MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The University of Wisconsin-Extension, Division of Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning (CEOEL), received five awards in the University Professional and Continuing Education Association’s (UPCEA) 2015 Marketing Awards competition. The awards—two gold and three silver—will be presented at UPCEA’s 24th Annual Marketing and Enrollment Management Seminar in Denver, Colorado this November.
“We are pleased and honored,” said CEOEL Dean David Schejbal, who is currently serving as UPCEA’s 2015–16 president. “As leaders in continuing education in Wisconsin, CEOEL strives to expand the education opportunities for busy and working adults who want to advance their careers, but don’t have time for traditional courses and learning formats. Our marketing and media teams work hard to reach this important population. For most of our students, responding to an ad or a marketing email is the first step in changing their lives.”
“The online education space is extremely competitive and growing more so,” said CEOEL Marketing Director Chris Hofmann. “Compared to private, for-profit providers, we have very limited budgets and staff, so it is critical that we focus on measurable strategies to grow awareness and interest in our programs. The UPCEA Awards are a welcome external validation of our efforts. We are honored to have our work recognized by UPCEA.”
UPCEA judges evaluated entries based on media-specific criteria using a rigorous 25-point scale. To earn a gold award, submissions must score 24 or a perfect 25 points.
And the Winners Are . . .
Gold, Interactive Media, Website—UW Master of Science in Data Science
CEOEL will receive a gold award in the “Website” category for its UW Master of Science in Data Science website. The UW Master of Science in Data Science is a 12-course, 36-credit, online graduate program for busy and working adults who wish to advance their careers in one of the fastest-growing professions of the 21st century.
Launched in June 2015, the site is the latest in a series of leading-edge, program-specific micro-sites built using best practices that include a long-scrolling, mobile-friendly home page, a keyword-driven page architecture, and a content-marketing blog, all on a device-responsive WordPress framework.
From launch on July 8 to July 26, the site generated more than 1,300 visits from organic search (Google, Bing, Yahoo) and more than 350 leads from non-paid (organic and referral) sources, exceeding goal by 133 percent. The keyword-optimized architecture and content quickly put the site on its way toward achieving first-page national rank in Google SERP for multiple keywords.
Gold, Interactive Media, Website—UW Health and Wellness Management
CEOEL will receive a second gold award in the “Website” category for its UW Health and Wellness Management website. UW-Health and Wellness Management is a 63-credit, online bachelor’s degree completion program for returning adult learners and other nontraditional students who wish to start or advance their careers in workplace wellness program management.
Originally launched as a traditional HTML mini-site in 2011, the UW Health and Wellness Management website was completely overhauled in February 2015 with new, more compelling messaging, a long-scrolling, mobile-friendly home page, improved search-engine optimization (SEO), and keyword-driven content blogging on the open-source WordPress framework.
As of August 1, the new site had generated 835 leads from non-paid sources (an average of 152 leads per month), achieved a 166% increase in goal conversion rate from organic search traffic, and achieved page-one national rank in Google search page results for multiple keywords. In addition, the device-responsive template spurred a 203% increase in goal conversion rate from mobile and tablet traffic among organic search traffic. The content-marketing blog continues to bolster the site’s Google search engine results page (SERP) ranking with regular fresh content built around carefully researched, high-volume keywords.
Silver, Most Improved Website—UW Health and Wellness Management
The revamped UW Health and Wellness Management website will also receive a silver award in the “Most Improved Website” category.
Silver, E-Communication, Email—UW Master of Science in Data Science
CEOEL will receive a second silver award in the “E-Communication” category for an email blast sent to data science prospects. This email featured relevant, engaging copy and design, as well as prominent call-to-action buttons, helping it to generate 410 leads—more than four times the original goal—at a cost of just $12 per lead. All told, the email drove 1,642 visits to the UW Data Science website, where recipients averaged 2.68 pages per session.
Silver, Streaming Media/On-Demand Content—UW Flexible Option 30-Second
Finally, CEOEL will receive a third silver award in the “Streaming Media/On-Demand Content” category for a 30-second YouTube spot promoting the University of Wisconsin Flexible Option. The UW Flexible Option is a competency-based education offering that enables busy and working adults to earn a recognized and respected degree or certificate at their own pace, on their own schedules, using knowledge they already have.
A one-week test of the spot generated 275,000 impressions and 1,800 clicks, with 45,000 prospects viewing the full 30-second video. Google ranked the ad “among best in class” in ad recall and “high average” in building brand awareness.
A Growing Tradition of Excellence
This is the second year in a row that CEOEL has received Gold-level recognition in the UPCEA Marketing Awards competition. In 2014, CEOEL earned three awards, including a gold and silver in the categories of “Best Website” and “Most Improved Website” for the UW Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology program, and a bronze in the “Radio” category for a 30-second spot promoting the UW Flexible Option.
To find out more about CEOEL and its online degree programs offered in partnerships with UW System institutions, please visit http://ce.uwex.edu/.
UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online learning in higher education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA serves nearly 400 institutions with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. Each year, the association invites members to enter their finest work in the Marketing Awards competition. Entries are reviewed and judged by a panel of marketing, communication, and design professionals.
About UW-Extension, Division of Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning
A division of UW-Extension, CEOEL works in partnership with all 26 UW System campuses to offer online continuing education programs and lifelong learning opportunities—fulfilling the “Wisconsin Idea” of extending the university’s boundaries to every corner of the state.
CEOEL programs offered in collaboration with UW System campus partners include the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology; bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs in Sustainable Management; a bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness Management; a bachelor of professional studies in Organizational Leadership and Communication; bachelor of science in nursing (RN to BSN) programs for Wisconsin and out-of-state residents; a new master’s degree program in Data Science, and seven additional degree and certificate programs offered in the self-paced, competency-based UW Flexible Option format.