Future Focus: The Importance of Testing Your Marketing Campaigns in Higher Education

Breaking through the Competition

It is easy to get caught up in the day to day business and as enrollment has declined, many schools have gotten more risk-averse instead of challenging the status quo and constantly pushing to improve across all areas.


Testing and challenging the status quo is a critical component of Thruline’s DNA. Over the years, we have learned that a strong methodology and having the proper controls in place are crucial to finding success within your tests. Great success comes after you remove the fear of failure and replace it with the idea that every test is an opportunity to learn and build on what you did not know before.


Breaking through the Competition in Higher Education


Schools are launching new online programs daily and continuing to increase competition within Higher Education. That, along with sustained low unemployment has schools having to sell the why go back to school along with promoting their brand. Keeping creative fresh and testing new messaging to various audiences is extremely important.


The tests do not need to be extravagant. One specific test we performed recently was the inclusion of upcoming application deadlines and start dates in Facebook image creative. The test proved to be successful across different clients, with an average 47% lower CPI and 58% higher app rates vs. standard FB creative. Draw the prospective student in by creating urgency and a strong call to action.


Testing is About Learning


What we have learned over the years is that testing is about learning, not about every test being successful. Often times, the more unsuccessful a test is, the more insight it can bring to both your team and campaigns. Our methodology is to start with an insight, then experiment, iterate, automate and look for adjacent possibilities. We make mistakes, but with each mistake, we fail forward and learn. It is just one more way we keep our skills sharp and remain at the forefront of higher education marketing. We pass this learning on to our customers who have the advantage of benefiting from each of our tests. In fact, embracing failure through our ongoing testing has driven us to produce 11,396 incremental inquiries across all of our partners last quarter.


Education continues to evolve to be a lifelong journey. This is the same approach you should be taking with your campaigns. Constant learning and not being afraid to fail forward is what is going to make the greatest impact over time.



Thruline Marketing logo, Thruline Marketing, Mike McHugh