Case Study: Featured Programs Lead to More Enrollments

July 10, 2019

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In this A/B test, featuring certain items on the homepage was a big success — but only if the full list of offerings was also visible.

The Brand

A private, non-profit, accredited university in New England with a huge offering of on-campus and online programs ranging from Associate to Doctoral degrees. The University serves over 90,000 online students, and so relies on its websites to guide prospective students to the program right for them.

Optimization

This brand has been using SiteSpect for several years, and has continually refined its web properties. In this A/B test, they focused exclusively on mobile optimization. In the control, the degrees page featured a complete list of over 200 programs. The team thought that by featuring a smaller selection of popular programs, visitors would be more likely to click on one and request information. Further, they suspected that playing on the Bandwagon Effect by building a reputation for specific programs through enrollment, they would build trust and motivate prospective students follow up for information.

They built two variations in SiteSpect. Both featured popular programs on the degrees page. Variation 1 displayed the rest of the degree programs in an accordion that required an additional click. Variation 2 kept the list visible on the homepage. The degrees page in this variation also linked to related pages, such as affordability and accreditation.

This campaign ran for 34 days, and saw almost 60,000 users.

Results

For this campaign, Variation 1 negatively impacted conversion, and so was removed from the campaign after the first week. The team thought that having the full list of programs hidden behind a click might have given users the impression that the University had fewer offerings.

In Variation 2, form submissions to request more information increased by over 6%. This works out to a projected incremental revenue increase of more than $350,000. Interestingly, the numbers were even more dramatic for repeat users, where the increase in submissions increased by 16%.

The trend here suggests that if you have important information, don’t hide it behind a click — especially on mobile. Going forward, this brand will prioritize making their offerings visible even while promoting a subset.

To learn more about SiteSpect, visit our website.

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Luke Hardwick is a Manager of Customer Success at SiteSpect, consulting for SiteSpect users on their optimization and personalization road maps and projects. Luke is based in London and has experience as an conversion rate optimization specialist across many softwares before landing at SiteSpect.

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