I find this an interesting topic. When I started Market Mapping plus back in 1990, one of my mantras over all these years has been "Track response". Why? If you don't track where your prospects and students are coming from, how do you know where to allocate resources?
Yes, 26 years later I keep asking clients "what gives you the best response?" and they have no idea. The opportunities for spending your marketing dollars are expanding significantly. In the past, you had direct mail (postal) as one of the only and primary methods of advertising. Since then the market has expanded to include Billboards, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, the CAS Devices (like the Amazon Echo) which are new technologies that dilute your marketing budget. But how do you decide which method to fund?
I had a client many years ago who hired me to evaluate their Adult Student marketing program. I evaluated all of the methods of advertising, told them to start keycoding ads/direct mail pieces to identify where a lead came from. After the first quarter of testing this new coding system I had a meeting with the VP of Enrollment Management and asked him which methods were the most effective? He gave me his top 3. Of his top 3, there were zero leads from the top two. The #1 method of advertising was direct mail postal postcards. Marriage mail and newspaper insert programs generated nothing in terms of response. So they reallocated their budget to become more effective in their marketing efforts.
The ultimate question is "How do we track all of these marketing programs?". The key is integrating some method of knowing where a lead came from. For printed marketing materials a user code to identify the source of the lead, and in some cases, the source of the name. Where did it come from? What list? For Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter use a unique code to identify where a lead got motivated to contact you and enroll.
There is an easier way to track campaign success. For every Adult Student who enrolls, give them a short survey. Ask them what got them to enroll to get their degree. This is the best and easiest method of finding out what's working.
If you need help setting up a quality tracking program give me a call. David Fant, Market Mapping plus Inc. at 616-956-7129, or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.