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23%↑

Increase in Enrollment

21%↑

Increase in Funnel Conversion 

48%↑

3-Year OPM Program Growth Rate

"Marketo takes engagement marketing to a whole new level of sophistication and precision, ensuring our students receive timely, relevant, and high-value communications throughout the entire student lifecycle.” 

-Matthew Schnittman, President and CEO

Objectives

  • Engage students from the enrollment process all the way through to graduation
  • Move prospective students from one journey stage to the next
  • Measure campaign success and uncover patterns to fine-tune content strategy and improve student retention 

Challenges

A diverse student base calls for personalized engagements at scale

Helix manages all online marketing initiatives, enrollment, and retention operations for more than 100 degree programs across its client base. Because of their tuition-share revenue alignment with their partners, “recruiting a new student is just as important as keeping a student motivated through to graduation”, reports Abigail McKenzie, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Helix.

However, the marketing team faced a unique challenge because of the extensive diversity within their student base. Across their OPM partnerships, they engage with hundreds of thousands of prospective and current students, each of whom comes from different walks of life, faces different challenges, and is inspired by different things. 

"We needed an elegant, efficient and automated way to engage students not only through the enrollment process but all the way through to graduation" - Abigail McKenzie, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Helix

Solution

Stage-based communications engage students from enrollment through to graduation

"With Marketo, we can communicate with students as individuals and truly understand their motivations, obstacles, and interests. Every communication received is uniquely tailored to that student, keeping them motivated and moving forward through to graduation,” shares Eric Olsen, Associate Vice President of Marketing at Helix. 

Making this possible is the seamless integration between Helix’s proprietary technology built on Microsoft Dynamics and Marketo, allowing them to leverage student data to execute both stage-based and calendar-based communications.

"With Marketo we can, in real-time, identify where a student may not be advancing through the funnel, whether they have spoken to an enrollment coach, signed an acceptance letter or attended their first day of class. We can then trigger messaging based on personalized motivations and barriers which have proven most helpful to get students to the next phase in their academic journey”, shares Eric. 

In addition to stage-based communications, the Helix team has also become much more attuned and responsive to content consumption, making sure students receive the content they really need and want. 

Marketo helps us optimize our content strategy and prioritize the most impactful content at the ideal stage and cadence so that we don’t slow down the natural momentum of our students” -Katie Van Hazelen, Content Strategist at Helix.

With this, Helix can also make adjustments for future program optimization. In one case, the team realized an email in their cadence had incredible engagement scores but was so far down the cadence, it was being under-utilized. So, the team moved it up much earlier in the communications flow for maximum impact.

Benefits

Marketing efforts boost student enrollment rates across all university partners 

With the new marketing strategy and Marketo in place, Helix has developed programs and campaigns that meet measurable commitments across OPM partnerships. Since the implementation, Helix has been able to attribute their marketing e orts to the following partner-wide results:

  • 23% YOY enrollment lift across all partners
  • 21% improved conversion rate from inquiry to start across all partners

In a specific case, Helix reported up to 30.43% YOY enrollment lift and a 49.60% qualified inquiry to start conversion rate improvement. Additionally, the marketing team continues to see improvement in time-to-value when it comes to program execution and getting communications out to their students.

"Our comfort with the tool is what makes us excited about Marketo. Rich feature functionality such as program cloning and tokens make it easy to deploy beautiful email programs in minutes - just today I created an entire new program and sent out an email in less than 20 minutes” -Katie Van Hazelen, Content Strategist at Helix.