3 ways we are enhancing enrollment campaigns for 2021

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3 ways we are enhancing enrollment campaigns for 2021

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From unique college swag to newly virtual information sessions, we’ve been hearing for months about the ways our partners have innovated in the face of a challenging year. And while our team at EAB is always conducting tests and analyzing data to find ways we can support your enrollment goals, the challenges of 2020 have spurred different in-kind innovations for the years ahead.

Just a couple weeks ago, we introduced the enhancements we’re making to position your enrollment team for sustained success—regardless of what the next year holds. Here are just some of the innovations we’re bringing to our Enrollment Services partners in 2021.

Helping your team reach new audiences

As I reflect on the challenges enrollment leaders have faced this year—and will continue to encounter in the years to come—I immediately think of the difficulty in reaching students and families as testing is disrupted and traditional methods of reaching prospects become more unreliable.

Those are just some of the reasons we joined forces with Cappex, a leading college research and decision platform for students. Cappex packs a powerful one-two punch of scale—meaning lots of inquiries and traffic in the platform—among prospects with strong intent to enroll, as measured by high conversion rates and yield. And with more than 1.5 million students in Cappex’ Candidate database, welcoming Cappex into the EAB family gives our partners a new list to add to a diverse set of sources. As I write this, we’re pursing candidate names from the entering class of 2021 and starting to grow the entering class 2022 candidate pool (which already includes half a million students).

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higher application rate when students inquire via Cappex and EAB Search
  • Cappex Inquiry Partnership

    • High-intent student Inquiries aligned to recruitment needs
    • On-site promotion of your school's profile

  • Exclusive benefits for EAB + Cappex partners

    • Profile enhancement including Virtual Tour immersive content
    • Strategic alignment with Search and Application strategy
    • Seamless data exchange and campaign integration
    • Access to Cappex Candidates with preferred terms

As part of our work with Cappex, partners will also gain access to College Greenlight, a web-based platform that helps more than 400,000 first-generation and underrepresented students find their right-fit college and financial support. College Greenlight provides access to a network of 1,500-plus community-based organizations, which will help your counselors identify, connect with, and foster new pipelines of diverse talent.

Enhancing parent outreach

Beyond expanding access to prospective students, we’ve also doubled down on our parent outreach strategy. I don’t need to tell you how important parents are to college search and decision-making. And parent communication has been an integral part of our search and application marketing work for years.

Currently, we use the email addresses students provide to communicate with parents. But to reach an even greater number of parents, we’ve recently started obtaining parent email addresses by matching student identities with consumer databases. And in the next cycle, we will be applying this methodology in the application phase. By expanding parent-first communications in application market, we’ve seen an 8% increase in applications as compared to no parent marketing.

Understand What Matters Most to Parents

EAB research has shown that parents expect to hear from you and welcome your contact. Learn five key insights on the types of information parents value most.

Driving engagement with your virtual tour

One of the additions our partners were most excited about last year was the addition of virtual tours to their EAB portfolio. The next phase of our virtual tour work ensures all virtual tour assets are integrated with the rest of the work we do together. That integration means students can engage with your virtual tour via your marketing emails, paid social ads, landing pages, and your school’s profile on Cappex.com.

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Emails

Links to VT assets included in plain text and graphical emails

Paid Social Ads

VT "hero shot" featured in social ads with related call to action

Landing Pages

VT embedded into marketing program landing pages

Cappex

VT embedded into your school profile on Cappex.com

At the same time, our user experience team has been busy enhancing the virtual tours themselves. For example, they recently added a progressive web form within the tour itself to make it easier for prospective students to raise their hands, rather than continue to research your school as a stealth applicant. In our pilot tests, we found that the progressive web form generates double the number of inquiries as a traditional form. Partners can also explore how prospects are engaging with their school’s virtual tour (and benchmark how students are engaging with their tour as opposed to other institutions’ tours) via our enhanced Audience Analytics Portal.

Additional enhancements to your enrollment campaigns

I’m thrilled to debut the enhancements we’ve made to help your team reach new prospective students, better communicate with parents, and further drive engagement with your virtual tour. In 2021, we are also expanding the number of students your team can reach through paid search, introducing more efficient ways to optimize your .edu website for search engines, and enhancing the ways you can benchmark campaign and enrollment performance against your peers. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Strategic Leader to learn more about these and other enhancements available in the year ahead.

Recruiting students in this environment require resiliency, agility, and consistent innovation. But this is the first major step on our drive towards an enrollment engine of tomorrow.

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