Case Study: UVM Continuing Education

The Challenge

The Continuing Education Division of UVM established a Post Bac Premedical program in 1995 to help students pursue a career in the health professions. Through a one or two year sequence of undergraduate prerequisite courses, students gain the necessary background to apply to medical, dental, veterinary, and other advanced medical degrees. UVM’s goal was to reach a national audience of potential students and grow their applicant pool.

Site Optimization, Paid Search and Behavioral Targeting increase Site Traffic by 213% and Applications by 30%

The Discovery

Direct mailing, the web and a network of health advisors at other schools were their primary marketing channels. Through these channels, the program had consistent enrollments of approximately 40 students each year from an applicant pool of about 80. Having added capacity in many science courses, the program needed to fill these seats. They did not have a good sense of which marketing channels worked best. They knew that many direct mail pieces were returned because their database had inaccurate addresses, and the program manager didn’t have enough time in her day to connect with many health advisors across the country.

The Actions

A plan was developed to optimize the website and captured more of the search engine traffic occurring on the web. Then targeted paid search campaigns with key words identified as most commonly used were used on both search and display networks. Additionally, a 30 day remarketing campaign ensured that visitors to the website continued to see the online advertisements on other sites they visited. An online application was added to the site and tied to conversion goals and tracking metrics.

The Results

The goal was to increase the program’s applicant pool through reaching a national audience. Within the first four months, website visits increased by 213% and application submissions increased by 30%. Within the first year, program enrollments doubled. Online national marketing success was demonstrated by a 20% increase in out-of-state student enrollments.

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