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Six Resources for Enrolling Your Next Class and Bringing Students Back This Fall.

The coronavirus pandemic has already cost your school millions of dollars. Many colleges and universities had to refund housing and tuition fees this spring. Countless institutions are planning to limit summer classes to an online-only format, if they’re planning to offer them at all. As you consider ways to attract new students for the fall semester, you should also be thinking about how you plan to retain current students. The following collection of interviews, articles, podcasts and blog posts will help you navigate the way. Continue Reading

Recommendations in Light of COVID-19

Top 8 Recommendations for Enrollment Marketers During COVID-19

Just as enrollment leaders were starting to see deposits roll in and their fall 2020 class beginning to take form, the coronavirus hit the United States. Soon, students were sent home, faculty and staff were working remotely and “business as usual” was nowhere to be found. Many colleges and universities found themselves with tunnel vision as they scrambled to move their classes online and set up remote versions of essential student services.

Even in the midst of this crisis, enrollment leaders know one thing all too well—we can’t lose sight of the fact that we have a new class to recruit. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve heard a lot of questions from anxious enrollment departments: How do we do this with no admitted student events, high school visits or campus tours? What processes do we need to adjust? Which marketing tactics should we lean into? To help address these concerns, we’ve compiled a guide to enrollment marketing in the wake of COVID-19. Continue Reading

Five Dysfunctions of an Admissions Office

How many times have you found yourself wondering what went wrong with your recruitment campaign when it’s already too late to do anything about it? In my 20 years’ experience as a higher ed enrollment marketing professional, I’ve learned a lot about the blind spots and best practices of our industry. Below are five common mistakes that are made in college admissions offices, along with five steps you can take to be successful and avoid the “what happened?” Continue Reading

Turning Numbers Into Narratives With Data-Driven Marketing

Data-driven decision making is all the rage, but despite our best intentions, many of us still struggle to turn numbers into meaningful, actionable insights.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Ken Reaves, director of research and strategic projects at Southeastern University. Ken has more than 15 years of experience in the field of institutional research, and he was eager to share his insights on how schools can make their data more compelling and actionable. Here are a couple of key takeaways from our discussion. Continue Reading

5 Essential Tips for Improving the Usability and User Experience of Your Higher Ed Website

One of the main goals of any website project is to produce a website that is easy to use. Usability is sometimes reduced down to “easy to use,” but it really is so much more. I could write a whole article about the definition of usability, but today I’d like to jump straight to a few tips that can be applied to your existing site, gleaned both from my professional experiences and Steve Krug’s awesome book, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Website Usability. Continue Reading

Messiah College: A CRM Success Story

For higher ed marketers, prospective students are really prospective customers. It comes as no surprise then, that in recent years colleges and universities have rushed to adopt the customer relationship management (CRM) tools that have long been used by other industries to centralize and streamline their communications.

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Kris Hardy from Messiah College, a small, private, Christian institution located in Central Pennsylvania. As Messiah’s director of web and digital marketing, Kris oversees the college’s public-facing website and is responsible for managing digital marketing efforts for the school’s academic programs.

Since Messiah moved to a CRM system two years ago, Kris says the platform has grown to play an increasingly important role in his work as a digital marketer. During our interview, he detailed how making the switch to a CRM has helped Messiah take their digital marketing efforts to the next level, outlined the challenges his team encountered post-rollout and shared a few of the things they learned as a result. Here’s an abridged version of our conversation:

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Digging Deeper With Attitudinal Research

Demographic research can provide some very useful information about your target audience, but it definitely doesn’t tell the whole story. Recently, we spoke with researcher Susan Baier to find out what higher ed marketers can gain from looking at a different type of data.

Susan is the owner and founder of Audience Audit, a marketing research firm specializing in custom attitudinal segmentation research. She has more than three decades of experience in the marketing industry but, for the last ten years, her focus has been helping clients cultivate stronger marketing strategies based on insights gained through custom research. Here are a couple of interesting soundbites from our discussion.

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Building a Better Acceptance Package

Though higher education marketers and admissions counselors work year-round to attract and retain students, one of the most impactful moments for an admissions campaign is the acceptance offer.

A well-crafted acceptance package is a door opener that sets your admissions team up for success throughout the campaign cycle. Students are becoming more discerning in their college search, and are applying to more schools than ever before. That means there’s even more pressure to deliver on their expectations.

To that end, here are some recommended best practices for getting the most out of your acceptance package. Continue Reading

Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth

Word of mouth holds a lot of sway in the college decision-making process, yet few schools have a deliberate plan for building buzz among their prospect base. Daniel Lemin, co-author of a new book titled Talk Triggers, recently stopped by the Higher Ed Marketing Lab to share some practical strategies higher ed marketers can use to generate quality word of mouth. Here are a few key takeaways from our discussion. Continue Reading

A Non-Invasive Approach to Website Governance

Website governance is a challenging topic in any large organization, and colleges and universities are no exception. That challenge is only amplified when those who most need to exercise control over a website lack the resources or political support necessary to enforce effective governance policies and procedures.

But that doesn’t have to leave you dead in the water, especially not if Shelley Keith has anything to say about it. Shelley, a higher ed industry veteran and senior strategist at Modern Tribe, has an alternative approach, which she was kind enough to share with us in a recent podcast episode. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.

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