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How We've Helped University Prep Stay Ahead of Declining Enrollment by Targeted Digital Media and Parent Relationship Management



University Prep (also known as U Prep) is a free charter school in the Denver Public Schools system, which aims to prepare their scholars for college and pursue their dreams. For almost a decade, U Prep successfully relied on traditional methods for recruitment and enrollment. However, traditional methods were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited the ability of U Prep and schools like it to meet and engage with interested parents.


In 2019, U Prep’s founder and Mentor to Uriel Berrum (Effct’s co-founder) reached out to us for help. He needed to modernize the school’s enrollment strategy to meet the challenges of the present day. The result has been three consecutive years of partnership between Effct and U Prep across the 2020, 2021 and 2022 enrollment periods to execute a digital enrollment and outreach strategy. Through our combined efforts, which used Facebook and Google advertising, texting campaigns, and intake forms, we managed to secure new parent leads for the school. 


Effct fundamentally helped onboard U Prep with a parent-relationship management system, developed automated email and text messaging scripts, and designed an intake form that tracked submissions through Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics. We also experimented with new tactics, such as using Facebook Messenger ads that allowed parents to immediately begin chatting with U Prep’s team.

During our ongoing partnership, we have been able to refine and improve our tactics and strategies, resulting in consecutive year-over-year improvements in our results. Over the course of our three years working together, we have been able to consistently increase our overall impressions, generate more qualified leads, and reach even more families, all while reducing our overall investment per lead. In the end, our campaigns have seen better results at a more efficient rate, with our 2022 campaign achieving 25% more impressions, 228% more leads, and a 46% lower investment per lead when compared to our original 2020 campaign.

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What excites us most about working with Effct is two-fold. First, their commitment to learning/understanding our organization and our unique value proposition is tremendous. At every turn there has been a genuine and meaningful effort to truly ‘get what we do’ to ensure all communication is aligned to our mission, core identity and values.


Secondly, they are driven by results. The team at Effct holds themselves accountable to producing outcomes and engages in analysis efforts that illustrate where success is coming from as well as where there are opportunities for improvement. Knowing the importance of converting digital marketing/outreach efforts into tangible outcomes, it’s great to have a partner in the work who is diligently focused on producing results.

David Singer

Founder, University Prep Schools

By the Numbers (2020-2022)

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Digital Tactics

Targeted Text Messaging

Over the course of our partnership with U Prep, we have sent thousands of text messages to interested parents in order to reach them where they are and immediately begin building a relationship. In 2022, we sent 27,159 messages, generating 121 parent leads for only $34 a lead.

Landing Page Development

We designed a sticky landing page to track our intake form submissions throughout our campaign. This page served as a space for parents to commit to the idea of learning more about U Prep. From there, the U Prep Enrollment Office reached out to the interested parents and started enrollment conversations.


By understanding our target audience we deployed hyper targeted ads through Facebook and Google to ensure we were able to reach parents searching for schools in the Denver area. During our 2022 campaign, we ran an Awareness & Engagement campaign for U Prep on Facebook that brought 1,959 parents to our website.

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During our second year of working with U Prep, our team at Effct was motivated to create a new system that would help manage relationships with parents and make the enrollment process more efficient for schools. We called this new system ScholarLead, and it's now being used by U Prep as we continue our fourth year of partnership. By using a highly efficient lead generation campaign and a simple parent-relationship management system, we aim to achieve better results than in previous years.

Our 2022 campaign showed us that Facebook is an excellent platform for reaching and engaging with parents. Using this platform, we were able to generate leads at a much lower cost than before. In the end, we were able to generate 476 leads on Facebook, which was a significant improvement from the 406 leads we generated on Facebook during the previous enrollment season. These Facebook leads accounted for 72% of our total leads for the 2022 campaign.

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