Enrollment Marketing Program for Bentley University’s New Online Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program

Enrollment Marketing Program for Bentley University’s New Online Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program

Client: Bentley University

Situation Analysis:

Bentley University, one of the nation’s leading business schools, is dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader with deep technical skills, a broad global perspective and the high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Located just minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. A private, not-for-profit institution, Bentley seeks to provide students with relevant, practical and transferable skills.

In October 2015, Bentley engaged Schneider Associates to support the launch of the school’s first 100% Online, Part-time Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program in Business Administration. The new program was designed to cater to the unique needs of adult learners who had not completed a bachelor’s degree, but could benefit from going back to school to finish what they started.

Bentley identified several audiences who would be a strong fit for the program, including returning military personnel, working parents and those who had completed an Associate’s degree but continued on in their careers without obtaining a bachelor’s. Bentley engaged Schneider Associates, with only 10 weeks until classes were to begin, to enroll ten students for January 2016 and another 20+ students for August 2016.

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  • Build awareness of the new Online, Part-time, Bachelor’s Completion Program in Business Administration
  • Develop an integrated marketing campaign to drive inquiries about the new program to support enrollment of ten students in January and 20+ students in August
  • Develop the necessary creative assets, content, digital platforms and processes for nurturing prospective students throughout the campaign 

Strategies and Execution:

Schneider Associates begins every integrated marketing and enrollment campaign with a deep dive into the program, potential market opportunity and individual personas of candidates who are a fit for the program. In this case, the Bentley internal communications team had already developed the advertising campaign. With only ten weeks until the initial cohort would begin, SA focused on creating targeted program assets for the campaign, building out the Hubspot platform for posting nurturing content, developing a media strategy and jumpstarting lead generation. Our program involved:

  • Bentley_infographicV2Designing and developing the blog content page on Hubspot’s platform
  • Transforming existing advertising designs into animated files for digital media
  • Planning the media budget and channel mix which included programmatic digital targeting, social advertising, sponsored social content, and Pandora radio to bolster the existing AdWords campaign being managed by Bentley’s internal communications team
  • Establishing and continually adjusting lead scoring criteria to better identify high value prospects for the degree program
  • Developing an editorial calendar for nurturing content and producing all content including blog posts, emails and video interviews with faculty and administrators
  • Launching Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages for the program to support content distribution and sponsored posts driving candidates back to program landing pages
  • Conceptualizing, scripting and filming Pandora video advertising spots
  • Onboarding and leveraging a text messaging platform to engage with prospective candidates and move them toward advising calls or introductory webinar sessions
  • Monitoring marketing and channel performance to optimize the campaign
  • Adjusting advertising messaging and programmatic targeting to produce stronger lead quality metrics
  • Managing lead tracking and nurturing content distribution
  • Providing ongoing reporting on metrics such as:
    • Campaign Impressions
    • Campaign and Channel Spend
    • Clicks
    • Visitor Sessions
    • Email Opens
    • Email Clicks
    • Text Messaging Response Rates
    • Applicants
    • Cost Per Lead
    • Cost Per Enrollment
    • Projected Applicants
    • Projected Enrolled

Measurement and Results 2015-2016:

Schneider Associates created an enrollment marketing campaign and lead generation content platform that helped drive more than 600 prospective students to Bentley over the course of nine months. Even though there was a short 10-week window of opportunity to enroll students for the January cohort, SA helped to nurture candidates in lockstep with the Bentley admissions staff and the Director, Online Degree Completion, reaching the target benchmark of 10 enrolled for January.

SA successfully enrolled 20 students for the August 2016 cohort, with other students opting for classes in 2017. 

Measurement and Results 2016-2017:

Upon completion of Phase 1, Bentley University reengaged SA to continue marketing the Online Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program in Business Administration. SA redesigned and refined the current marketing strategy by proposing a comprehensive persona development process to further define target audiences based on findings from Phase 1. SA revamped all creative assets and went into market with creative specific to unique target audiences segmented by career path.

With the revamp of the assets and strategy, SA was able to drive enrollment of 15 students for the January 2017 term and is on track to enroll 20+ students for the August 2017 term.