Lead Forensics

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NOVA: Creating a unique appeal.

NOVA: Creating a unique appeal.

As the largest public educational institution in Virginia and the second largest community college in the US, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) originally came to us to drive enrollment through digital advertising. But with no central CRM and a website tailored only to existing students, it was clear they needed a better way to engage with prospective students and drive them to enroll.

Modern Consumer Insight

Most prospective students are attending community college for specific reasons: transferring education, continuing education, career transitions—or they are undecided. Each reason greatly impacts the messaging we needed to use to successfully engage them.


The decision to attend college isn’t an easy one: people choose community colleges for many different reasons. NOVA needed both to appeal to the unique situations of each prospect in order to convince them to choose NOVA, as well as a way to keep interested prospects “warm” after they visited the new website.


The site: We created a microsite for prospective students that sorted them into funnels depending on their specific educational needs. Every page of the site had a lead capture form that noted and stored each student’s path page. Targeted digital ads drove prospects to the microsite.

The nurture series: Then we developed four versions of an email series to nurture prospects who completed the lead forms on the new NOVA website. Based on their path — either given on the form or deduced from what page they were on — they received the right messaging and supportive content they needed to get started. Content was tailored to the area of study they indicated or page they were on (like nursing or computer sciences). The series nudged the prospect over a two-week window, encouraging them to continue their consideration of NOVA and ultimately to drive them to enroll. If the call center talked to a student live and realized that person was definitely NOT a fit, they could mark a student as “do not nurture” and that student would come out of the automated series.



Open rate for the first email in the series


Average click-to-open rate


Return visits to the admissions site