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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.