a dip. Enlisting help from a firm that can support you – whether that’s with lead generation, marketing strategy, call center resources, CRM maximization or campaign optimization – can make a huge difference in how your internal teams function and work together. When internal teams get smarter, their confidence builds, and team morale improves too – which often leads to a better culture.

GPRS is an extension of your team

If you are finding that your team doesn’t have it all figured out – congratulations! You’re taking the first step toward growth. Enlist a partner that can identify where you need help, offer you solutions and suggest new strategies for setting and achieving your goals. Our Enrollment Growth Diagnostic™ may be just the roadmap you’ve been looking for. If you’re ready to start the conversation, contact GPRS today.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | March 15th, 2021

Are your best prospects slipping through the cracks?

If your phone is ringing off the hook with new leads and existing prospects requesting more information – that’s a great problem to have! But not if your team is overloaded and doesn’t have the time or resources to answer the calls or follow up afterwards.

Let’s face it. A lot has changed (and continues to change) for admissions teams over the last year. Some or all of your staff may be working remotely. Your recruiting team may be smaller and dealing with consolidation of responsibilities. Everyone may be maxed out while trying to manage a strained hybrid events calendar while also balancing the need to be continuously available. If you’re struggling to keep up with new leads — whether it’s your typical volume or more— you’re not alone. Many schools are starting to realize that depending solely on traditional recruitment methods to meet the 24/7 demands today’s prospects is unrealistic. To connect with prospects on their terms, and within their timeframe, you need scale. This is where a centralized call center can become your support system.

Inbound support

Today’s prospects are more demanding than those you had a couple years ago. They are more digitally savvy and dependent on instant communication. If they decide to call you, you don’t want to miss them because they may move on quickly. What if every call coming into your admissions department was answered by a real person? Think about the impact it would have on your leads and prospects if they were able to talk to someone right away and get answers to their questions. And conversely, think about the benefit to your team if the person answering the phone was trained (by you) to pre-qualify the real leads and deliver timely data to you so that your recruiters could focus on the right ones? Better yet, what if those conversations were even scheduled for your team!

Text or phone call follow-up

Here’s where your admissions team can experience a backlog if your volume is too high (or you don’t have enough a large enough team). Voicemails and requests for information can pile up quickly and it may take some extra resources to help get back on track. Using a contact center can help by screening applicants, categorizing requests and handing off qualified leads. And when our staff takes the time to get to know the ins and outs of your school’s recruiting process, they can align communications with your brand and send prospects to your team seamlessly, giving you more time to focus on pulling them through the enrollment funnel.

What help can look like

GPRS boasts a state-of-the-art call center, complete with technology that enables real-time monitoring, as well as recording capabilities to ensure that our team is always a consistent extension of yours. All communications can be routed into your CRM platform – ensuring a simple transition with internal staff at the perfect time.

Although our contact center can manage several types of campaigns, prequalifying leads so staff can be more impactful with their time is a staple of our in-demand services. Getting the help you need will allow you to determine which leads to focus on, so the good ones don’t slip through the cracks – or worse yes, wind up calling a competitor.

Here’s what our calling services include:

  • A customized script
  • Agent/Advisor training on your brand
  • Flexible calling hours which can include nights and weekends in order to connect with prospects on their terms
  • Call reporting
  • A seamless hand-off of qualified leads to your recruiting staff

Real-time tracking

When you are using resources like a contact center to engage with your prospects on an ongoing basis, tracking is critical. Not only do you want to monitor communications, but you also want to keep a close eye on what’s performing well so that you can continue to optimize.

Get relief today

If you’re looking for resources to improve your customer experience, GPRS can help. Our contact center provides both inbound and outbound coverage for your program inquiries. We use state-of-the-art technology with real-time call monitoring and recording capabilities. This ensure our team is consistently an extension of yours.

