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Education Marketing ROI: How to Calculate and Improve It

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You’re a marketer at the esteemed Rivendell University, where you enjoy a beautiful campus and an extensive dining plan. You’re trying to figure out how to spend the university’s marketing budget, but you don’t know which of your campaigns are bringing in a sizeable return on investment (ROI).

Okay, Rivendell University is made-up. But you may still find yourself facing this same problem at your real-life school. How can you calculate your ROI on each of your campaigns? Moreover, once you do calculate it, what can you do to improve it?

Fortunately, there are various ways to find and improve education ROI, and we’ll cover many of them below. Read on to learn more about calculating and boosting your education marketing ROI.

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How to measure educator ROI

Your first question might be, “Is it simple to calculate educator ROI, or complicated?”

Well… it’s sort of both.

On its face, ROI calculations aren’t a complex process. You’re essentially just subtracting a campaign’s expenses from its earnings to figure out what your overall profit is. And once you have a solid ROI formula that works for you, you just plug in numbers to get your answer.

For example, here’s a common ROI formula:

((total earnings – total expenses)/total expenses) X 100

Simply plug in your total expenses and total earnings to get your ROI as a percentage. For example, if you spend $400 and make $1100, you get (1100 – 400)/400  100 = 175%. That means you earned 175% of your initial investment.

As you can see, then, calculating your ROI is simple once you have a formula. But it’s getting to that point that’s the complicated part.

After all, what numbers are you using? You need to determine what expenses and earnings you’re including in your totals. You have to consider all the different types of expenses, whether directly related to a campaign or indirectly. Some factors to consider include:

  • Marketers’ salary
  • Marketing tool subscriptions
  • Ad spend
  • And more!

Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine how many expenses you’re contributing to your campaigns and factor them into your calculations. Once you do, though, you can start on your way to driving bigger and better results for your marketing.

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How to improve education ROI

Once you’ve successfully calculated your university ROI, you may find yourself looking at it in disappointment. “I thought we were earning a much bigger profit than that!” you might say. “How can I improve these numbers?”

Don’t worry — you’ve got quite a few options. There are a variety of ways to improve education ROI, and we’ve outlined five of them below.

Here are five ways to give your education marketing ROI a boost!

1. Monitor your campaign analytics

One of the best ways to boost educator ROI is to simply pay attention to your campaigns. Monitor your campaigns’ progress by keeping an eye on key metrics like conversion rate and click-through rate (CTR), which will clue you in on how they’re performing.

High-performing marketing materials demonstrate what techniques are working, and might be worth a larger portion of your budget. For low-performing content, on the other hand, you’ll want to either reoptimize or eliminate it from your campaigns.

By boosting the marketing materials that work and improving or removing the ones that don’t, you can ensure that you’re getting the best possible results from your overall campaign. That, in turn, will do a lot to drive up your university ROI.

2. Take advantage of social media

Did you know that the average user spends 28% of their Internet time on social media? That makes platforms like Facebook and Twitter ideal spots for you to market to your audience, allowing you to reach people who might not find you on Google.


Social media is a fantastic way to boost your ROI. Social media is free and has the potential to drive large numbers of conversions — meaning you can earn plenty of revenue with minimal expenses.

Another way you can use social media is by running paid social media ads, which appear right in users’ feeds. You can even target people based on demographics like age and location, helping you reach the ideal student and maximize your revenue.

3. Ignore vanity metrics

It’s critical to monitor your analytics of your campaigns, but it’s equally critical to make sure you’re monitoring the right analytics. You don’t want to get caught up in things that don’t matter, which is why you should avoid monitoring vanity metrics.

What are vanity metrics? In short, they’re metrics — typically specific to social media — that look good, but don’t have any concrete impact on your revenue. Things such as your follower count and the number of likes on a post are vanity metrics.

Just because 300 people liked your latest post on your new STEM program doesn’t mean you’re getting any money from them. You want to stay focused on metrics like conversion rate, which are directly tied to your ROI.

4. Experiment with new options

In addition to monitoring the ads and campaigns you’re already running, try to consistently test out new options. You may find a campaign format that works fabulously for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do better.

That doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind and make every ad a risky experiment. You should keep running your tried-and-true ads. But while you’re doing that, have a few experiments going on the side. Test out new ad formats or channels to see what works.

On occasion, you may strike gold with a new idea that can send your revenue rocketing upward — and when that happens, you’ll be very glad you kept experimenting.

5. Address user search intent

A final ROI optimization tip is to focus all your marketing content on addressing user search intent — that is, what users are looking for when they encounter your content.

This tip is particularly important when you’re targeting specific keywords, like with paid search ads. You don’t want to target a keyword like “[your university] sports team tryouts” and then lead users to a page that advertises football ticket sales — that’s not what they wanted to find!

To verify search intent for a given keyword, you can look at that keyword’s current organic rankings. The top-ranking content should give you a solid idea of what people are looking for when they search for that query.

And when you give users what they’re looking for in their searches, more of them will engage with your university, likely driving up your ROI significantly.

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WebFX can optimize your education marketing ROI

Struggling to get your ROI as high as you’d like? WebFX can help! With over 25 years of digital marketing experience, we have everything it takes to drive up your university ROI.

With our digital marketing services, you’ll get help optimizing your marketing for each of the tips listed above and more. You’ll also receive a dedicated account representative, who will keep you closely informed about everything we do for your school.

Just give us a call at 888-601-5359 or contact us online to get started today!