If you’re working in higher education marketing or admissions, there are two words that can evoke a feeling of success or panic. They are yield and melt.
Whether you are recruiting undergraduate students, full time or part-time MBAs, degree completion students, certificate, continuing education or executive education candidates, yield and melt are always on your mind.
With a variety of options at every educational level, applicants have choices and are shopping around—and applying to multiple schools. This dynamic is wreaking havoc on enrollment marketing programs as there’s no way to anticipate which students will accept and actually matriculate. That’s why closing the gap between yield and melt is critical.
In our enrollment marketing work for higher education clients, SA has learned three things that contribute to successful recruiting campaigns:
- Focus on Program-Level Personas
Personas (descriptive attributes of applicants) help marketers and admission directors hone in on the types of students they are recruiting for each program. While brand-level marketing is important, students, at all levels, need specific information to be ensure the program they are signing up for meets their goals. Matching the exact type of student you want to recruit for each class and providing them with all the information they need to make a decision will improve enrollment numbers. By focusing on applicants who are most likely to enroll, you’ll see inquires and applications rise.
- Nurture, Personalize and Connect
When an applicant shows interest –filling out a website form, engaging on social media or watching a webinar – it is critical that this first touch begins their journey. This path must be strategically nurtured and carefully curated. Using a mix of emails, personal outreach, text messages, campus visits, student to applicant phone calls, unique content and other forms of communication is critical to the nurturing process. The nurturing process must create an emotional connection and make the applicant feel like they are wanted, important and perfect for the program.
- Data will Drive Success
The last part to closing the yield/melt gap lies within the data sets of your marketing program. Whether using social media, personalized lead website forms, unique telephone numbers, programmatic display ads, SEO or personalized emails, it’s important to track engagement. The way applicants engage with your nurturing program provide treasure troves of data. It’s important to allocate resources to channels that are working and quickly move away from those that are not.
The recruitment challenge never ends and as applicants continue to disrupt the recruitment process, it’s up to smart and agile enrollment management executives to stay ahead.
If you want to learn more about our enrollment marketing methodology and the high rate of success we’ve had in closing the yield / melt gap for clients such as MIT Sloan, Bentley University, Northeastern University’s D’Amore McKim School of Business, Lehigh University, Newbury College, Rutgers University and others, give us a call. We’re ready to take on your challenge.