Coomera Anglican College Marketing Team made the switch to HubSpot in 2016 and were eager to get an inbound win.
The old guard of Northern Gold Coast private schools for over 20 years, Coomera Anglican College built a legacy of innovation and academic excellence attracting students from all over the Gold Coast region. Positive reputation kept the wait list full for the life of the College, leaving few vacancies.
Regional growth and local demand for places caused more schools to open in the area and eventually this began to have impact on enrolments. Local competition for students increased and by January 2017 the school had Prep-Year vacancies for the first time. New junior places must be filled because these students continue through to senior studies over the next decade, a critical factor for the success of every year level at the school.
Principal’s Tours at Coomera Anglican College are the premier enrolment event for the school. During each tour, the school connects with parents and families at a personal level to showcase all the school for the needs of each student. These events have been attended by a mix of enrolled students’ parents curious to see the school, families already interested in applying for enrolment, and a smaller portion of new families and future students.
It is vital that each Principal's Tour is fully booked with ideal prospects for the school.
A new approach was required, because the number of enquiries and applications were at a level which could leave your places unfilled. In 2016 Coomera Anglican College marketing manager, Elda Koro identified that Inbound Marketing was the best way to demonstrate the school’s value and signed on with HubSpot.
By January 2017 the team of Elda Koro, Localtag Marketing Consultant Peter Preston and HubSpot Partner HubDo commenced the first inbound marketing campaign to fill the March 2017 Principal's Tour.
About Coomera Anglican College
Coomera Anglican College was founded in 1997 by the Honourable Ivan Gibbs, the former Attorney-General of Queensland. The school sits on 15 hectares on the rapidly growing northern end of the Gold Coast.
Since its early beginnings at a solitary Coomera farmhouse, Coomera Anglican College has operated with an eye on the future. Built on a vision to inspire excellence in teaching, learning, service and the Anglican faith, the College provides students with a seamless transition from early learning to primary, secondary and into vocational or tertiary education.
Today the College has grown to become one of South East Queensland’s most progressive educational institutions educating students from Kindergarten to Year 12.
The College boasts premium multi-disciplinary facilities, showcase architect-designed Primary, Junior and Senior Secondary campuses and quality facilities including an Aquatic Centre with a 25m, eight-lane pool, gymnasium, Performing Arts Centre and a Visual Arts Studios and Gallery.
In short, we believe Coomera Anglican has a lot going for it.
The College was losing market share to new schools who recognised the opportunity of a growing population and large lots of available land. Other successful schools from around the region started setting up in the area, putting pressure on Coomera Anglican to compete.
The College recognised that what got them to where they are today would not get them to where they needed to be tomorrow.
The College had disjointed processes for marketing events like the Principal’s Tour. Many moving parts meant it was a challenge to plan all of the effort needed to promote a Tour and an even bigger challenge to analyse results and maintain a consistent approach to each session.
It was difficult to track who was really attending Principal’s Tours. Where they parents of current students? Parents who had already submitted an application and just wanted to refresh their memory of the campus. Or were they new families who could mean 1, 2 or more students attending Coomera Anglican for the next 12 years?
Keep in mind, too, the empty seats.
The inbound methodology and support from Localtag and HubDo became an important element of the College’s marketing strategy.
With empty seats in the Prep Year, which is the seed year for the school, it was important to move fast and get ready for the next Principal’s Tour.
The College leveraged Hubspot to combine their internet marketing into one cohesive platform that was easy to manage and provided the reporting that management really needed.
With only six weeks until the next Principal’s Tour, Localtag HubDo and Ms. Koro built a repeatable inbound campaign to attract and nurture new leads for the College. The campaign was built around repurposed content the College had and leveraged Facebook Ad campaigns to attract specific buyer personas to the school’s landing pages.
Everyone had to move fast with only two weeks to prepare for a planned 4-week campaign.
So, where to start?
The first step was to look at content the College already had. There wasn’t time to write new material, so we looked for the pages with the highest level of engagement (a mix of page hits and average time on page) to find good content to promote.
Content was mapped to personas that Ms. Koro had developed and we were able to update blog posts, build landing pages with lead magnets, and produce social media content ready to be scheduled over four weeks.
Nearly all of this content came from the content audit mentioned above, which was a huge time saver.
With personas and paired content at the ready, we launched the campaign with a mix of paid ads and social sharing. As audiences were built up on blog content and landing pages, remarketing campaigns kicked in to present interested families the opportunity to attend a Principal’s Tour.
The Initial Outcome
The right message got to the right audience, who then took the right actions.
By understanding who was new and who was already enrolled at the College, the marketing department was able to segment their messaging to drive more new family sign-ups while still providing big value to parents of enrolled students.
- 55% of Principal’s Tour attendees were new leads, up from an estimated 35% on previous tours
- An additional 36 new contacts being nurtured through their decision journey
- 7 enrolment applications were submitted from the Principal’s Tour, representing a lifetime value estimated at over $440,000 from just $7,000 total campaign spend (that’s 6,186%
That first campaign attracted over 20 new families to the the first Principal’s Tour of the school year, resulting in 7 applications for enrolment with a value over $440,000 to the school.
In the past, Principal’s Tours were largely attended by parents already interested in the College. The inbound campaign attracted new families, exposing the College to new audiences and increasing the potential for new applicants.
And that’s just one day...
Automated follow-up sequences were built to nurture new leads as they made their decision on where to send their children to school.
For the first time, the College had transparent data and was able to see exactly who attended the Principal’s Tour, how they found out about it, and what the return-on-investment is. The ability to analyze data from first contact through to sale, knowing where the marketing budget is and isn’t working allowed for informed decision making by the administrators.
“The project has been incredible, fast paced and packed with activity. It was reassuring to have such professional and capable team by my side. I feel very fortunate to be working with you all.” ~Elda Koro, Marketing Manager for Coomera Anglican College
The Big Win
The Principal’s Tour campaign was a big win for the College, but it was one event and really only seven new students. To a school with over 1,000 students, seven isn’t make or break.
It’s important to keep in mind what this means to the College. Only two years ago it had a waitlist of more than 250 families waiting to send their children there. Six months ago that waitlist was gone and there were empty seats in Prep.
The big win has been Ms. Koro’s ability to replicate this initial success as the College continues to run campaigns throughout the school year. In fact, as of this writing Coomera Anglican College has a waitlist again.
Localtag and Hubdo are nothing without our clients. Ms. Koro and the team at Coomera Anglican College was a ready and willing partner in this campaign. It’s exciting to implement inbound strategies and even more exciting to see them work quickly.
Coomera Anglican recognised the need to change, which is never easy. We send our sincere thanks to Ms. Koro and the administration of Coomera Anglican for their willingness to adopt a new strategy. As successive campaigns now continue to keep each tour filled, we are proud of the results from Elda Koro's decision to move to Inbound with HubSpot.