How can Education providers drive down acquisition cost and lift ROI in a hyper-competitive environment? Having been involved with the education sector for a long time, many of my clients and our own portfolio of start-ups were successful at generating education leads in a high CPA environment, meaning that we often sold affordable courses that equated to half the acquisition cost a University is prepared to pay for a new student, in a highly competitive environment.

Today, I’m in a position to selectively work with higher education management to drive down their cost per acquisition remarkably – and increase the ROI as a result. This is our background:

With Google CPC running close to the $40 per click range, finding students for MBA, MSC degrees, IT degrees and just about any business school topic has become a challenge since older institutions who traditionally relied on their reputation and prestige had to drastically change their approach in order to defend their market position to new entrants. For example, in London we saw LSBF (London School of Business and Finance) taking considerable market share from Birkbeck, LSE (London School of Economics) et al. Note that similar situations exist in the USA, Australia and Canada – and that Global brands are rapidly moving into the developing world through a franchise approach.

The two factors that prompted some enlightenment around student acquisition was a) Google fraud, where competitors and their virtual workers abroad were able to log in early morning and deplete a daily budget, together with large ammounts of “accidental clicks”. As a result, smarter organizations are now working closer with lead generators – paying them “per lead”, rather than “per click”. This is more in line with performance marketing, where the institution takes control of their marketing budget and only pay for actual results.

What we do to deliver quality leads for degree programs:

Our digital marketing campaigns are structured around affinity audiences. By having an in-depth understanding of the typical students who enroll with Universities, we are able to target them in more affordable ways and get them to sign up to the sales funnel of Universities and specific programs. The cost differentiation is significant, as discussed below.

Example 1:

University A spent on average $3500 via Google for each enrollment (They paid $40/click with a conversion rate of 1.5/100 visitors). However we found that through specific lead-generation, the conversion rate improved to 3.2/100 leads. The cost structure we’ve been able to put in place, allowed the University to acquire MBA students at $2100/learner and bachellor students at $2600 per learner.

Example 2: 

University B spent on average $3000 via various media for each enrollment, however they had no in-house system in place to re-engage their leads, which their competitor did rather well. We first assisted them to work with an external partner in order to enhance their lead nurturing process – and then supplied them with a fresh stream of leads. This lowered their original acquisition cost due to a higher conversion and referral rate. Additionally we were able to add around 18 more learners per course across all the subjects that participated in the program at a lower cost per learner, thanks to a lead-generation program, which is still running today.

If you’re involved with a University that benefits from closer relationships with real world practitioners – with a pragmatic approach towards boosting enrollments, I would be happy to set up a conference call where we assess your situation and eligibility to work with us. Since there is a limit as to how many institutions we can work with concurrently, I cannot guarantee we will agree to a program – however we are constantly re-assessing our partnerships and are open  to explore new innovative solutions.

Contact Adriaan Brits below for higher education lead-generation: 

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