How to measure marketing success in higher education

Measuring marketing success in higher education isn’t always black and white. Of course, the obvious measure of success for higher education is a successful student enrollment, but there are several touch points and steps a student takes before they ultimately hit the apply button on your website.

Illustrations of graphs and charts with text reading, "Top KPIs for Higher Education."

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are defined as “a set of quantifiable measures that a company uses to gauge its performance over time.” In other words, they are a type of measurement that can help determine how a school, department or individual is performing.

At Sanger & Eby, measurement is an important part of our process and it’s a best practice we recommend to all of our clients. Taking benchmark measurements before starting a project is a great idea to be able to measure changes in performance after the project is completed and launched. Taking measurements isn’t just important for websites; measuring event registrations or applications can be a great indicator of recruitment campaign successes.

Beyond tracking enrollment numbers, we’ve outlined a few KPIs for your marketing department to use to measure success.

Call to action conversion rates

There are several metrics that should be measured as an indicator of engagement with your school.

  • Number of Applications
  • Number of Event Registrations
  • Requests for Information
  • Contact Forms Submitted
  • Number of Live Chats (if applicable)

Traffic sources

Measuring how many visitors access your site from each source can help you not only measure your SEO performance, but also where you may need to make changes. For example, if your social traffic is low, spending more time on your content published through these platforms may be needed.

  • Organic Traffic
  • Direct Traffic
  • Social Traffic
  • Mobile Traffic
  • Paid Search

Cost of acquisition/Cost per applicant

Measuring the cost of acquisition helps you measure the overall return on investment. This will help you assess which areas of your budget were beneficial, and which you may need to re-evaluate for the future.  

  • Dollars spent on advertising (print and digital)
  • Dollars spent on developing recruitment campaigns
  • Dollars spent on marketing materials

Aligning KPIs to your goals and strategies will help give you an overall picture of your marketing efforts while measuring your progress and success.

Want to learn more about how we can work to solve your education marketing needs? We'd love to talk!