Marketing Case Study – James Madison University

The challenge

In 2012, James Madison University, Outreach & Engagement launched two new certificate programs:

  • a 6-month Paralegal Studies Certificate at $5,995 tuition
  • a 4-week Six Sigma Green Certificate at $2,995 tuition

After experiencing disappointing lead volume and low enrollments for both programs during the first six months, JMH Consulting and Outreach & Engagement decided to run a two-month multi-channel awareness marketing campaign to increase interest. Before the awareness campaign, both certificate programs had canceled their first scheduled classes because of low enrollment.

The strategy

The awareness campaign included comprehensive efforts across several media channels. JMH designed a detailed multi-channel campaign and budget that incorporated email marketing, radio spots, press releases, search engine optimization on the website, conversion optimization and expanded ad campaigns on major search engines and social networks.

The results

The overall performance of the awareness campaign was striking. The campaign exceeded all three goals of 3,100 website visits, 110 prospective leads and 10 program enrollments.

JMU used data from August 1 – October 1, 2012 as baseline data from which to establish goals and measure the success of the campaign. Goals were set with a 15% increase in the website visits and leads; and a 60% increase in program enrollments. The campaign launched February 15th and lasted through April 15th. During this time period, JMU saw:

  • 4,475 prospects visiting during the campaign. 144% of the goal.
  • 190 leads from website inquiry forms. 173% of the goal.
  • 11 enrollments for the Paralegal and Six Sigma certificates. 110% of the goal.[1]

JMU set out to increase website visits, leads and enrollments for the Paralegal and Six Sigma certificate programs.  Each effort was carefully constructed with a communication method that informed and attracted interest in the targeted audiences for the certificates at JMU. The initiatives ran continuously throughout the two month period – giving the message a chance to achieve maximum exposure throughout Virginia and reach target audience members multiple times through several mediums.

“Based on the campaign, results were amazing! Our program enrollments increased by an average of 225%, generating over $65,000 in additional gross revenue.” – Kathleen Gibson, Workforce Development Coordinator, James Madison University



[1] This campaign was only 2 months long, but many certificate students require months of consideration before enrolling. Several additional enrollments have since occurred from the 190 leads generated during this campaign.