Trident University

Improving Lead-to-Start Rates By 60% Through Social Nurturing

Trident University Online


After several quarters of successful lead and enrollment generation efforts for Trident, we observed a start rate that was approximately 30% lower than projected. The lead quality, targeting, and platform metrics were positive, but the down-funnel data showed that there was an opportunity to accelerate start velocity and increase overall start volume.


To do so, our team developed a strategy to grow lead-to-enrollment and enrollment-to-start rates using social nurturing. Our hypothesis would be tested by showing a randomized group of leads the new messaging on Facebook and Instagram, while 20% of the audience received none.

Working with the admissions team, we developed a messaging and multichannel paid marketing strategy to reach students throughout their admissions journey. New leads received more information about how Trident supports education goals and fits the unique lifestyle needs of their core demographic: members of the military. This encouraging, supportive messaging, coupled with helpful resources that help them plan their education drove incredible results.

To understand how the campaigns influenced these populations, we worked with their enrollment team closely, mapping all lead data through their CRM and then back into the ad platforms. We ensured that each prospect had a personalized journey, based on how they engaged with the content. To measure lift based on the marketing, we created a “hold out” population, which served as the control and received no additional messaging. The experiment populations received variations of nurture messaging.

We achieved a 60% lift in lead-to-enrollment rates, and a 35% lift in lead-to start rates in the populations who received the nurture track. The campaign expanded over time to include larger audiences – testing different “aged” leads – as well as more rich media and interactive experiences.

Lead to Start Rates
Lead to Enrollment Rates
Lead to Application Rate