University of Massachusetts Amherst

Digital Marketing

A Lead Generation Odyssey

For five consecutive years and counting, UMass Amherst has relied on VisionPoint to drive leads for nearly 50 graduate programs and certificates to date. Our partnership has grown to a number of units across the university community – from their School of Public Health and Health Sciences and School of Management, to their Online Education team and University Without Walls division – where we are tasked with positioning and growing both new and existing offerings across a wide range of academic areas.

Room For Improvement

Despite their renown as a top-ranked research university, UMass Amherst’s campaigns had been underperforming prior to VisionPoint’s involvement. UMass’ Search Engine Marketing efforts, in particular, were missing the mark in reaching prospects who were actively searching for the types of opportunities UMass Amherst offered.

An Elusive Target

We helped UMass Amherst own their audience niche. For the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, this meant working physicians and healthcare professionals in New England who are interested in pursuing continuing education and perhaps an additional credential.

Building Strategies With Data Precision

While our approach for each UMass entity was different, the common thread was to first define, prioritize, and segment the audiences of each program, as well as pinpoint the geographic areas that produced strong leads. For many of their graduate healthcare programs, we focused on Massachusetts, the rest of New England, and the Washington, DC region. Our media plans factored in the level of notoriety that UMass carried, from the areas in the Northeast where the UMass Amherst brand was well known to other parts of the country where UMass carried less prestige.

Continuous Improvement

By making iterative adjustments every week based on trends in the data, we have:

  • Delivered increasingly stronger results as each campaign progressed – an effort that has ultimately reduced the cost per qualified lead by 95% for key programs.
  • Helped the University double the number of applications for their Masters in Public Health in Nutrition program and record the highest number of applications over the past three years for their largest program, Masters in Public Health – all within the first year’s campaign.
  • Produced 2,380 enrollment-related conversions for business programs at their School of Management at conversion rates 62% higher than industry benchmarks, all during peak pandemic months.
  • Driven timely increases in applications for marquee programs at their School of Public Health and Health Sciences, including the critical Summer and Winter Sessions, all at an efficient cost per lead of $50.72 in the COVID era –  more than 30% lower than industry benchmarks.
  • Added back $240,000 to their media budget by lowering CPAs by 40% and added programmatic campaigns to traditionally strong search campaigns.

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