Capture Potential Students with Digital Landing Pages
An ongoing challenge for institutions of higher education is how to counter diminishing rates of student enrollment. According to U.S. News & World Report, college enrollment declines are here to stay, with the undergraduate student body reduced by nearly 1.4 million during the COVID-19 pandemic. But higher education has much to offer in workforce development, including professional development and advances in science and technology.
So, how can colleges use effective marketing techniques to attract potential students? MassLive Media offers one suggestion for designing and utilizing engaging landing pages.
Digital Landing Pages Invite Action
When potential students are researching educational opportunities online, they may shy away from engaging with an admissions department web page. And if they are interested in a particular field or department, it can be daunting to approach faculty members.
Especially with students of traditional age, there may be unfamiliarity with university structures and culture. The prospect of making a phone call may also be intimidating. In other words, potential students who see an ad for your institution may travel to your website, but if the destination doesn’t provide a suitably anonymous avenue for more information, the engagement is lost.
Landing pages are a well-known marketing tool, and with the proper design and goal, they can become a useful bridge for building your email and contact lists. These web pages can stand alone, as a pop-up dependent on specific search cues, or the user can click through from an online or social media ad to reach the digital landing page. Landing pages can also be included in the structure of the higher education website, but they must be self-contained and invite clear action on the part of the user.
Strategies for Designing Effective Digital Landing Pages
An important element to keep in mind when designing digital landing pages is logic. There must be a logical, contextual jump from the initial ad, search term, subject matter, or web page. The information must carry through visually and textually. And whether the goal is to recruit students for admissions, classes, financial aid packages, or to attend a public event, widen your net with designs that adhere to your institution’s accessibility and inclusivity guidelines.
Landing pages must offer pertinent information to the prospective student or participant. If they don’t gain something of value from the landing page, they will not take the desired action, which is to provide you with an email address or phone number.
The design must reflect the goal of the landing page clearly, which is getting contact information from the user. But just as importantly, the landing page is giving you a chance to broadcast accurate information about the subject of the online research, which is the desirability of your educational institution.
Ideas for effectively designing higher education digital landing pages include:
- Attract attention with clear headings and subheadings
- Space elements on the page for easy reading
- Keep the information concise, whether it’s for reading or listening
- Answer potential questions succinctly within the page
- Use bullets and other list devices for clarity
- Utilize drop-down menus to reduce clutter, while answering user questions
- Shorten the time for any video segments included on the landing page
- Keep hyperlinks to a minimum and focused on the desired action
- Be clear about where you want the user to click through, using visuals or other cues
- Craft the copy for call-to-action buttons to preview next steps
- Test the use of testimonials that feature copy with keywords or search terms
- Encourage phone calls with click-to-call features
- Only reference external information from well-respected sources
Test Your Digital Landing Pages
It’s usually a good idea to test your landing page designs. If your marketing team likes two versions of the digital landing page, run them both to see which one attracts more attention from prospective students.
With the assistance of data analytics, it’s possible to track the success rate beyond the collection of contact information. For example, which landing page yielded more admission applications? As with most marketing strategies, the more input you receive from your stakeholders, in this case, admissions staff, the more chances there are for refinement.
Consult with Experts in Higher Education Marketing
Success in the case of higher education marketing means getting the message out to prospective students about the life-building opportunities they will find at your institution. MassLive Media assists educational institutions in developing marketing strategies and techniques, including digital landing pages; contact us today.