Our other contact center services include:

  • Reigniting prospects who are stuck in your funnel and never matriculated
  • Following up on info session or online event attendance
  • Calling prospects to attend upcoming events
  • Contacting alumni for referrals

Let’s start the conversation today.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | February 24th, 2021

Some women choosing to put degree aspirations on hold

Some women are choosing to put their degree aspirations on holdBarriers to pursuing a degree are mounting as the weight of the pandemic drags on — especially for women. If you’ve noticed fewer female prospects in your funnel, it’s not an illusion. While cost remains a factor, women are finding it harder to get on board with online learning. They’re worried about job loss, and they miss the invaluable in-person networking of the past. Additionally, time is a commodity as many are disproportionally shouldering the burden of childcare and remote school for their kids. As a result, some women are choosing to put their degree aspirations on hold.

A recent article in Financial Times reported many women are shying away from MBAs right now. The progress in evening out the gender divide in business schools has stalled. Although you can’t necessarily remove all of these challenges for your female prospects, you can communicate with them in different ways to re-spark their interest, instill confidence and keep them engaged in the admissions process.

Develop new personas

When you create personas for marketing purposes, you do a deep dive into what your audience is thinking so you can address the barriers to their decision making process. Although you may have already developed personas for female prospects, you may consider revisiting them or creating some new ones. People you are talking to today may be the same demographically, but have a different mindset from a year ago.

Interview some current students to get their perspective. Do your research on what women are managing right now. However you approach it, just be sure to address their challenges head-on and focus on the solutions they’re seeking.

Make admissions more personal

Since the past year may have completely altered your female prospects’ working environments, personal lives and career aspirations, it’s even more important for recruiters to personally connect. Giving women the opportunity to tell their story during the admissions process will make them feel validated. Finding convenient times for phone calls, video chats and texting will showcase your program’s flexibility. And focusing on how you can help them set and achieve new goals will go a long way in building their trust and confidence.

You may also want to emphasize the peer support they will receive in the program with fellow students who are going through the same challenges. Knowing they’re not alone in their struggles may help them feel more encouraged to tackle a degree versus putting it on hold until things even out.

Be authentic

Your female prospects have always been driven, intelligent and powerful. And now, they’re even more adept at identifying authenticity. In a year where relationships have been tested in both work and personal lives, women have become astute at evaluating risky situations and unapologetically doing what is best for them regardless of social norms or expectations.

Craft your communications carefully – what you say will carry more weight now than ever before. Be transparent – tell the truth about time commitments, cost, benefits and outcomes. Be empathetic – show you care about their challenges and struggles and you are ready to support them.

Employ some minor shifts in your marketing and recruiting strategies to help female prospects feel more comfortable pursuing a degree.

If you need more ideas on crafting communications strategies or personas to address the changing landscape of the prospect field, contact GPRS today. We can help you develop a plan to maintain a balance within your funnel. Let’s start the conversation today.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | February 11th, 2021

Last year’s lessons are this year’s plans

Recruiting: Last year's lessons are this year's plansAlthough you may be feeling some relief as 2020 is slowly fading away, don’t be so quick to banish the memories of the challenges you faced and how your team overcame them. After all, if living, working and recruiting during a global pandemic has given you hurdles, it has also given you the gift of forced change and the resulting flexibility that bred new strategies, stronger teams and innovations. COVID-19 required many universities to pivot their paths or risk sinking. As you reflect on what you’ve learned, lost and gained, we’d like to offer a roundup of some of our favorite lessons from this past year that may help you move forward with confidence into a new recruiting season.

Evaluating success in a year with altered benchmarks

Before you lock in your plan for the upcoming recruiting year, you may be staring down the seemingly impossible task of evaluating last year’s enrollment goals and marketing plan effectiveness. As you tackle questions about spending, engagement, quality leads, yield, cost-per-seated student and enrollment goals, how do you determine what worked and what didn’t in a year where everything turned upside down? Here are a few ideas on where to start.

Making admissions more personal

While you will most likely be placing more weight on transcripts and references in the coming admissions cycles, finding ways to assess a prospect’s ability to overcome challenges could become a new mainstay in your process — and you might even find something new and helpful to take away from the pandemic, too. Find ways to incorporate personal stories into the admissions process to connect with prospects on a deeper level.

Protecting your brand

In today’s hyper-sensitive environment, just one statement can polarize an entire group. All eyes are on how we react online, in communications and on social media. The brands succeeding are pivoting their communications to address adversity, lead with confidence and emphasize commitment to their students. To enhance your brand promise and stay in tune with your prospects’ needs, here are a few suggestions.

