The Client

Merrimack College
North Andover, MA
4-Year, Private, Liberal Arts

The Context

The president of Merrimack College announced an ambitious goal: grow from 2,000 students to 3,000 students in 10 years.

The Results

Waybetter delivered, and Merrimack went from 2,000 students to 2,500 in just 3 years, meeting 50% of their enrollment goal in a third of the time.

Merrimack College: Big Goal, Big Results


The Method

It goes without saying that trying to increase enrollment by 1,000 students in 10 years is no easy task. But we were willing to put the Waybetter method to the test. Our approach was simple: Enroll one student, then one more, then one more. And how do you enroll one student? By treating them like the unique individual they are and by personalizing every interaction you have with them, from emails to microsites to campus visits.

With this guiding principle in mind, we built search campaigns that followed a simple three-step process:

1) We got prospective students’ attention with relevant communication about their academic interests (we knew their academic interests because it was in the standard data set Merrimack purchased). Then, in conversational language that avoided the jargon so prevalent in most college marketing materials, we invited prospects to microsites where they could explore Merrimack’s offerings.

2) We learned as much as we possibly could about every single prospect. As they explored the Merrimack microsites, we used our advanced data and analytics tools to “listen”—we took note of students’ interests, their questions, and their concerns.

3) We responded to prospects’ interests and concerns with increasingly relevant information. If a student cared about biology, we gave them info about Merrimack’s biology programs. If they cared about campus life, we told them about campus life. If they cared about athletics, we gave them all the athletic info Merrimack had to offer. After they visited the microsites, we immediately sent follow-up emails that included relevant links and invitations to inquire. Once they inquired, we nurtured them with a steady “drip” of personal communication until they applied and deposited. Which they did…in very large numbers.

If you'd like to talk a little more about how we helped Merrimack, or how we can help you, please let us know.