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Greener pastures

I saw in the news that a former client just closed their school. And though it’s been several years since we worked with them, I can’t help thinking it was all preventable…

During our tenure, we were generating about 120 inquiries a month from their website and paid search campaign. But management got dissatisfied and felt like they could do better, so we got fired and a new marketing vendor — let’s call them the fictitious Moxy Media — was brought in. Under Moxy’s stewardship they dropped down to 30 leads or so inquiries per month. Enrollments tanked and heads started to roll.

It would have been saveable, and we would have happily worked with them again, but the people we had relationships with were now gone.

I heard they’d tried a few other vendors, but couldn’t right the ship quick enough, and now they are out of business.

Another former client just reached out with a similar story:

They had moved on to greener pastures which had not worked out. Tried yet another vendor, which made things worse, and are now back with us, in a full on enrollment crisis and we are trying to salvage things.

There’s a lesson:

Services are not the same as products. They are not interchangeable — one company’s team and performance is not the same as another company’s team or performance. And change has consequences. Relationships and trust take time to form on both ends, and there are very meaningful differences in business practices between service providers.

For example, we have NEVER owned the Google Ads accounts of our clients. This is a red line, do not cross, flashing lights kind of deal for us. Yet it’s still common practice for marketing vendors to own their clients’ Google Ads accounts. They argue that their campaigns are proprietary, and thus they want to control the platform as some sort of IP protection.

Obviously it’s complete BS, and done simply to create dependency and leverage. Neither of which are good foundations for trusting, productive relationships.

Beware of greener pastures. Oh, and trust your friends at Enrollment Resources. ;)

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!

Webinar: The Simple Way You Can Increase Your Conversion Rates, Qualified Leads And Enrollment Revenue In 2020

Join Enrollment Resources and LeadSquared for a fun and informative webinar exploring how your school can increase enrollment revenue by hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2020 through simple split tests.

Webinar: 'The Simple Way You Can Increase Your Conversion Rates, Qualified Leads And Enrollment Revenue In 2020 Through Split Tests' on Wednesday, February 19th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

Increase Your Conversion Rates, Qualified Leads And Enrollment Revenue In 2020

The school that masters split testing will generate more leads without buying more media, increasing their revenue, efficiency, and profitability.

In this webinar, you will learn…

  • What split testing and conversion rate optimization (CRO) are,
  • How split testing and CRO bring unmatched value to the enrollment management process,
  • What split testing could look like on your school’s website and landing pages through examples of actual client split tests — including their results,
  • How to immediately put split testing to work for school,
  • How insights learned through testing can become new best practices, and
  • How those best practices can be applied within a lead management system, such as LeadSquared’s predictive lead scoring and drip communications.

2020 is your year for higher conversions, more qualified leads and increased enrollment revenue.

In our experience, split testing is the only tactic that consistently increases school revenues while protecting operating budgets. Register for the February 19th webinar today and learn how to harness the extraordinary power of the simple split test for your school.

Your School’s Core Strength

Your School’s Core Strength, By Gregg Meiklejohn, co-founder of Enrollment Resources

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

When training for a sport or physical endeavor, the best personal trainers direct their client’s focus to one key thing — their core strength — to ensure they have a strong and stable base. Before investing effort and time in the legs, arms, and chest, etc., the trainer creates strength, stability, and power in the body’s core first. When the body’s core is strong, the other parts cruise along for the ride.

Read more

[Podcast] How 1% Improvements Can Translate Into Millions Of Dollars

Enrollment Management Round Table with Enrollment ResourcesIt’s shocking how little effort it actually takes to be more successful than your competition. In this episode, Gregg, Shane, and Tom of Enrollment Resources are joined by special guest Brian Willett to show you how your school can catapult over your rivals through strategic and compounding one percent improvements!

Takeaways include:

  • The unfortunate reason why second best is actually the first loser
  • How to start making 1% improvements by rethinking the habits you take for granted
  • The specific, easy and immediate ways your school can make 1% improvements to increase your conversion rates TODAY

Read more

[Transcript] How 1% Improvements Can Translate Into Millions Of Dollars

Enrollment Management Round Table with Enrollment Resources TranscriptThis is the full transcript of Podcast #46 “How 1% Improvements Can Translate Into Millions Of Dollars” hosted by Gregg Meiklejohn, Shane Sparks, Tom King and special guest Brian Willett.

Listen to it on demand here.

Read more

The Hidden Motivations Of Your Prospective Students

Enrollment Resources recently compiled data from over 125,000 prospective students who had completed a detailed online survey delving into their goals, frustrations, motivations and current life/work situations. We call this the “Career Training Readiness Quiz” (powered by our Virtual Adviser software). It is designed to do two things: Engage prospective students on the school’s website to help generate additional leads – typically a 30 percent bump in website generated lead flow – and help the prospective student understand if they are a fit for vocational education. Roughly 2.2 percent of unique visitors to a typical school’s website will engage with this survey.

