Marketing strategy for higher education

February 16, 2023 •

3 min reading

Marketing Strategy for higher education: 8 KPIs to track

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An important component of a successful marketing strategy is a solid monitoring process. It is not enough to track the end goals of your institution’s marketing, such as intake numbers. Having a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) included in your Marketing plan will be essential to ensure you stay on track.

Here are the KPIs that our education marketing experts track for each stage of the student recruitment process.


Marketing Strategy KPIs for Attracting Potential Students

Strategic question: Are our lead engines optimized?

KPIs to consider:

  • Volume and Cost per Lead per channel – this is an early indicator, but doesn’t tell the whole story.

    Expert Tip: beware of marketing agencies that are measured only on lead volume – you may end-up with many leads that will never convert.

  • Ratio: Lead vs Marketing Qualified vs Sales Qualified leads – this will track your lead quality and monitor whether your sources of leads match your target audience.

    Expert Tip: implement an internal process for your sales team to quickly qualify leads at the start of each new lead generation initiative, so that your marketing team can get early feedback and optimize its campaigns.

  • Revenue or number of applications influenced per channel

    Expert Tip: A school decision process is a multiple touchpoint journey. Your ads in some cases may not be the first touchpoint for your future student, but can still play a significant part in converting this prospective student at a later stage of his/her decision process. Therefore, make sure you use a multitouch points revenue attribution model – otherwise you might make the wrong channel decisions based on incomplete data. Leading CRM & Marketing automation systems, such as Hubspot offer this.

Marketing Strategy KPIs for Converting Potential Students into Applicants

Strategic question: Are we effective in converting initial interest into application?

KPIs to consider:

  • Cost per application submitted

  • Recruitment funnel health and drop out rate at each stage: Numbers of qualified leads, Numbers of application started, Number of application submitted, number of selected candidates.

    Expert tip: Set up a sales process using a pipeline model with different recruitment stages. Measure the drop in volume from one stage to the other.

Strategic question: Are we effective in convincing the candidates we have selected?

  • Number of Selected candidates vs. Number of enrolling candidates

  • Cost per enrolled candidate

    Expert Tip: The end of the recruitment pipeline is the most expensive stage for losing prospective students, given all the efforts already spent convincing them. Therefore, make a priority to keep the drop-out rate low at this stage.

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Marketing Strategy KPIs for Delighting Students

Strategic question: Are we delivering on our promises and creating a solid referral base with our students & Alumni?

KPI to consider:

  • Net Promoter Score

    Expert Tip: regularly survey your students and alumni’s willingness to recommend your schools. Industry research shows that current students and alumni are among the most influential sources of information for prospective students.

These 8 Key Performance Indicators can give you a head start as you set out to implement your marketing strategy for your higher education institution. They are also applicable to other levels of schools, such as kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. Consistency in monitoring and diligent corrective actions will ensure that you make the most out of these KPIs.


Are you looking to reach more qualified applicants and increase enrollment?

Our team will help you effectively target prospective students, reach out to them through customized campaigns, and gain valuable insights about your target audience.