With 2014 just around the corner, now is the perfect time for institutions to review their enrollment and retention goals for the new year and make those key operational refinements that can often mean the difference between success and failure. Enrollment Builders’ continued work with clients of all sizes has allowed us to distill the most essential components of building and maintaining a winning enrollment and retention program. As you look toward 2014 with the optimism that comes from clear strategy and concerted effort, keep these five factors of enrollment and retention success top-of-mind:
1. An integrated marketing plan. The best marketing plans leverage multiple channels tactically to achieve stronger results. Consider how your institution’s media spend could be better targeted through online buys that inherently are more scalable, more measurable, and present a clearer ROI. Let the online channel determine your approach and consider how your message needs to change for SEO, social media campaigns, paid search, display advertising, email marketing and other marketing channels.
2. A cohesive recruitment effort. It can’t be overstated: Recruitment is a team effort and successful recruitment plans engage nearly every department that potential students touch. From marketing to financial aid and from enrollment to student services; recruitment is an ongoing and multi-channel activity.
Likewise, smart recruitment plans include a strong and responsive CRM solution and a messaging approach that’s well-calibrated and consistent — using email, phone, and traditional mail to keep candidates engaged and well-informed. If you’d like to learn more about how to maximize your recruitment efforts, contact Enrollment Builders about our Marketing and Recruitment Services.
3. Clear and consistent enrollment operations. Make 2014 the year your institution improves its recruitment and enrollment operations by defining the language and identifying the target metrics at each stage in the process. Find out what’s working and what’s not by closely measuring benchmark numbers like conversion rate, schedule rate, and start rate. To find out how these key metrics can better inform your institution’s marketing and enrollment approach, read Enrollment Builders’ Guide: How to Benchmark Online Program Funnel Metrics.
4. Predictive modeling. Predictive modeling or predictive analytics uses historical information to forecast outcomes. Applied in higher education, modeling can help build more efficient marketing campaigns by identifying prospective students, singling out the factors that influence enrollment behavior, and designing better messaging strategies. Predictive modeling can also protect your marketing and recruitment dollars by identifying early those students who are likely to drop out —allowing for swift and focused intervention efforts. Read more about predictive modeling and our trusted partner Target Enrollment Group.
5. Success coaching. Building off of predictive modeling, success coaching approach helps your staff deliver the right services to the right students at the right time. Success coaching is predicated on identifying the student milestones that are unique to your institution, understanding student needs and vulnerabilities as they approach each milestone, and intervening tactically with solution-focused services that are based on clear information — all with the goal of increasing student persistence and success. Learn more about how successful student coaching and The Aviso Software Platform can change the equation for your students.
No matter what the specific challenge, a new year presents a fresh opportunity to rewrite your institution’s story. With competition high and attention from a broad range of constituents sharply focused on outcomes, it’s never been more important for institutions to understand and address their unique challenges head-on and with a collective effort. And Enrollment Builders would love to help. As you plan for the New Year, consider partnering with us to reach, enroll and retain students, grow your online programs, or boost your operational efficiency. To learn more about the broad range of enrollment solutions and consulting service we provide, please go to our Enrollment Operations Assessment page or contact us at 513-518-7824.