Nyack College


Nyack College is a private, Christian college, affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and is located in New York City. Nyack College is recognized as the most diverse Christian College in NYC, and has three academic divisions: the Alliance Theological Seminary, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Graduate and Professional Programs.


  • Industry: Education
  • Location: New York, NY and Jersey City, NJ
  • Size: 1,944 total students


The Ask

Nyack College approached ESM with the task of increasing overall awareness about the school and increase year over year 2019/2020 enrollment numbers. 

The primary focus of this campaign was generating increased enrollments for their undergraduate programs and increasing awareness of their new Jersey City residential campus.

The Challenge

As a non-traditional school, Nyack College services both undergraduate, graduate, and non-traditional students (older age demographics, users with unconventional life paths, etc). With their primary targets being users within the five boroughs and northern NJ, this provided both a unique challenge and opportunity when developing targeting strategies and a media channel/tactic mix.

Why it Worked

The Approach

Nyack had previously run their media in-house, with their budget heavily weighted towards traditional channels – namely, traditional radio. In an effort to enhance their market presence and increase bottom funnel conversions without entirely uprooting the awareness efforts they had in place, we reallocated their marketing spend to include both traditional tactics geared at generating brand awareness and recognition, and heavied up the budget towards digital tactics with more robust audience and geographical targeting capabilities, to drive applications. 

The Solution

Digital tactics we utilized for the 19/20 Student Recruitment Campaign  included: 

  • Google Paid Search ads with geo-targeted bid caps.
  • An assortment of programmatic digital display, video, and audio tactics that target both first-party and third-party data sets for in-market users and a growing, brand approved site list.
  • A flighted, paid social media plan that aimed at improving site traffic and generating new leads.


Campaign Results

At the campaigns launch, our primary goals were to increase qualified leads and applications, and to ultimately drive new student enrollments. The uncertainty of navigating student enrollments in a Covid-19 environment was considered when optimizing the campaign for success, and levels of enrollment increased year over year despite the environmental impact.