Building a Predictable Lead Generation Strategy for One of New England’s Top Colleges
Based in Worcester, MA, Assumption College is one of the top Catholic colleges in New England, boasting over 40 majors for undergrads, and seven programs for graduate students.
Assumption’s marketing team needed new, more predictable streams of quality leads for their MBA and Clinical Counseling Psychology graduate programs. Though they had invested in email marketing, event marketing initiatives, content marketing, and billboards, Assumption had yet to find a way to consistently generate leads for these programs.
At the same time, Assumption was also launching a brand new graduate program — Applied Behavioral Analysis — and wanted to seed the initial class with high-quality candidates.
We started via a discovery and research phase, interviewing staff, administrators, current students, and alumni to better understand what differentiates Assumption and their programs in addition to what are the key factors prospective students consider in their decision making process.
Based on our research, we determined that the best way to reach these people were through custom Facebook and SEM campaigns. Our approach to the Facebook and SEM campaigns for all three programs was to build out dozens of viable target audiences and hundreds of unique ads for each program. We like to call this “ad and audience experimentation at scale.” In testing hundreds of creative ad concepts across all of the target audiences, we were able to figure out which messages resonate with which specific audiences.
Once the campaigns were live, we could see which audiences and creative were generating the best results and reallocate the remaining budget to the highest-performing ads. To track our results, we built highly accurate conversion attribution funnels to identify precisely which ads/audiences are responsible for driving each lead.
After a year of running the campaign, and Assumption had a predictable amount of high-quality leads coming in for each program. As we optimized the creative concepts and audiences, we continued to see increases in the number of leads coming in.
Beyond the hundreds of leads that were generated, these campaigns generated over 11+ million impressions, and over thousands of people “liked” or shared the Assumption FB page. The reach and engagement level of our campaign was also been a great push for overall brand awareness and visibility. Additionally, the research we conducted on which audiences responded best to the ads was a great exercise in target realignment, which gave Assumption a better idea of the audiences they should be targeting with all marketing communications.
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