Strategies for Growing Online Student Enrollment – A Higher Education Marketing Agency Perspective

Elliance, a higher education enrollment marketing agency, has built a reputation by both increasing and growing online student enrollment for dozens of colleges and universities. Founded on the principle of right-fit matchmaking, our recommended strategies revolve around six core beliefs. First, if they can’t find you, they can’t buy you. Second, if they do find you, you can’t bore them into buying from you. Third, the students must be able to see themselves at your institution. Fourth, you must pursue right-fit students at all cost. Fifth, you must be easy to do business with. Sixth, you must be supportive and understanding of life constraints of online students. All our recommended actions for increasing online enrollment revolve around these core beliefs:

1. Offer Online Degrees in Ideal Formats and Starts: Offer your online programs in formats that are convenient for working professionals. Online students prefer frequent starts for courses, ideally every 8 to 12 weeks, and need the flexibility to pause and restart without penalty.

2. Create a Legendary Online Learning Experience: For online programs, student experience wholly depends on the quality of your teaching materials and ease-of-use of your learning platform. Invest in online instructional design and let word of mouth spread your reputation.

3. Create an Optimal Website Presence: Make it beautiful. Make it alumni success centered. Make it conversion friendly. Make it search engine friendly. Make it responsive. And make it accessible.  

4. Lower Admissions Barriers: Don’t require standardized tests. Accept prior learning and work experience credits. Offer flexible payment options, scholarships, or discounts to make your courses more affordable and appealing to a wider audience

5. Activate an Effective Marketing Air Game: Understand target audiences. Create psychographic and demographic personas. Fortify online program pages. Deploy smart paid and SEO strategies. Conduct email marketing. Activate traditional media and PR. Deploy both traditional admissions funnel and inverted admissions funnel strategies.

6. Communicate with Influencers: Because online students are heavily influenced by the opinions of their social network of peers, co-workers and friends, remember to reach out to corporate HR departments, trade associations, and senior managers who manage working professionals in need of a degree to advance their careers. 

7. Mobilize a Strong Boots-on-the-Ground Game Plan: Hold open houses and webinars. Attend industry conferences and events. Leverage partnerships with community colleges and employers.

8. Follow-up on a Timely Basis: Activate a personalized contact strategy system by a partially automated comm-plan.

9. Respond to Trends: Adapt and refine your strategies based on the evolving landscape of online education and the preferences of your target audience.

If you are seeking an enrollment marketing agency for increasing and growing your online enrollment, consider partnering with us.