Marketing is a philosophy not a department. Never stray from this question: “How can we create a world class offering?”

How A/B Testing Failures Reveal Bigger Opportunities

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:

  1. Determine that the control is the better version and carry on to a new test
  2. 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!

The Key to Successful Enrollment Marketing is Understanding Student Intent

 

All enrollment marketing, regardless of the type of school, is a response to prospective student intent.

Every prospective student is on a buying continuum: Some are very close to enrolling — they’ve done their research, view your brand favourable, or have some connection to your school. Others are at the very beginning of their journey — they are researching you, your competitors, different program paths, and even whether they want to go to school.

The job of enrollment marketing is to offer choices that are meaningful to where your prospect is in his or her journey.

Think of it as a concentric circle around intent to enroll. Inbound calls and application forms are high intent (but lower volume). An inquiry form is moderate intent — it represents someone sufficiently interested willing to reach out but not ready to apply. Quizzes, downloads, etc are lower intent (but higher volume). As the circle expands volume increases as there are more prospects on the outer edges, than in the middle.

Most schools are way too timid in how they market. They’ve got an inquiry form, which attracts a very specific person at a very specific point in their journey. And maybe some links to their social media accounts. But that’s it.

It’s much better offering too many ways to connect than not enough. Some of your colleagues may perceive it as too “pitchy” but what you are really doing is respecting where your prospect is at in their journey.

Here’s some examples, from high to low intent:

  • Enrollment form
  • Application form
  • Phone number
  • Inquiry form
  • Career Quiz
  • Live Chat / Chatbot
  • School Readiness Quiz
  • Career exploration kit
  • Registration for a Salary Calculator
  • Webinar registration
  • Information Session registration
  • Downloadable White Paper
  • Opt-in to email information
  • Social media follow buttons
  • Links to social media posts

Our Saas tool Virtual Adviser features an awesome tool kit of lead boosting tools for your schools website.

Recent Changes In The Paid Search Environment And How They Can Affect Your School [VIDEO]

There are even more changes to the digital marketing environment coming in 2021, and at least five of those developments are likely to affect your school. In this video, Tammy Miles, Director of Paid Search Marketing, and Chris Cunningham, Conversion Leader, share: How to guard your school against the potential fallout from these changes The […]

Are You Ready For A Strong January?

Are you ready to support your high-intent Explorers in January? - A post from Enrollment Resources

Typically this time of year, schools would start to see declines in leads through paid search advertising and inquiries from prospective students through their website as folks get busy preparing for the holidays.

But, as we have all witnessed, 2020 has been anything but typical.

Read more

The Enrollment Builder Best-Practice Virtual Conference

The Enrollment Builder Best-Practice Virtual ConferenceWe’re wrapping this year up with what we think will be the most useful and comprehensive Enrollment Management conference you’ve ever attended.

What: The Enrollment Builder Best-Practice Virtual Conference
When: December 15th from from 10 am to 1:30 pm PST
Cost: Free
Register Here

Read more

[Case Study] How This 4 Campus College Saved 43% On Their Lead Generation And Increased Inquiries By 109%

The Managing Partner of a four-campus Career College in British Columbia, Canada, wanted to increase the volume and quality of leads generated through digital advertising. This Case Study shows what happened with their first agency, then looks at the results after the Enrollment Resources Conversion Team took control.

Read more

Enrollment Resources Earns A+ BBB Rating

Enrollment Resources Earns A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating

Higher Education Marketer Is Recognized For Ethical Business Practices

VICTORIA, British Columbia – Sept. 25, 2020

Enrollment Resources is proud to announce that they have achieved an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). An A+ rating shows that the BBB is highly confident that Enrollment Resources consistently treats their customers in a fair and honest manner, is transparent in their business practices and engages in truthful marketing and advertising.

Read more