Writing Effective Higher Education Paid Marketing Ads, Part 2

Last month, I shared some important factors to consider when writing PPC (pay-per-click) ads Part 1.

Today, I want to share some thoughts about writing effective PPC ads that are industry specific — particularly for higher education paid marketing campaigns — and ensuring that they fit into your competitive mix.

1. Use strong call to actions.

Here are a few that are definitely worth testing:

> Phone number to request information (ensure the phone number is dedicated to only inquiries coming from your PPC ads so you can track back to your PPC campaign and overall marketing totals)

> Dates of info sessions (consider testing months vs. exact dates to see which convert best for you)

> Application deadlines

2. Emphasize that your ad is yours.

For higher education paid marketing, particularly with all of the lead aggregators out there, it’s important that prospects know that your ad really leads to you.

> One particular phrase that has always performed well is “official site”. I’ve seen click-through rates of 9-10% for ads containing this in the beginning of the descriptions. Conversion rates vary based on branded or program specific ad groups, but range from 1-4% for this messaging – higher for branded keywords.

Here’s a sample of this phrase in an ad: 

“Client X” University – Official Site: Explore our 10 Grad Programs. Infinite Possibilities.

3. Highlight rankings.

Another important factor to include within higher education paid marketing – rankings. Include your rankings right in your ad copy – it’s important to get them in front of prospects as they’re searching. Here are a few sample ranking descriptions and phrases that we have seen work well:

> “Top Ranked by the Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report”

> “Top Ranked Graduate Programs by U.S. News & World Report”

> “Top-Ranked University by U.S. News & World Report”

> “Named One of the Best Colleges By US News & World Report.”

> “Top-Ranked MBA”

Again, these are all just things to consider for higher education paid marketing campaigns. As always, the best resource is testing! Try things, keep what works, change what doesn’t. You’ll find the best fit for you.

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