Innovating in the face of forced change

While being forced into change isn’t always comfortable, it can breed new innovations and help you reimagine your approach. Marketing, admissions and recruiting teams had to find new ways to host events and generate and nurture leads. Still looking for new tactics to test? Here are a few ideas for going mobile, trying your hand at podcasts and expanding your social media reach.

Communicating in new (old) ways

With a challenging road ahead, you may wonder how you will generate leads, fill classes and communicate effectively. Although many things have changed, the fundamentals of human connection remain the same. Here some tips on how to use the basics to carry you forward even during a time of uncertainty.

Planning for another uncertain year

Although you may be staring down challenges to your planning process that include financial pressures, demographic changes and technology innovation, it’s important to realize that the opportunities to reshape your school’s recruiting process are abundant. While developing your projections, enrollment goals and strategic marketing plans, here are ways to prepare for the next recruiting cycle.

If you’re looking for ways to integrate new recruitment strategies into your enrollment plan, GPRS can help. With years of experience working in the higher education industry, we are skilled at customizing your message for your unique audience to increase enrollment. Contact us today to start the conversation.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | January 28th, 2021

The power of personal connection for recruiters

The power of personal connection for recruitersIn a previous post, we explored how schools can alter admissions criteria to focus more on personal stories while typical screening methods are being challenged. As a second installment in this series on personal connection, we’ll examine how recruiting staff can use relationship building in different ways to pull prospects through the funnel.

While in-person events are suspended or re-invented, campus tours are altered based on states’ gathering requirements and safety restrictions are limiting travel that would have normally been key to recruiting, admissions staff are having to get creative. Are you searching for ways to connect with leads and prospects, but you can’t employ your usual tactics? Here are a few successful strategies we’ve seen from working with different graduate and undergrad institutions.

Pick up the phone

You may be thinking that listing phone calls as a top strategy would be obvious. But when was the last time you talked to a good friend – instead of texting or posting on social media? While many people consider themselves to be “connected” 24/7, a constant stream of emails and texts can be lonely and often overwhelming. If your prospects have signed up to take an admissions test, or started researching schools, their inboxes are full. A personal phone call or voicemail can cut through that clutter. Hearing from a real human being can make a huge difference to prospects who may be on the fence. You can be there to answer questions in real time and also provide a window into the personal side your program offers, and find ways to forge a connection with them. Tips for a successful conversation:

  • Keep it brief. You don’t have to discuss anyone’s life story, but you can stick to a few talking points and ask them if they have any questions.
  • Take notes. You’ll want to show you’ve taken a personal interest in them so you can bring it up in future communications. It can be a note about their current employer, or even their dog’s name.
  • Follow up in a timely fashion. Send answers to their questions right after your chat and take this opportunity to engage them in your CRM.
  • Focus on the real leads. Be sure to dig through your list of leads and prioritize the ones that are the most likely to be interested in your program. You can also create a re-engagement strategy for stagnant leads.

Use video to your advantage

While many videos you may be using are pre-recorded, they are still personal and can strike a chord with prospects. You can try producing video ads as well as longer-form videos for your YouTube channel. Topics can range from campus tours, student testimonials or even a look inside the classroom. To be more socially aware and relevant to today’s educational landscape, you may consider altering current videos with new footage that reflects social distancing. Or you may even post a Q+A with current students about how school is going with safety standards in place.

Webinars, podcasts and live events

You don’t have the be intimidated by podcasts, webinars and live events. In fact, creating them and leveraging them may be easier than you think. Try these tips for finding the tools you need, developing content ideas and using these digital assets in your marketing.

Be sure to engage a variety of thought leaders throughout your school’s community. Since these events are a relatively low time commitment, you can interview faculty, create a student panel, or hear from admissions directors. You can even broadcast live from a favorite campus spot to give prospects a view of the surroundings.

If you’re looking for ways to integrate new recruitment strategies into your enrollment plan, GPRS can help. With years of experience working in the higher education industry, we are skilled at customizing your message for your unique audience to increase enrollment. Contact us today to start the conversation.



121 N. Main St., Suite 109
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.

© Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy