Ideas, insights and inspirations.

Elliance, a higher education enrollment marketing agency, has built a reputation by both increasing and growing enrollment for more than 100 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, back your claims with proofs. Fourth, ensure that students are able to see themselves at your institution. Fifth, pursue right-fit students at all cost. Sixth, you must be easy to do business with. All our recommended actions for increasing and growing college enrollment revolve around these core beliefs: 1. Activate a Winning Strategic Plan Winning, not playing and optimizing, is what successful college presidents focus on. To create an inflection point, they sometimes deepen their competitive advantages and at other times disrupt and challenge the status quo. College presidents lead strategic planning based on thorough, objective … Continue reading

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Elliance, a higher education enrollment marketing agency, has built a reputation by both increasing and significantly growing undergraduate student enrollment for more than 50 colleges and universities. Founded on the principle of right-fit matchmaking, our recommended strategies revolve around five 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. All our recommended actions for increasing undergraduate enrollment revolve around these core beliefs: 1. Invest in Branding: Babson has positioned itself as THE college for entrepreneurship, American University as THE supplier of “wonks” to the political and governmental establishment, Drexel as THE university that mandates coop experience, and so on. Investing in a strong brand can lift a college from obscurity to national prominence. … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Elliance, a higher education enrollment marketing agency, has built a reputation by both increasing and significantly growing graduate student enrollment for more than 50 colleges and universities. Following are some of the most successful strategies that our university clients have activated to unleash enrollment growth in the past two decades: 1. Invest in branding. In the sea of sameness, brands win. When the University of Delaware College of Business and Economics wished to create a rising tide for its vast portfolio of graduate business programs, Elliance crafted and paid off their new brand line “Opportunity, Inc.” It worked attracting students from across the nation and across the globe. 2. Bake research about student behavior and what they value into website, microsite snd landing pages. When we reflected GMAC research findings into Carnegie Mellon’s MS in information systems management program microsite, its applications grew by 118 percent within one year. 3. Tell a better story. Romance prospects and show that the … Continue reading

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Elliance, a higher education enrollment marketing agency, has increased and significantly grown graduate student enrollment for more than 50 colleges and universities. Founded on the principle of right-fit matchmaking, our recommended strategies revolve around four 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. All our recommended actions revolve around these core beliefs: 1. Know that you become the story you choose to tell. It’s how institutions make meaning from the arc of their history, and operate with a sense of destiny to create purpose that propels them into the future. This story is what students and employers buy into. You must articulate your story so it’ll appeal to your right-fit students.  2. Celebrate students, not the institution, as the real heroes of your … Continue reading

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To combat shrinkage in college-bound high school students, higher education enrollment marketing professionals are developing strategies for winning an outsized share of the online, adult, graduate and international student markets. In other blog posts, I’ve shared our playbooks for increasing and significantly growing adult, graduate and international students enrollment. In this blog post, I’ll address strategies for recruiting online students. In growing enrollment for online  programs for the past 25 years for numerous colleges and universities, we have learned three things: First, students can’t buy your programs or buy-into your college unless they can find you on Google page one or are referred by satisfied peers and friends; Second, you must build student support and flexibility into every aspect of your online offerings; Third, someone on your team must play the role of chief experience officer who views the entire student experience from their perspective. To succeed, higher education institutions must deploy a unique balance of the marketing air-game, boots-on-the-ground game and follow-up contact strategies. … Continue reading

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As a leading social media agency for colleges, universities and higher education institutions, we are frequently asked to share our best practices. This is part of a series of posts to explain how social media audit can serve their interests. A social media audit involves a comprehensive review of a higher education brand’s primary social media presence, activities, and performance. The goal is to assess the effectiveness of the current strategy and identify areas for improvement. This typically includes social media channels of the institution, schools, departments, alumni and centers of excellence. It excludes social media channels of athletics, labs, clubs and organizations, special events, and special initiatives. After gaining access to institution’s social media management software, we conduct a twelve-point social media audit to assess the following: 1. Profile Information AuditAssess all official social media profiles to ensure accurate and consistent information is presented, including logos and colors, profile pictures, cover photos, about information, and contact details. 2. Platform … Continue reading

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The most effective college enrollment marketing strategy is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a set of techniques college marketers employ to secure page one rankings on Google, Bing, and other search engines. Choosing the right set of keywords and creating content infused with those keywords is how college marketers achieve coveted page one rankings for their programs and schools. Elliance works with higher education marketers to not only map the right set of keywords across the prospective student journey, but also to optimize their website and social media to secure Google page one rankings for those keywords. We undertake this task regardless of whether the objective is to increase enrollment for undergraduate, graduate, online, adult, or international students. To make a college decision, prospective students and their families move through a logical set of steps. At each stage of their journey, students and families use a unique set of keywords on Google and Bing to search for information. AWARENESS … Continue reading

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Today, more than any other marketing touch point, a website is the digital soul of an institution. All roads lead to it. As a leading website design agency for colleges and universities, higher education institutions frequently come to us to perform website audit so they can develop a plan to improve it. These are the ten dimensions of our website audit: 1. Brand AuditFirst and foremost, we ensure that your brand essence and brand values are infused into the entire website experience. We evaluate consistent application of brand identity, color and typography. 2. User Experience AuditUser experience is important to both human beings and search engine bots. Great websites are intuitive, easy to use, readable and engender trust. Their persistent navigation and prominent calls-to-action systems put the users in control. The Sitemap (org structure) and Wireframes (page schematics) – not just design and copy – create a logical content hierarchy and make a compelling argument. Balancing logic and emotion, stories and facts, they … Continue reading

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is the greatest equalizer amongst higher education marketing tactics. Using smarts, underdogs become wonder dogs and Davids defeat Goliaths. All our college and university clients have ambitions for increasing and growing their undergraduate, graduate, adult, online and international students. Following are seven success stories of our SEO clients: 1. Underdog Wins: William Woods University Located in mid-Missouri, two hours from Saint Louis and three from Kansas City, William Woods boasts a combination of me-too and distinctive programs. Just by dominating Google page one in all four corners of Missouri for its commodity programs, we doubled their online enrollment and grew their graduate enrollment by 25 percent over a 3-year period. For its distinctive equestrian science and ASL programs, we secured national Google page one rankings which began attracting students from across the US. They never looked back. 2. Small Giant Leaps: St. Edward’s University Located in eclectic Austin, Texas, surrounded by big publics, this little gem … Continue reading

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