Ideas, insights and inspirations.

This checklist is designed for new presidents sizing up an enrollment department and prospective vice presidents for enrollment as they size up a new job opportunity.

1. Key Strategy Question

  • What’s our unique position in the market place?
  • What’s our institutional brand? In the sea of sameness, brands win.
  • For undergraduate admissions, what’s the breakdown between traditional, non-traditional, online, transfer, pell and full pay, athletes and international students?
  • Given that diverse student populations are growing and white student population is shrinking, what are we doing to intentionally target diverse student communities?
  • Which students generate foundational revenue for our college/university? undergraduate, graduate or online students?
  • How much annual endowment income is available to fund student scholarships and improve student experience?

2. Right-Fit

  • Who thrives here?
  • Who considers the school as their #1 choice school?
  • What percentage of applicants use us as their #1 choice and as a safety school?
  • What percentage of our applicants are athletes? transfers?

3. Key Metrics & KPIs

  • What’s our total marketing budget?
  • Marketing budget as a % of overall college revenue? (should be greater than 10%, but most colleges are investing between 2% to 5% only).
  • What’s the ratio between Digital vs. Traditional in our marketing budget? (digital now leads traditional).
  • What are our cost-per-lead, cost-per-enroll, yield and melt rates? How do we stack up vis-à-vis competitors?
  • What’s our website lead-generation rate? How do the website leads compare with paid advertising leads? (websites typically generate three times as many as paid leads).
  • What’s the number of prospective student names we buy annually from ACT/NRCCUA, GRE/GMAT and other sources?
  • How many Google page 1 rankings do we have?

4. Signature Programs

  • What are our top 5 signature programs?
  • Do the web pages of signature programs look as strong as BMW 3 or 5 series pages?
  • What percentage of our enrollment is driven by these signature programs?

5. New Programs

  • What’s our process for creating new academic programs?
  • What budget do we allocate for marketing the new programs?

6. Enrollment Marketing Tactics

  • What tactics do we deploy? What’s working best? worst? How do you plan these initiatives to mutually reinforce each other?
  • What’s our best argument for the specialty of education we offer?
  • What geographies do we consider to be our primary territories?
  • In our paid advertising, do we engage in A/B testing, look-alike marketing, micro-targeting and machine learning?
  • What’s our SEO strategy? How many page 1 Google rankings do we have? How many of our programs are ranked on Google page 1?

7. Boots-On-The-Ground Activities

  • How many high schools do we visit annually?
  • How many college fairs (virtual or physical) do we attend annually?
  • How many high school principals and teachers do we meet annually?
  • How many college counselors in high school do we meet annually?
  • How many related trade shows do we visit annually?

8. Follow-up & Lead Nurturing

  • How many counselors/representatives do we have?
  • What are their territories?
  • How many open houses do we hold annually? How are they organized?
  • How many discovery days do we hold annually? How are they organized?
  • What tactics do we deploy? What’s working? and what’s not?
  • What’s the role of program chairs and Deans and faculty in follow up and yield?
  • What tactics are we deploying to improve your yield and melt rates?

9. Retention

  • What’s our retention rate?
  • Do we have a first-year and second-year student engagement plan?
  • Do we have a student retention committee?
  • What’s the #1 reason for students transferring out of our school?

10. Technology

  • What CRM are we using?
  • What marketing automation technology are we using?
  • What lead attribution software do we use?
  • What A/B testing tool do we use?
  • What brand sentiment tools are we using?
  • What’s our best enrollment marketing weapon?

If you are seeking higher education marketing agencies to grow your enrollment, endowment and reputation, view our enrollment marketing capabilities and consider partnering with us.

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