$1,087 for an Education Lead – Are you Insane?

Sep 16, 2013 | Uncategorized

Recently, several potential clients have found their way to Enrollment Resources. These are good schools run by good people, all working with established and respected marketing agencies. Each had a feeling something wasn’t right.

Before we take on a new client, we ALWAYS do a review of their existing campaigns to make sure we can help. We ONLY take on a client where we know we can help in a measurable fashion.  So, I reviewed the recent past performance of the Adwords campaigns of these potential clients, and my jaw dropped.

Respectively these schools reported:

– $465 cost per lead from Adwords
– $787 cost per lead from Adwords
– $1,086 cost per lead from Adwords

…and on and on it went, instances of massively high lead costs, campaign after campaign. I ran some simple math using an 8% conversion rate and realized these folks were acquiring students often for excess of $10,000 per start, absolutely mind boggling. All of the dollars these hard working school owners could have set aside for new programs, scholarships and facilities were instead going to fill the pockets of advertising people.

It’s not our practice to speak badly of competitors, but based on this analysis, there’s some BRUTAL Adwords management going on out there. Money is being thrown at Agencies and Google by the shovel full without regard for a school’s need to protect budgets and ultimately the quality of the school.

If  $1,087 is insane, what is sane?

An acceptable cost per lead from Adwords is NEVER $1,086, $786 or $465.

I get a weekly Cost Per Lead (CPL) report for each of our clients. Chosen at random, here are some examples of cost per lead figures for ten clients:

– $73.89
– $18.70
– $57.38
– $45.39
– $24.74
– $79.45
– $15.14
– $60.41
– $46.18
– $36.94

And in case you think I’m padding the numbers. The highest CPL for ANY of our clients is $137.33. And that one drives me crazy!

This is a short and pointed intervention.

If you are currently working with an Ad Agency and they report a cost per lead with anything more than two figures, you are very likely wasting a ton of money and profit.

If you have high Adwords costs or you don’t know, please CALL me, Shane Sparks, at 250-391-9494. We will evaluate your Adwords campaign and give you a no-nonsense honest assessment within two business days. We’ll review the campaign with you and assess whether you’re operating at best practice or if you’re leaving enrollment revenue on the table. The review will take 30 minutes, more if you want advice.


Shane Sparks
Co-founder Enrollment Resources Inc.

P.S. – Emphasis on NO-SALES-PITCH.

P.P.S. – If you have big Adwords lead costs or you don’t know your CPL, your other option is to do nothing, which is fine. But make sure to buy Google stock; that’s the only way you’re going to make any money on your Adwords campaign.

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