University Case Study

Background & Opportunity

Institute Snapshot: Accredited non-profit online university
Institution Size: Over 70,000 online students
Services Utilized: Performance marketing

As we all know, online education is an increasingly crowded and competitive vertical. New programs of study are entering the market every day, competing for digital presence, brand awareness, and most of all… students. Traditionally, online universities leverage a variety of digital channels to reach prospective students, with an emphasis on organic rankings and paid search initiatives. In addition, time and resources are spent on affiliate marketing agencies to supplement these efforts.

Recently, a well-respected and accredited non-profit online university approached us. Their goal was to respond to the needs of their existing students by offering additional higher education programs. Rather than reach out to these students by doing more of the same, adHere proposed a new approach: Performance Social Media Marketing.


The Challenge

This online university, like so many others, had not yet recognized or embraced the omnipresence and interactive abilities of social media marketing to prospective students. Oftentimes, social media is perceived to be either ancillary or expensive. However, when done correctly and with purpose, social media marketing is both flexible and scalable, and delivers greater results than other, more costly marketing campaigns.


The Solution

Our proprietary social media consumer behavior study, coupled with ongoing data analysis, identified and hyper-targeted those students most likely to engage with the university’s higher education offerings. adHere implemented a social media marketing strategy that targeted, retargeted, engaged, and warmed leads through a broad range of social media channels. This highly targeted, multi-faceted approach delivered highly qualified, high-intent prospective student leads that were:

  • Easily reachable
  • Likely to convert
  • Already engaged with the University and its brand
  • Ready to act
  • NOT co-registered job or scholarship leads
  • 100% exclusive

The Results

2,500% Growth


Lowered CPE by $5k+


Named a Tier 1 Vendor


Within 6 months of initiating this campaign, adHere delivered some of the most competitive conversion and cost metrics that this university had ever realized. As a result, adHere was named a Tier 1 vendor, a designation that came with a growing commitment from the institution to scale performance social media efforts managed by adHere. To date, adHere has successfully scaled this campaign by over 2,500% and reduced the school’s cost to acquire and enroll a new student from $7,000+ to less than $2,000. And as time goes on, the campaign keeps learning, growing, and becoming even more successful.