Sizing Up an Enrollment Department

This checklist is designed for new presidents sizing up an enrollment department and prospective vice presidents for enrollment as they size up a new job opportunity.

1. Key Strategy Question

What’s our position in the market place?What’s our institutional brand?Given that diverse student populations are growing and white student population is shrinking, what are we doing to intentionally target diverse student communities?

2. Right-Fit

Who thrives here?Who considers the school as their #1 choice school?What percentage of applicants use us as their #1 choice and as a safety school?

3. Key Metrics & KPIs

What’s our total marketing budget?Marketing budget as a % of overall college revenue? (should be greater than 10%, but most colleges are investing between 2% to 5% only).What’s the ratio between Digital vs. Traditional in our marketing budget?What are our cost-per-lead, cost-per-enroll, and yield rates? How do we stack up vis-à-vis competitors?What’s our website lead-generation rate? How are these leads performing vis-a-vis paid advertising leads?What’s the number of prospective student names we buy annually from ACT/NRCCUA, GRE/GMAT and other sources?How many Google page 1 rankings do we have?

4. Signature Programs

What are our top 10 signature programs?Do their web pages look as strong as BMW 3 or 5 series pages?What percentage of our enrollment is driven by these signature programs?

5. New Programs

What’s our process for creating new academic programs?What budget do we allocate for marketing the new programs?

6. Enrollment Marketing Tactics

What tactics do we deploy? What’s working best? worst? How do you plan these initiatives to mutually reinforce each other?What’s our best argument for the specialty of education we offer?What geographies do we consider our primary territories?In our paid advertising, do we engage in A/B testing, look-alike marketing, micro-targeting and machine learning?What’s our SEO strategy? How many page 1 Google rankings do we have?

7. Boots-On-The-Ground Activities

How many high schools do we visit annually?How many college fairs (virtual or physical) do we attend annually? How many high school principals and teachers do we meet annually?How many college counselors in high school do we meet annually?How many related trade shows do we visit annually?

8. Follow-up & Lead Nurturing

How many counselors/representatives do we have?What are their territories?How many open houses do we hold annually? How are they organized?How many discovery days do we hold annually? How are they organized?What tactics do we deploy? What’s working? and what’s not?What’s the role of program chairs and Deans and faculty in follow up and yield?

9. Retention

What’s our retention rate?Do we have a first-year and second-year student engagement plan?Do we have a student retention committee?What’s the #1 reason for students transferring out of our school?

10. Technology

What CRM are we using?What marketing automation technology are we using?What lead attribution software do we use?What A/B testing tool do we use?What brand sentiment tools are we using?What’s our best enrollment marketing weapon tool?

If you are seeking higher education marketing agencies to grow your enrollment, endowment and reputation, view our higher education marketing capabilities and consider partnering with us.

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