McNally Smith Revitalizes Student Recruitment Efforts With Act-On


Act-On Marketing Automation Quickly Becomes No. 1 Student Acquisition Channel

BEAVERTON, OR–(Marketwired – Sep 17, 2015) – Act-On Software, the leading provider of marketing automation for small and mid-sized businesses, today announced that McNally Smith College of Music, a contemporary music school with a 30-year history of helping students make and sustain careers in music, has adopted Act-On to strengthen its student recruitment and nurturing processes. Since leveraging Act-On Marketing Automation, the college has seen an increase in engagement with prospective students, resulting in higher registration rates.

In 2013 McNally Smith was facing a number of challenging market headwinds: Increased tuition price sensitivity, prospective students questioning the value of college degrees, and a projected decline in high school graduation rates in the Mid-West through 2020. In response, the school needed to reinvigorate their approach to the market.

McNally Smith began looking at marketing automation technology, and Act-On quickly emerged as a standout amongst the other vendors for its strong feature set, ease of implementation, and the open availability of its APIs. The college was up and running on Act-On in under two weeks, enabling them to execute multi-touch lead nurturing campaigns — supporting recruitment events such as open houses held throughout the year and running tuition discount programs.

“Yes, we’re a music school, but it’s also important to think of the college as a business. From this viewpoint, prospective students who request information about our programs are considered ‘leads,’ which is a common B2B or B2C business concept. And most businesses today depend upon modern marketing techniques to nurture leads throughout their purchase decision,” said John Krogh, VP of Marketing at McNally Smith. “Our extended buying cycle also required significantly more visibility, tracking and lead nurturing than we had in place, because our typical incoming student can take up to two years to decide which college they want to attend.”

McNally Smith realized ROI almost immediately, as Act-On allowed the college to effectively close the loop with prospective students like never before. Leveraging the intelligence Act-On gathers on the prospective students’ online behaviors, McNally Smith is able to trigger automated programs tailored to individuals based on their interests and actions — cutting average response times to inquiries from 4 or 5 days to less than 24 hours.

In addition, Act-On’s advanced reporting capabilities have made it easy for McNally Smith to understand the channels and programs that drive conversions. This has enabled McNally Smith to be more agile in their spending, with the ability to quickly pivot and direct attention to the top performing campaigns. The college depends on email to engage students in the early to middle stages of the consideration process, and has seen open and click-through rates soar to 45 percent with Act-On — well above industry averages. This, in turn, has translated to a significant increase in online engagement between prospective students and the McNally Smith admissions department.

Read the case study to get the full story on how McNally Smith uses Act-On Marketing Automation to nurture and acquire new students.

About McNally Smith College of Music
For over 30 years, McNally Smith College of Music has helped students make and sustain a life in the music and audio industries. The College offers a unique curriculum designed to prepare students for careers in music through a combined emphasis on artistry, technology and entrepreneurship. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, McNally Smith offers a variety of degrees and programs for study — including a Master in Music Performance degree, as well as Bachelor degrees, Associate degrees, and Diploma programs. Visit to learn more.

About Act-On Software
Act-On Software provides the leading sales and marketing engagement platform for the 21st century business. Simple to operate but powerful in its results, elegant in its user experience and comprehensive in its functionality, Act-On’s cloud solution powers over 3,000 companies in their engagement efforts across all stages of the customer lifecycle — attract, capture, nurture, convert, and expand. The platform’s out-of-the-box integrations with popular standalone tools are further complemented by Act-On Anywhere™, a business productivity application that extends the use of marketing automation across web-based environments. Act-On supports an open marketing ecosystem that enables businesses to take full advantage of the latest tools and services available, in the context of an integrated engagement and targeting platform. Act-On also offers a best-in-class professional services team, dedicated customer support, and the APEX ecosystem of partners to provide clients with the resources they need to achieve sales and marketing success. Headquartered in Beaverton, OR with eight additional offices across three continents, Act-On has been recognized for its superior product and rapid business growth by Deloitte, Forbes, and Inc. Magazine. For more information, visit

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