Boarding schools in North America have experienced a continuous, 15-year decline in their primary enrollment categories. To combat that trend, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) launched the North American Boarding Initiative’s “Ready for More?” campaign on July 1, 2016. The initiative’s purpose is to answer a strategic imperative from heads of school to address the decline in domestic enrollment for high- and full-paying families.
Sheila Mitchell, VP for Market Growth and Deputy Managing Director of NABI
The goals are to:
- Increase domestic high- and full-paying student applications by 10% over 5 years
- Increase domestic high- and full-paying student enrollment by 10% over 5 years
The five-year initiative, ending in September 2020, educates families about the transformative benefits of boarding school while dispelling common myths that boarding schools are only for children of privilege or for troubled teens. This initiative is responsible for the first of its kind category-level campaign on boarding schools in North America.
NABI launched a new website, ReadyForMore.com, and simultaneously launched Salesforce and Pardot to capture and nurture leads.
Sheila Mitchell, VP for Market Growth and Deputy Managing Director of NABI, previously used Pardot, HubSpot, and Marketo, but preferred Pardot and chose fusionSpan as her implementation partner.
Sheila wanted the following abilities:
- To use logic to build a nurture sequence,
- To segment audiences, and
- To review analytics at a granular level
As a bonus, by having Pardot and Salesforce integrated, major data governance issues were covered and she had high confidence in the reliability of the data. She views Pardot and Salesforce as “sustainable platforms that are robust and stand the test of time.”
Even though the initiative is not complete, success is becoming clear.
- A 2% overall increase in enrollment of the target audience from open day 2016 to present
- A 7% increase in enrollment of 9th-grade domestic boarders, a critical entry point for the majority of boarding schools
- Stemmed the 15-year decline in domestic enrollment. Without TABS, based on previous attrition, there would have been a 3% decrease in enrollment.
How it Works:
On a daily basis, Sheila receives emails from Pardot highlighting which prospects have most recently interacted with the website or completed a form. Due to the success of the campaign, she has limited time to get into the granular details of email sends. Instead, she utilizes fusionSpan to help create, test, and send emails to prospects. The Digital Strategy team at fusionSpan recently helped redesign how email preferences are managed and capture why prospects unsubscribe from emails. fusionSpan also created landing pages for historical emails that are part of an email series so that prospects can easily go back and review what they may have missed.
Sheila recommends that associations spend a significant amount of time at the beginning of implementation to thoroughly develop nurture engagement programs based on segmented lists.
Sheila welcomes the strategic guidance that fusionSpan provides and the Digital Strategy team is truly appreciative of how she pushes the boundaries with her ideas and desire to use the full capabilities of Pardot.
fusionSpan listens, understands my needs, responds quickly, and gives me more than what I ask for. They are a true partner and I value their capabilities. – Sheila Mitchell