Customer Story

Using a new website as a strategic admissions tool

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Marvelwood School is a college preparatory private boarding school located in Kent, Connecticut. At Marvelwood, “family” takes many forms. It’s both a philosophy and a feeling – one that visitors repeatedly say is evident across campus. Intentionally sized to facilitate close connections, Marvelwood takes pride in the purposeful planning of academic, extracurricular, residential, and social initiatives that promote open communication, foster meaningful relationships, and provide a true sense of belonging.

We sat down with Natalie Smith, Director of Advancement and Marketing at Marvelwood School, to learn more about how a Digistorm website has helped her school.

The challenge

“We've got a marketing team, as well as an advancement and admissions team. In total, there’s six people, and we do everything from our fundraising and marketing of our annual fund, to the promotion of our admissions and the school itself.”

For Marvelwood, an optimized school website is key for their admissions process.

"We’re in rural Connecticut, we don’t have a huge population, and our population is usually coming from a distance. So having a website that can show this campus, can articulate what our faculty can do and what kind of specialty Marvelwood offers is key to us."

“The ability to customize the website to look exactly like our new brand was a really strong sell for us. We found with our previous site that we had too many pages, and our message was inconsistent. So moving to Digistorm allowed us to really strategically look at what we were communicating and how we were sending kind of the whole experience, and that was really key to making the change.”

Marvelwood's rebranding

As Marvelwood was confident in their newly refreshed brand, they were looking for a partner who could help them communicate their unique brand story in the digital space.

They wanted to work with someone who could offer expertise and guidance for digital and marketing best practices. They wanted their website to be cutting edge and have all the most up to date and relevant features, and a website which would distinguish them from their competitors.

Marvelwood's website needs

It’s common for schools to alter their brand when investing in a new website, but Marvelwood was already confident in its established brand, and therefore was more focused on communicating that effectively in the digital space.

While Marvelwood was already confident in their brand, they still valued working with someone who could offer expertise and guidance for digital and marketing best practices. Afterall, they still wanted their website to be cutting edge and have all the most up to date and relevant features, and a website which would distinguish them from their competitors.

One of our goals as a school is to increase enrollments, and so having a website that can offer the story of the school, information of the school and quickly get them to the inquiry process was absolutely vital.

Working with Digistorm

“Working with Digistorm was fantastic, they were able to customize everything that we needed in our site, so that we could be really versatile with our audience as well as complement our new brand. We had a really quick launch with Digistorm, and we’ve heard nothing but positive results.”

Natalie told us how Marvelwood’s Google analytics scores improved after implementing their new website, with more hits and traffic than ever. This ultimately results in more enrollments, which is a long term strategic goal for the team at Marvelwood.

How the new website helped

When it comes to your school’s admissions journey, the user experience is one of the most (if not the most) important factors. Marvelwood understood this, which is why they placed such an emphasis on the look and feel of their new website, which they understand to be the central hub of their online presence, and therefore one of the biggest user experience touch points for future families.

The big benefit for Marvelwood was their ability to send a more concise message to prospective families, and strategically portray themselves to showcase their unique selling points to their specific audience.

With the new website it was much easier to guide their target audience with clear calls to action, who would be able to move to the next stage in the admissions pipeline in a more effective way. The cleaner layout is great for their existing community as well, who are able to find important information easily.

On the onboarding process

An important step in the new website process was the onboarding, which helped the Marvelwood team to quickly and easily adapt to the new website and hit the ground running.

“The onboarding support was fantastic. I worked with our rep as well as a programmer and I was able to meet with them pretty consistently. They were able to customize our needs, they were able to really help teach me and our team how to use it optimally. It was easy peesy.”

Once the Marvelwood team was up to date with everything they needed to know, the sky was the limit for their team, and they were in a better position to reach their ambitious admissions goals.

"If you want an absolutely fantastic aesthetic with a competitive price, I think that Digistorm is your company. They offer really high quality service, design, and functionality."

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