Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia is bucking national trends in undergraduate enrollment. With Waybetter’s partnership, they’ve brought in a record-breaking first-year class.
When Brenau was founded in the 1870s as a women-only Baptist seminary, the school’s early champions and benefactors couldn’t have foreseen the growth that was in store for the then-tiny campus.
Today, Brenau offers a vast array of degrees and delivery models, and operates at its original location in Gainesville, at satellite campuses in four other cities, and online. But despite its geographic expansion and willingness to diversify its offerings, enrolling full-time undergraduate students—especially for its all-women undergraduate college—had proven difficult.
The Better Way
Our partnership with Brenau began shortly after they’d made a decision to part ways with their long-time enrollment marketing vendor—a large company whose tactics simply weren’t personal enough to capture what made Brenau the right fit for their target undergraduate population.
We knew that to help Brenau grow, we had to treat every prospective student like a unique individual—just like they would be treated when they actually enrolled on campus. This meant caring about their individual interests and concerns, addressing their questions about affordability, and then marketing to them with clarity and relevance.
With this guiding principle in mind, we designed campaigns that followed a simple three-step process:
- We got prospective students’ attention with relevant communication about their academic interests. Then, in conversational language that avoided the jargon so prevalent in most college marketing materials, we invited prospects to microsites where they could explore Brenau’s offerings.
- We learned as much as we possibly could about every single prospect. As students explored the Brenau microsites, we used our analytics tools to “listen”— we took note of their interests, questions, and concerns.
- We responded to prospects’ interests and concerns with increasingly relevant information. If a student cared about biology, we gave them info about Brenau’s biology programs. If they cared about campus life, we told them about campus life.
After they visited the microsites, we immediately harnessed various channels to follow up with these students and prompt them to take next steps, like visiting campus or applying.
We handed off these truly interested prospective students to Brenau so they could follow
up until students applied and deposited—which they did in record-breaking numbers.