Learn about what’s happening with Enrollment Resources…
VICTORIA, British Columbia – Enrollment Resources Inc. announced today that Gregg Meiklejohn has retired from his role as CEO.
Gregg Meiklejohn co-founded Enrollment Resources with Shane Sparks in 2003.
Over the past 19 years, the company has emerged as a leading marketing innovator in the Career Education sector.
“Gregg’s knowledge of marketing and the post-secondary education sector has helped guide our growing business. We will miss his leadership and insights. It’s been a terrific journey these past 19 years and we all wish him and his family the best in his retirement,” said Sparks.
Shane Sparks takes over as President & CEO, and sole owner.
“I am very excited about 2022,” says Sparks. “We have a number of new features in Virtual Adviser we will be releasing starting in January and plan to focus more on proprietary research in the coming year. Our goal remains to help schools grow enrollment in the most cost-effective way possible.”
In January, the company will also be releasing new research on the motivations of prospective students culled from over 500,000 survey results.
“Our focus is on uncovering insights that make a meaningful difference to student recruitment,” says Sparks. “We can’t wait to share what we’ve discovered.”
Failing Forward: Unlock Hidden Insights
As marketers we are always pushing to grow, break new ground, and stay ahead of our competition. We may test a new advertising approach, a different angle on a value proposition, build channel partnerships, or realign our marketing for performance and growth.
An area perhaps less explored is when bright ideas fail to live up to expectations. Testing is a science but mostly it’s trial and error where breakthroughs come by being curious around the why-of-things, especially when results flop.
Understanding your prospects at their level and being able to communicate to their needs and aspirations is the foundation of all great breakthroughs
In a recent landing page test for Google Ads, we started to notice some common trends for expensive to market programs that had commonality among competition. Most schools were running these programs, Google search advertising was expensive and cost per leads were higher than we wanted for our clients. We were having some breakthrough success across other program landing page tests, improving conversion rates by 30% on average, so we adopted a similar approach to what we’ve called our “problem programs.” Think teenage angst.
Pages were built with a new design, rewritten, and expectations were high. To our surprise and disappointment, the tests dropped performance and increased cost per lead so we stopped the test to protect ROI.
You can go two ways with a situation like this:
- Determine that the control is the better version and carry on to a new test
- Question why performance went in the opposite direction we wanted
In many ways, conversion rate optimization analysts will forgo the failure and move on to something new. The tendency is to seek the win, which is great, but often that win or insight can be hidden in the failure.
We tend to lean in on curiosity.
Since Virtual Advisor encapsulates the stories behind a prospects’ journey, we started to dig into the data we had on those programs. We also questioned if the program value proposition wasn’t aligned with where the prospect was in their journey.
Were they already invested in the career? Were they just starting their research? Why are they inquiring now? To help answer these questions, we decided to use our form technology to trigger a seamless survey on a second step form. We then combined that data with Virtual Advisor’s quantitative and qualitative data on these programs and started to uncover some blind spots in our copywriting.
In most instances, our prospects had been thinking about the career for some time, in many cases years. The pandemic has been an interesting catalyst for many folks looking to explore a different path in their lives. The knowledge that the career path is not new to them and they have done their research prompted us to reframe how we spoke to them in our copy.
We’re currently on iteration #3 for this test and will likely have results in the new year but the point is not necessarily about the end result in this case. It got our wheels turning around leveraging our form technology and aligning Virtual Advisor user data to improve your school’s conversion rates in other ways we hadn’t thought of before exploring why our tests had failed.
Understanding your prospects at their level and being able to communicate to their needs and aspirations is the foundation of all great breakthroughs.
Any insights you can attain to further your understanding and have more meaningful conversations, online and offline, is a recipe for great things. Combine that with seamless technology to foster a supportive user experience, it begins to get really interesting.
This will be one of the sessions at our 3rd Enrollment Builder Best-Practice Virtual Conference – we would love to see you there!
In this video, Gregg Meiklejohn and Sterling Simpson will demonstrate how tweaking a couple tiny processes in your Enrollment Management Funnel can make significant improvements to your school’s bottom line. They will take you through how our fictional “Gregg’s Beauty School” tweaked a couple of tiny processes and blew results out of the water.
- How improving the internet contact rate by 5% can improve the Enrollment Revenue of a small Cosmetology School by $53,000 a month.
- How improving the ‘Show Rate” by 5% can increase monthly revenue by $41,000 a month
- And much more…
Watch this walkthrough, then go press the link and run some scenario planning for yourself!
Research has shown that an admission person only needs 60-80 leads per month max. Everything after that represents diminishing returns. The enrollment rate goes down, leads are poorly worked or ignored, and enrollments flat line. Basically you reach the mental capacity limits for your Admission people.
So to figure out your lead goal, just multiply admissions people x 60: If you have 3 admissions people, you need is 180 leads per month, which is usually totally achievable through your own efforts.
You most likely DO NOT need to buy 3rd party leads to increase student enrollment.
Now, the flip side of this, is that you are more likely to have an Admissions capacity issue and not a lead issue. Most of the schools we have analyzed are under-resourced in Admissions, and that’s the real bottleneck for them.
It’s understandable: Generating more higher education leads is easier and cheaper than hiring, training, managing Admissions people.
A client story comes to mind: They were buying a ton of garbage 3rd party leads for years, hundreds of them per month. They switched to a self-generated education lead generation campaign with us, and volume dropped 60% or more. They were understandably anxious. But within a month, enrollment increased as lead quality vastly improved, and the staff had the time and mind space to succeed.
We’ve found the best-run, highest performing schools generally have a similar philosophy around education lead generation. They focus the majority of their effort on self-generated leads. Referrals, website, Google Ads, social (in that order of importance). Only then do they augment as needed with downstream sources. Downstream might be education portals, pay-per-lead vendors, general advertising.
The best-case scenario is for schools to self-generate all of their leads.
The challenge here is most school marketing takes a “more is better” approach, which results in an insatiable appetite for lead generation. The lead goal is either arbitrary or focused on maximum volume instead of maximum effectiveness.
But schools need way fewer leads than they think. And more is not always better.
It’s all a little phoney, unfortunately.
Ghandi was a known bigot. Einstein a womanizer. Mother Teresa had a cruel streak. But human nature is to make people one thing or the other, their legacies do not reflect the shades of their characters. Everyone knows Ghandi was benevolant. Einstein a humanitarian genius. Mother Teresa the embodiment of loving kindness.
And that’s basically the nature of a brand — you are one thing, or another. But not both.
Good marketers understand this and as a result their product strategy is one of a “slice of slice”. They create narrower and narrower niches usually within vertical markets. It’s not good enough to be a CRM company, you need to have a CRM for cosmetic dentists to compete against Sales Force.
The big positions are taken, leaving only little ones.
And that also why there are are so many niche products and so many people pumping the next greatest, MUST-DO tactic. It’s a little marketing hill to differentiate from bigger competitors. But that’s all it is.
A more productive way to look at marketing your school (or business in general) is to focus on making your funnel as effortless for your prospect as possible. Make it easy to connect. Add value up front. Give them something.
We focus much of our product development and testing on the language that appeals to the deeply human needs driving a buying decision for a prospective student. That’s why Virtual Adviser comes with pre-written campaigns that we know work, because they’ve been tested and proven with many other schools.
And that’s why we can increase leads and enrollments for your school, year after year.
You deserve better leads.