Northwood University

3 times as many campus visits in the first few weeks.

7% increase in prospects expressing high interest.

Achieved enrollment goals, reversing a negative trend.


Eliminate waste, optimize marketing dollars, and assist enrollment efforts.


We conducted an extensive research effort for Northwood University that:

  • Identified and defined their most-likely-to-enroll student in terms that could be used to more precisely target look-a-like students
  • Identified where those students and their look-alikes live for more precise geographic targeting
  • Defined who their influencers are, so we’re reaching all the right people
  • Identified the most compelling message points for students at each stage of the college search process; information gathering, short-listing, application and enrollment, for deeper engagement
  • Identified optimal timing and channels for communicating with prospects

We followed the research with a comprehensive implementation plan that included:

  • A new competitively differentiated brand statement that positions Northwood around benefits that are credible and relevant to all constituents
  • Testing new communications materials, including direct mail, email and collateral materials
  • New strategies for prioritizing and optimizing the enrollment outreach to high schools
  • A new media mix for reaching students and their influencers that includes brand building and lead generation tactics
  • Revamped automated communication tracks for nurturing leads at different stages of the enrollment process


Northwood began to feel the impact immediately.

  • Within the first few weeks after launching the direct communications, admissions scheduled almost three times as many campus visits versus the prior year, a key indicator of student interest. Campus visits continue to outperform last year’s numbers
  • Having a strategic approach to guide the admissions department in their outreach efforts has resulted in reaching more likely to enroll students. To date, 47% of high school students responding to an in-class survey have expressed a “high interest” in Northwood, a 7% increase over last year’s respondents
  • A negative trend in enrollment was reversed and enrollment goals were achieved for undergraduate, graduate and adult students
Undergraduate recruiting literature


Advertising display


Graduate direct mail