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The Impact of Personalization on Higher Ed Funnels

The Impact of Personalization on Higher Ed Funnels
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Across all industries, it’s no secret that personalization moves the needle–usually increasing revenue by 5%-15%. However, in higher education, where the decisions are even more complex, significant, and, well, personal, there’s plenty of evidence to support that personalization is even more impactful. Halda might as well be considered Exhibit A for the effect that personalization has on a healthy enrollment funnel–and the numbers prove it.

Personalization and Lead Capture Numbers

1 Day at Halda

Every new metric and study suggests that today’s tech natives have shorter attention spans and a heightened need for immediate gratification. Personalization is one of the most effective tools for clearing both of those hurdles. Higher education, as an industry, usually lives in the realm of high bounce rates and low lead conversion rates. Lead capture rates above 1.5% are considered high performing.

Data from Halda’s partners, however, drawn from years of curated interactions, reveals that incorporating personalization boosts those lead capture expectations.

Conversion rate averages across partners with strategic deployment of personalization usually sit around 5%, with some interactions yielding double-digit lead capture rates as high as 12%-20%.

Here, for instance, is a daily snapshot of Halda’s interactions across our partners.

Raw lead capture numbers are somewhat contingent upon personalization, placement, and overall web traffic; and yet conversion rates across multiple types of schools are well above the industry average.

Secondary action rates–the percentage of leads who click through to another, even more meaningful action–are about 50% across all partner schools. This suggests that the personalized interactions are not only getting engagement, but they’re inspiring more action.

Of course, placement matters. Thanks to the variety of traffic, personalized interactions on homepages tend to generate plenty of leads, but lower conversion rates. Personalization also tends to perform considerably better with organic traffic than with paid traffic (paid traffic is notoriously low-converting for higher education in any context).

Personalization, however, even in these varied circumstances, is elastic enough to keep lead capture rates high across our partners.

Personalization and Application Numbers

Halda has recently gone full-funnel in its personalization resources, but before the company expanded its tools, leads captured by Halda at the top of the funnel were much more likely than their counterparts to move forward with an application. Historically, Halda has had an undergrad lead-to-application rate of around 20%, while for graduate students that rate bumps up to around 30%.

Lynn University, a small private university in Florida, emphatically corroborates these numbers with their Halda lead performance. Over the course of Fall 2022-Spring 2023, 38% of their Halda leads submitted applications. Even among smaller schools that often have lower traffic and higher conversion rates, those numbers are well above the industry average.

Large public schools also experience sweeping success with the intelligent deployment of Halda personalization. UW Tacoma, a public institution in the University of Washington system, draws tons of traffic that they seek to turn into quality applicants.

Navia Winderling, Assistant Director of Admissions at UW Tacoma, describes the experience Halda offers her website visitors. “Halda has absolutely changed the way we interact with students,” she explains. “People see Halda’s Program Plan DLP and say ‘Holy cow, I can just get the information I need right now’–that’s a big deal.”

These experiences have led to a massive boost in lead capture and applications. Winderling continues, “Of all of our 5,810 Halda leads (from March of last year to today), 450 of those are first source that have applications. That is about 9%!”

These results leave people like Navia feeling good not only about their numbers, but also about the experience they’re creating for students. Of course, the final measure of effectiveness is whether those applications eventually turn into enrollments.

Personalization and Enrollment Numbers

The ultimate test of an enrollment/marketing tool is how it affects the bottom line and the people who actually make it to campus (either virtually or in person). Fortunately for personalization, it plays a key role in landing the plane for prospects.

Halda has a deep statistical well to draw from when supporting this assertion, but perhaps no example is as potent as that of Harper College.

Harper College, a two-year public institution in Illinois, wanted to assess how Halda compared to its standard RFI.

Halda generated slightly fewer leads–which makes sense because while Halda was on around 3% of the website, the RFI forms were on about 80% of the site. Despite having around 400 fewer leads, however, Halda produced 962% more applications (433 apps) than the standard RFI. Nearly half of those applications (47%) eventually became enrollments.

This suggests that the potential students who interact with Halda’s personalized content feel taken care of more fully and make a deeper connection that leads to long-term interest.

Even outside of the higher ed space, Halda is a catalyst for resounding enrollment gains. Northland Christian School, a PK-12 school in Houston, Texas, has only recently signed onto Halda after completing a free trial. During that free trial, Northland Christian captured 83 leads, 10 of which quickly became enrollments. That’s a lead-to-enrollment rate of 12%.

Statistics, like these, show the resounding effectiveness of personalized engagement when greeting your prospects. Personalization draws potential students into a relationship with schools and sets a meaningful foundation upon which to grow that bond.

And as Halda leverages AI and new personalization tools for more down-funnel interactions, there’s no limit to the role that personalization will play from the first-touch to the first day of class.

Every 0.85 Seconds

Halda personalizes the experience for a prospect.

How often are you personalizing the experience for your potential learners?