VIDEO: Prospect List Webinar with Ellie Levine and Mark Cross

Five Questions from the Prospect List Webinar

Thank you to the hundreds of independent school professionals who participated in the Tuesday, June 12 webinar on using targeted prospect lists to grow enrollment.

We had an active and engaged audience with many questions rolling through during the Q&A. While we answered many live, we didn’t get to all the questions before we reached the 30 minutes of time we’d promised. We will answer them here.

  1. What size schools does Measuring Success serve? And, how big does the sample have to be to run the model? We have worked with small schools, large schools, faith-based schools, special needs schools, and all kinds of independent schools. In order to build a valuable model we recommend submitting a minimum of 150 families, where you want to use the names of both parents to achieve a higher match rate.  The more names you submit, the tighter accuracy you will get in the model. We feel 150 is more than enough to create a profile that will allow you to find similar prospective families. If you do not have 150 families in your school, you can increase the size of your list by going back a few years and picking up families that graduated out of your school.  You would want to eliminate the names of any who left the school because they were unhappy.
  2. How long is the prospect list valid? In general, about 10 percent of people move yearly. That makes it critically important to capture new people in your community — those with a high likelihood of selecting a new school. We recommend running a new prospect list at least annually. You can continue to use the same model, so it only costs a fraction of the initial price to run a fresh set of data through the model. The data that we use to create the targeted prospect list is refreshed quarterly which helps deliver the most accurate information.
  3. Can the data be organized with religion as the primary criteria for a faith-based school? The short answer is that yes, you can use faith as a filter on a targeted prospect list. The best practice is to build the model using the data as it is appended by the data company.  This will mirror the data used for ranking prospects. If you are a faith-based school, faith will almost certainly be a high ranking variable and return the largest possible number of prospects.  A corollary question was the ability to use culture as a filter criteria. With more than 1000 consumer data points, we include language, nationality, politics and religious variables, among others as cultural characteristics, when we build a targeted prospect model for an independent school.
  4. Our school doesn’t use traditional mail because it is too expensive. Can you help us with social media targeting using the list? Yes. In Facebook, for example, you can upload email addresses that come from the targeted prospect list and target those specific people in your advertising campaigns relatively inexpensively. In addition, you can create geographic targets (by ZIP code, for example), for specific segmented marketing. This is where you tailor the message to the neighborhood. This type of social media outreach is relatively inexpensive but highly effective.
  5. What is the cost? Every consultation starts with a conversation about your needs. This doesn’t cost anything. We start here because we want to make sure we are the right fit to help you and that we can deliver results for you. If we decide to work together, building the model and delivering the prospect lists will take about four weeks. The cost for the consulting, building the model, and delivering a prospect list starts at $12,000, which — for most schools — would pay for itself in year one with new students enrolling, not to mention the high return on investment (ROI) when you consider the lifetime value of a student.

BONUS ANSWER: Are there other techniques or areas where you can help us to grow enrollment? Yes! Tune in for next week’s webinar (June 19), when Dr. Harry Bloom of Measuring Success and Geordie Mitchell of Buckingham Browne & Nichols will take an hour-long, deeper dive into using data to enhance strategic enrollment efforts. Make sure you preregister for this webinar (which is free, but registration closes one hour before the event).

Thank you again to all who participated. Below is the video link for the webinar.