Skip to main
University-wide Navigation

The University of Kentucky has achieved remarkable success in recent years by strategically combining institutional research, data analytics, and sophisticated digital marketing concepts backed by Salesforce CRM to drive record enrollment and retention rates. By leveraging the power of data-driven decision-making and targeted digital marketing and communication strategies, the institution has not only attracted a larger number of students but also ensured their continued academic journey. UK Information Technology Services Enterprise Salesforce Operations team and the Institutional Research, Analytics, & Decision Support (IRADS) team’s innovative approach has contributed to the outstanding results in 2022-23. 

The University of Kentucky's success in enrollment, retention and graduation can be attributed, in part, to its robust institutional research and decision support efforts. By analyzing historical data, conducting market research, and studying demographic trends, the institution gained valuable insights into the factors that influenced students' decision-making processes. Understanding these dynamics allowed the university to identify key opportunities and develop targeted recruitment strategies tailored to the needs and preferences of prospective students. 

Utilizing data analytics, the University of Kentucky developed a comprehensive understanding of its prospective students and used this knowledge to personalize marketing efforts. By segmenting the student population based on demographics, interests, and academic goals, the institution was able to tailor marketing campaigns and outreach activities accordingly. Through targeted messaging, personalized communication, and strategic engagement via multiple channels (e.g., email, text/SMS, direct mail, phone), the University effectively captured the attention of prospective students, effectively showcasing the unique opportunities available at the institution. Opportunities showcased included next steps on how to engage with the University, customized to the recipient based on marketing analytics and outcomes. 

The integration of Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, including digital communication platform Marketing Cloud, played a pivotal role in the University of Kentucky's enrollment and retention success. By utilizing Salesforce CRM, the institution streamlined its recruitment and admissions processes, enabling seamless communication with prospective students from initial inquiry to enrollment. The Enterprise Salesforce Operations team provided a centralized hub for managing student data, tracking interactions, and nurturing relationships. This facilitated efficient and effective communication with students, ensuring timely responses to inquiries, personalized follow-ups, and targeted messaging throughout their enrollment journey. 

The University of Kentucky recognized the importance of engaging students beyond the initial recruitment phase to foster their long-term success and retention. Leveraging Salesforce CRM's capabilities, the institution implemented strategies to enhance student engagement and support. By leveraging data analytics to identify at-risk students, the university proactively intervened, providing personalized support, mentoring programs, and academic resources to address their specific needs. This holistic approach to student success contributed to higher retention rates, as students felt supported and connected to the university community. 

The University of Kentucky's commitment to evidence-based, data-driven decision-making extended beyond the recruitment and retention phases. The institution leveraged data analytics to continually assess and improve its strategies and most importantly, shared them with the University community. The IRADS team worked to develop customized Tableau workbooks for colleges to review and met with them individually to translate and assist with strategies to obtain recruitment and retention goals. By analyzing enrollment patterns, student feedback, and engagement metrics, the University identified areas for enhancement, refining its strategic communication marketing approaches and student support initiatives. Through the advanced Salesforce platform and CRM tools, teams made sure the right message got to the appropriate students at the optimal time. This iterative process allowed the institution to adapt to changing dynamics and ensure sustained success in subsequent semesters. 

The University of Kentucky's achievement of record enrollment, retention and graduation rates in 2022-23 serves as a testament to the power of institutional research, data analytics, and Salesforce CRM integration. By utilizing data-driven insights, personalizing marketing efforts, and nurturing student engagement, the university effectively attracted and retained a larger number of students. This holistic and data-centered approach highlights the institution's commitment to enhancing the student experience and fostering long-term success. As the University of Kentucky continues to leverage these strategies, it positions itself as a model for other institutions seeking to drive enrollment, improve retention, and create a vibrant and thriving academic community.