The sample represented about 90 school systems across the U.S. and Canada with a wide variety of programs, including both male- and female-dominated programs.

Our analysis of the results has uncovered fascinating insights into career education prospective students, including where they are in their buying process, their dominant personality styles and how to communicate with them effectively, and the number one motivating trigger driving their buying decisions. Read more

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Podcast

Webinar: The Simple Way You Can Increase Your Conversion Rates, Qualified Leads And Enrollment Revenue In 2020

Join Enrollment Resources and LeadSquared for a fun and informative webinar exploring how your school can increase enrollment revenue by hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2020 through simple split tests.

Webinar: 'The Simple Way You Can Increase Your Conversion Rates, Qualified Leads And Enrollment Revenue In 2020 Through Split Tests' on Wednesday, February 19th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

Increase Your Conversion Rates, Qualified Leads And Enrollment Revenue In 2020

The school that masters split testing will generate more leads without buying more media, increasing their revenue, efficiency, and profitability.

In this webinar, you will learn…

  • What split testing and conversion rate optimization (CRO) are,
  • How split testing and CRO bring unmatched value to the enrollment management process,
  • What split testing could look like on your school’s website and landing pages through examples of actual client split tests — including their results,
  • How to immediately put split testing to work for school,
  • How insights learned through testing can become new best practices, and
  • How those best practices can be applied within a lead management system, such as LeadSquared’s predictive lead scoring and drip communications.

2020 is your year for higher conversions, more qualified leads and increased enrollment revenue.

In our experience, split testing is the only tactic that consistently increases school revenues while protecting operating budgets. Register for the February 19th webinar today and learn how to harness the extraordinary power of the simple split test for your school.

Podcast #46: How 1% Improvements Can Translate Into Millions Of Dollars

It’s shocking how little effort it actually takes to be more successful than your competition. In this episode, Gregg, Shane, and Tom of Enrollment Resources are joined by special guest Brian Willett to show you how your school can catapult over your rivals through strategic and compounding one percent improvements!

Takeaways include:

  • The unfortunate reason why second best is actually the first loser
  • How to start making 1% improvements by rethinking the habits you take for granted
  • The specific, easy and immediate ways your school can make 1% improvements to increase your conversion rates TODAY

Take the first steps toward small changes that will have a substantial and lasting impact at your school. Listen now!

Transcript available here.

NACC 2018 Annual Conference & AGM

Enrollment Resources will be at the NACC 2018 Annual Conference & AGM in Ottawa, ON from October 24th to 26th. Visit Sterling and Gregg at booth #20, and be sure to check out our presentation “30 Tips in 30 Minutes.”

Established in 1896, the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) continues to serve its members and support students of regulated career colleges.  NACC acts as an umbrella organization for its affiliated provincial career college associations. All NACC members meet the highest regulatory standards, ensuring the best possible education for their students. Read more here.

2018 NYS Career School Convention

Enrollment Resources will be at the 2018 NYS Career School Convention in Hauppauge, New York from October 24th to 25th.

The Coalition of New York State Career Schools is an association of trade and business schools that are licensed by the New York State Education Department’s Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision. As licensed schools, they have all met state mandated criteria for curriculum, facilities, teacher licensure and financial accountability. Their faculty, administration, programs, and placement assistance provide real opportunities for success and advancement in the career path chosen. Read more here.

2018 AACS Annual Convention & Expo

Enrollment Resources will be at the 2018 AACS Annual Convention & Expo in Lake Buena Vista, FL from October 19th to 22nd. Visit Scott and Tom at booth #108, and be sure to check out “Strategizing with Industry Experts” – a high-energy, round-robin type exercise, where we will share best practices in Enrollment Management, Marketing and Admissions.

Founded in 1924, the AACS is a national, non-profit association open to all privately owned schools of cosmetology arts & sciences. Membership is comprised of cosmetology, skin, nail, barbering and massage schools. Read more here.

2018 CVTA Fall Conference

Enrollment Resources will be at the 2018 CVTA Fall Conference in St. Louis, Missouri from October 17th to 19th. Visit Suzanne and Tom at our booth!

The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) is the largest association of commercial truck driving schools. Working with Carrier and Associate members on critical industry issues, CVTA is promoting highway safety through quality training. Read more here.

Encore Presentation: The Secret Motivations of Prospective Students

The interest in our July webinar was amazing — 300+ people tuned in to learn about their prospective students’ secret buying motivations. Requests poured in for the recording, so we’re doing one better: an encore presentation with the additional focus on teaching you how to craft messaging that resonates with your prospective students.

In this webinar, Shane Sparks, Co-founder of Enrollment Resources, and Dr. Rita Girondi, President and CEO of Training Masters, Inc., reveal our new findings into the hidden motivations of prospective students. You’ll discover the goals, frustrations, motivations and current life/work situations of your prospective students, as well as how those insights can lead to more enrollments at your school!

Register here.