Bob Johnson's Blog on Higher Education Marketing

Capella starts new online advertising... banner ads

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Is there growth potential in online doctoral programs? Capella University thinks there is. 

Not quite sure when the ads first started, but sometime in the last week or so I've noticed a new campaign for Capella appearing as banner ads on various websites.

The ad is very simple and doesn't feature any wiggly dancers or fetching women that seem out of place on other group ads for online college and university programs. Other than the name, the ad copy is limited to "Over 30 doctoral specializations, all focused on advancing your career." The call to action is for receipt of a "free university guide."

Follow the quest for a guide and you arrive at http://capellalearning.net/default.aspx?v=unilong 

Easy to Scan Degree Offerings

Some points of note about the landing page:

  • You'll see a very visible question: "Does Capella have my program?" that leads to an easy to scan chart of the degree programs available. Seems very effective to answer that critical first question, "Do they have what I want to study."
  • Visitors are told clearly that a follow-up call will come along if you complete the inquiry form as requested. That's a nice way to sort out who's serious from who is not. (And of course, if you just want the guide, you don't have to give them a real phone number.)
  • At the bottom, you have an option to pick up the phone and call.

Complete the form and you get a quick thank you with a note that "An enrollment counselor will be contacting you."

There's also a PDF version of what I suspect is the guide (called "Capella Degree Programs") that will come in the mail. What's unusual about this one is that you can actually read it online without having to increase and decrease the size of the image to see the photos and read the print. Nicely done for a PDF. You can move directly from the content page to the major content area of most interest, so you don't have to scroll through each one of the 38 pages in the guide.

Building the Capella University Brand

Although the ad highlights doctoral degrees, the program information outlines everything available from the bachelor's level up. That makes sense, since many people who explore the opportunity may aspire to a doctoral degree without yet having the earlier degrees in place. And for some visitors, it might enhance the Capella brand to associate the bachelors and masters programs with the doctoral offerings.

Test the form for yourself at http://capellalearning.net/default.aspx?v=unilong

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