The Most Effective and Easy Marketing Strategy to Increase Higher Ed Enrollment in 2019 (and Always)


Declining enrollment trends and a rapidly shifting landscape are of no surprise to anyone in higher education. The numbers of closures (11 privates on average per year) and students’ impacted (half a million displaced in the past five years) are unsettling to say the least. Of course there are schools bucking this trend for a variety of reasons. But there’s one essential marketing tactic that has made an impact in admissions and recruiting outcomes for decades: professional development.

There are a myriad of ways to build an institution’s brand, exacting ways to understand your school’s positioning in the marketplace, and a range of marketing strategies to employ. Those efforts are integral to survive and thrive, but any enrollment marketing investments are wasted if you aren’t also investing in those on the frontlines of higher education admissions: your recruiters.

As a full-service higher education marketing firm in business for more than three decades, Paskill Stapleton & Lord offers comprehensive services to advance enrollments. Yes, our digital enrollment marketing suite is making an impressive impact. Yes, micro-content across platforms matters. Yes, brands must be built on solid research, not just hopeful taglines. But what’s never stopped making an immediate impact in higher education enrollment marketing is professional development and academic sales training. Better recruiters can deliver you better outcomes – they just need the tactics and skills to be effective.

Our consultants have delivered more than 1,000 customized workshops for admissions teams of small private, large public, faith-based, community college, and online offerings, recruiting traditional and non-traditional students. In 2019 alone we’ve been on nearly 30 campuses, and no matter the enrollment marketing service being delivered, professional training fits into every strategy because of how vital recruiters are to the admissions process. Like any winning coach will say, your team is only as strong as your weakest link. Everyone on the field makes a brand impression and they need to do their part to move every play toward enrollment. Question is: can each and every admissions player on your team be trusted to represent your school’s brand and engage prospective students through the enrollment process? Providing consistent, high quality training can positively impact the answer to this question.

PS&L offers a range of customized recruitment and staff development workshops, including SMART (Sales Management & Academic Recruitment Training); SMART for Non-Traditional Admissions; Yield Boot Camp; and the Workshop for a Student-First Culture.

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Jim Paskill,

With more than 25 years of success in higher education marketing, Jim works directly with clients in all aspects of a campaign, including research/discovery, planning and strategy, creative development, design, production and implementation, media research and placement.