Smart Strategies Drive Significant Start Growth in Mature PPC Campaigns

About the Partner

This longtime Thruline partner is a private, nonprofit university offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degree programs to students on campus and online. Founded in 1977, the university has focused on ongoing, sustainable growth in student population and currently serves over 20,000 students.


The Story

The university was an early and prolific adopter of paid search campaigns to drive student enrollment and has seen steady increases in investment and results from this channel over the last 9 years. This type of campaign maturity can often lead to stable and incremental growth rather than large increases; however, understanding the opportunity for digital expansion and leadership, continued significant year over year channel growth has been achieved.


The Strategy and Execution

Thruline put together a plan of scaled growth founded in cost-efficiency, to drive inquiry and start increases at a greater scale than the investment increase. The team incorporated new beta opportunities and a greater adoption of audience-driven bidding strategies alongside a fundamental focus on account health and optimization of keyword spending based on start performance.



On an 18% increase in investment, Thruline drove a 21% increase in inquiry volume and a 20% increase in start volume year over year.


  • A strong foundation of account health, alongside a focus on adoption of new opportunities and strategies, is necessary to drive big gains on mature, established paid search campaigns.
  • Lean more heavily on downstream start metrics to drive bidding decisions, which will drive long-term improvements and growth over short-term inquiry gains.