When Caterpillar, Duke Energy, and other world-class organizations want to nurture their top talent, they send their executives to Corporate Executive Development programs. For the elite universities that provide these programs, corporate clients mean million-dollar agreements—which can bring tens of millions in ROI to the corporate client.
It's a high-stakes arrangement in which universities must demonstrate their expertise, show how they mold their programs to the needs of their clients, and connect the investment to a financial payoff.
A Brand in Idle
One university—which the Financial Times ranked as having one of the world's top corporate executive development programs—wanted to add new clients.
The world knew the University's brand—be it from educational excellence, alumni prominence, or athletic prowess. The trick was to use the brand to open up conversations with executives who could make million-dollar purchasing decisions.
I'll Make that Call
The University and Rally Point felt HR executives at the world's largest companies would respond well to relevant, quality content that addressed the recipient by name, bore the university's name, and came from a Dean's email address.
We acquired the full contact information of thousands of qualified decision makers through renting and buying lists. For the offer, top professors wrote white papers which shared case studies, anecdotes, and practical steps on topics that aligned with the University's executive program offerings.
The marketing campaigns would go in waves. Every month, each prospect would receive emails featuring that month's white paper. An e-blast went out showcasing the first white paper. A second e-blast went out a week later to those who hadn't opened the first e-blast. It showcased the same white paper, but with a different subject line and marketing copy—different executives often need a different hook to start reading (and benefiting) from the same content.
Over 450 executives opened the white paper PDF. The program's director looked at each of the 450 names and starred 75% of them as good fits, worthy of phone-based follow up.
All of these leads offered the University a great long-term opportunity to win new corporate clients, and it is currently nurturing these leads and generating new ones with similar successive marketing campaigns.
In the short-term, after following up on the leads with a voicemail and personalized email, the University received 90 emails and phone calls from interested executives. The Managing Director of Corporate Development chose to talk with 25 of the executives.
The only downside was that the Managing Director felt briefly overwhelmed from the wave of inbound leads—it was something he had never quite experienced at the University before.
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Key Takeaway: By pairing voicemail follow-up with a personalized email (in a twelve-hour period), a staggering 27% of white paper readers proactively wrote or called the University.