Waybetter demonstrated to Presbyterian College that less is more: fewer inquiries reached, but with more personalization, more attention, and more synergy. And it led to a game-changing 25% increase in enrollment in year one.
Enrollment was continually declining for Presbyterian College (PC) when Waybetter Marketing stepped foot on campus in the summer of 2021.
PC’s enrollment and marketing players were running a man-to-man game, rather than a full-court press—not moving as a team to defend and rebound enrollment. Their current student communication attempts were off the mark, fragmented, and lacked personalization. Players were exhausted and many roles needed to be filled or better defined.
But, with the hire of an innovative and energetic president ready for new perspectives (and Waybetter entering the scene with just that), it became clear that winning days were ahead for PC.
The Better Way
Waybetter assembled a team to help PC with one goal: enrollment.
In the first few days of our partnership, you could say we reviewed some film (existing communications and quality of inquiries), tightened up approaches (student journey), and made some cuts (outside partner efforts) that ultimately led to a strategic reset for PC.
We drew up new plans to attack the top and middle of the enrollment funnel:
- They started with research to determine who the right-fit students were.
- They were carried out by running personalized, status-specific campaigns to communicate to those right-fit prospects.
They resulted in generating qualified student inquiries who demonstrated interest in PC.
Waybetter hit the ground running by reaching out to seniors and offering an incentive to apply to PC.
PC saw an immediate turnaround. Prospective students were fans of the emails, ads, and texts, and engaged with their personalized landing pages. Waybetter scored 17,000+ senior inquiries, who expressed explicit interest in PC (many for the very first time)—an impressive 16.3% response rate of what once was a soft inquiry pool. PC’s event communications were now personalized and memorable for students, and attendance was also increasing.
It was clear at this point, by the increase in (qualified) applications, that this was the first time in a while that PC had used relevant communications to drive action. These students just needed a pep talk and an open shot to apply. Swish!
With Waybetter’s gameplan, PC won 25% more deposits in year one of the partnership.
At the start of year two, we ran the Waybetter play to enhance PC’s Slate instance, reimagining their entire student journey. What was once a defensive strategy that lacked personalization and consistency was now a robust offense that met every student and their family exactly where they were in the college process—from a sophomore inquiry to a senior admit.
The year-over-year results were impressive (with double-digit increases), and there was one very interesting trend: As of December 13, inquiries were DOWN 25%, while applications were up 13%. But, more importantly, completed applications were up a startling 40%.
“Relevance drives action” will make the PC playbook for years to come.