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Colleges and Universities Use Radio to Boost Admissions

Columbia College Uses a Brief Radio Campaign to Increase Admissions


Columbia College of Jacksonville wanted to utilize mobile as a way to grab warm leads from radio spots. Columbia traditionally utilizes radio for two weeks, approximately one month from admission deadlines. The university was not targeting a specific demo, as they have a wide range of 4-year degrees and masters programs. Their average student is 35 years old.


1. To generate leads from traditional media (specifically radio),
2. To immediately reach interested parties regarding Columbia College and opportunities offered. A goal of 10 leads was set.
3. Differentiation. All similar universities run similar ads, a mobile element would help the spot stand out amongst competition.


Eight radio stations in the Jacksonville market were bought for two weeks. The ads were tagged at the end with a 10 second mobile call to action. Listeners were invited to text in the keyword DEGREE to [a] short code for more information. No other incentive was given. This was in hopes of getting the most interested respondents.


After all the campaigns were completed, a total of 32 mobile opt-ins were generated (130% of the set goal). Utilizing the email forwarding feature of the mobile software, numbers were immediately sent to the admissions department for follow-up. All numbers were contacted within 24 hours.

From the 32 interested leads, 2 registered for spring classes. Due to the limited amount of time between the radio campaign and the start of classes, it was estimated that an additional 10-15 students would be ready to start in the summer semester. Based on the investment levels for campaign execution, the level of ROI was tremendous!


All goals were met during this promotion, including the number of leads generated. The two students that registered for classes generated enough revenue to pay for multiple mobile campaigns.

The spots produced for local radio stood out among the competition, and the school is looking at launching the mobile campaign nationally.

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