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CASE STUDY

The Tatnall School

Age-and-Stage® campaigns boost enrollment and generate 790% first-year ROI

As the largest day school in its area, The Tatnall School’s educational approach welcomes learning outdoors. Its 110-acre campus features a certified outside classroom, where students from early childhood to high school benefit from differentiated instruction and movement while learning about environmentalism firsthand. Fun, dynamic, experiential moments come together in nature, with a dedicated outdoor music space, art space, habitat, and ropes course.

Yet despite these unique differentiators, the marketing and admissions team at The Tatnall School faced a challenge. They knew their school was something many families in the area were looking for, but enrollment was down in certain Ages-and-Stages. Competition with other schools in the area was high, and the campus had low visibility due to its physical location. School leadership had seen an increase in turnover for several years. The school needed help translating their value proposition into a story that could be shared with prospective families.

Challenges & Opportunities

SCHOOL PROFILE

School Size: 500 Students
Year Founded: 1930
Location: Greenville, DE
Grade Levels: Early Childhood (2s, PK3, PK4) through 12th Grade

THE ASK

Charged by their Board to increase early childhood enrollment as well as overall enrollment, The Tatnall School began searching for a marketing vendor that could help them translate their most unique value propositions into a compelling story that prospective families would want to be part of. 

Partnering with an agency that was experienced working with independent schools was key, as was the ability to have immediate access to return-on-investment metrics and real-time data. Having awareness of North Star Marketing’s Healthy Enrollment™ resources and through word of mouth, Tatnall reached out for a consultation in 2022 seeking support for the 2023-2024 school year.

Goal #1

Increase early childhood enrollment

RESULT

50+ early childhood students enrolled in the fall of 2023, leading to the addition of a 2-year-old program

Goal #2

Increase total school enrollment from 500 to 600+ students

RESULT

36% inquiry growth year over year since 2022

STRATEGY

INQUIRY GENERATION

Knowing that Tatnall was looking to increase enrollment in a focused Age-and-Stage® over a short period of time, the North Star team proposed an Early Learning campaign through paid search and social, encouraging prospective families to download a content asset that provided an overview of the school’s Early Learning Program (PK3-Kindergarten). 

To generate additional enrollment in higher grades, a custom middle school campaign was developed shortly after. After seeing strong results from the first two campaigns, Tatnall partnered with North Star to develop a third campaign with an overview of Ages-and-Stages they served.

*According to the Conversion Benchmark Report published by Unbounce

790%

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

During the 2022-2023 school year, North Star campaigns generated 414 inquiries, culminating in 21 total student enrollments.

*According to the Conversion Benchmark Report published by Unbounce

115

EARLY CHILDHOOD INQUIRIES*

In addition to inquiry generation for this Age-and-Stage®, the client’s early childhood landing page has resulted in conversions more than double the industry benchmark.

*Results from January to August 2023​

68

MIDDLE SCHOOL INQUIRIES*

Targeted Age-and-Stage® campaign efforts led to increased inquiry generation for Grades 6-8 in the 2023-2024 year.

*Results from January to August 2023​

HEALTHY ENROLLMENT™ DASHBOARD​

When looking for an agency to partner with, Tatnall knew it wanted access to real-time data to measure success of specific marketing strategies. North Star’s Healthy Enrollment™ Dashboard was able to deliver that and more with performance metrics that connected to key points in the Family Journey™, including inquiry-to-tour and tour-to-application numbers. 

Insights such as which ads, content, and images were working well in target communities helped the school and North Star determine where resources were best focused, and were used to initiate pivots in strategy when needed. North Star shared data from comparable schools in different markets and states, which Tatnall could use as a reference point for comparison.

“I felt like we were flying blind in terms of using data effectively, particularly with SEO and targeted ad spend. North Star Marketing gave us guidance and direction to empower us to make intelligent decisions for the money we were spending and how we were measuring success.”

Pat Manahan, Director of Advancement

Team Alignment

North Star has continued to support Tatnall’s marketing team through bimonthly conference calls to review campaign performance. As a result, the school has been able to use insights and Healthy Enrollment™ strategies developed during their work with North Star to guide other initiatives led by their in-house marketing team, such as brochures and online content.

RESULTS

790%

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

During the 2022-2023 school year, North Star campaigns generated 414 inquiries, culminating in 21 total student enrollments.

115

Early childhood inquiries*

In addition to inquiry generation for this Age-and-Stage®, the client’s early childhood landing page has resulted in conversions more than double the industry benchmark.

*Results from January to August 2023

68

MIDDLE SCHOOL INQUIRIES​

Targeted Age-and-Stage® campaign efforts led to increased inquiry generation for Grades 6-8 in the 2023-2024 year.

Is your school ready to work towards Healthy Enrollment™?

Learn how online marketing and Age-and-Stage® strategies can help you attract, enroll, and retain more right-fit families.

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