Referral Programs Development

MBA referral program

Why implement an MBA referral program?

Many MBA programs are seeking application growth, but business schools can struggle at a time when candidates are delaying their plans for graduate school due to the sluggish economic turnaround and decreasing corporate sponsorship.

In an effort to attract top talent, business schools may be challenged to find candidates who meet all the necessary qualifications for admission. For example, MBA admissions officers may have a candidate with strong leadership skills and an impressive resume but less than stellar academic records or test scores. Or, the ideal MBA candidate on paper may not be able to matriculate due to timing or funding concerns. 

A targeted referral program is an excellent source of lead generation as it provides a preliminary screening of MBA candidates through the strong network of stakeholders who have a vested interest in your business school. In addition, prospective MBA students who come through a referral program will be more likely to matriculate thereby increasing operational efficiency throughout the entire MBA admissions pipeline.

Common questions:

  • How do we design and implement a referral program to market our MBA program?
  • How do we formalize a casual and informal "word of mouth" program to improve our business school application yield?
  • How do we enhance an existing referral program to increase MBA applications?
  • Which constituencies should be included in our referral campaigns  to complement our business school recruiting efforts?
  • How do we optimize our referral program calendar to strengthen our enrollment yield for this recruiting season?
  • Which communications channels are best to drive a call to action? How do we promote an online referral program?
  • How do we create influential messaging in our business school communications to encourage nominations?
  • How can we leverage social media to assist with MBA referral programs?
  • How can we leverage our engagements with students and alumni to make the referral ask?
  • What incentive programs should we consider for MBA referrals? 

How we can help:

We can help you design and implement a robust referral program to boost MBA recruitment.

  • Design and launch a new business school referral program using multiple communication channels.
  • Evaluate, enhance, and expand an existing MBA referral program to increase MBA applications.
  • Formalize a casual referral process as part of an overall MBA program marketing strategy.
  • Consult on timing and scheduling of referral campaigns to maximize MBA enrollment yields.
  • Write compelling content for referral campaigns in business school marketing communications.
  • Identify social media channels for MBA referral systems.
  • Design online submission form to nominate colleagues, direct reports, superiors, friends, neighbors, relatives.
  • Design events to drive alumni engagement and referrals.
  • Write a press release to announce a new or enhanced business school referral program.
  • Establish tracking system to gauge effectiveness of MBA referral programs in your business school application funnel.