Portland English Language Academy: Logo Redesign & Multilingual Website
Portland English Language Academy worked with GRAYBOX to improve their marketing efforts. This included having an improved logo design and a site better optimized for marketing. GRAYBOX worked with PELA as their digital partner to improve their brand, their social presence, their web traffic and more through creative strategies and close engagement with the PELA team.
GRAYBOX worked with PELA to understand their needs and optimize marketing for long-term success.
PELA has since had a growing social presence and significantly higher and sustainable web engagement.
514%More Website Sessions
609%Increase in SEO visitors
The Overall Problem
Portland English Language Academy (PELA) is a school where international students come to the US to study English on a short-term basis (generally about 6-12 weeks). To capture the interest of international students, PELA needed to communicate why their school and the city of Portland were superior choices for the audience as opposed to other schools.
PELA came to GRAYBOX with a 5+ year old WordPress website and a desire to more closely align their digital presence with their brand. The bulk of PELA’s target audience were accessing the site on the go from their phones and their existing site was not optimized for mobile.
Working with GRAYBOX has been a great experience for us. The advice and information we receive from them is always thoughtful and effective. It has been a great team effort in that they listen to us and act upon what we need them to do while also taking the lead and guiding us when that is what is needed. Our web traffic and the applications we have received has more than doubled over last year. GRAYBOX has also given us great direction and assistance on growing our social media presence. Moreover, the logo they created for us has really been a home-run. We have been able to use it in a lot of creative ways around our school and in our marketing. I am very excited about the future of our school thanks to GRAYBOX’s efforts.
1. Brand Definition
GRAYBOX dove deep into PELA’s brand to identify the school’s unique selling points and understand the audience’s decision-making process. One of PELA’s biggest challenges is to convince their prospective students to come to Portland to study when there were so many other schools in big cities like New York City or Los Angeles. Once it became clear how the existing visual expression of the brand was incongruous with who PELA is, our strategists and designers got to work redesigning the logo and overhauling the website.
2. Wireframing & Design of Multi-Lingual Website
Largely consumed on mobile, the website needed to be intuitive, welcoming, and feel fresh and fun. The user insights uncovered in our brand definition phase directly informed the structure and content types for the website. Through wireframing we were able to work closely with the client to craft a digital experience that told the story of the school and highlighted top selling points for the company and city of Portland.
We wanted the website to be flexible and evolve with the school as they grew. GRAYBOX created a modular structure for the site that is based on content types such as testimonials and teacher bios. This enabled us to easily shuffle content placement and presentation to craft a compelling user experience. The new website also integrates new student applications with digital databases at PELA, helping to streamline the intake process.
Once the brand and website were dialed in, they needed traffic. PELA engaged GRAYBOX to help them reach enrollment and sales goals through strategic marketing. We developed a marketing plan built around their budget and designed to focus on the school’s growth goals. Tactics included SEO and digital advertising campaigns, measuring results, adjusting efforts, and repeating to continuously improve conversion rates and ROI.
The client wanted to focus on recruiting students from countries that speak Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Spanish. We ran multi-language ads to reach out to these audiences. Drip email marketing was implemented to follow up on initial contacts made by prospective students. Through examining traffic metrics we found a large and growing percentage of referral traffic was coming from Facebook. We crafted a multi-language campaign on Facebook, sponsored posts of English lessons, and launched a content-driven campaign to saturate their Facebook feed with enticing and community-building content. Whenever possible we conducted A/B testing to continuously refine and improve our creative.
PELA is one of the best positioned English language schools in the region, and they offer their students an experience that few competitors can match. The problem they faced was that their website — which was one of their primary tools for reaching prospective students — did not match the feel of the experience students could expect when they arrived in Portland. GRAYBOX helped PELA to revamp their logo and brand guidelines to modernize their appearance, and build a website as a platform to better reach and communicate with prospective, current, and past students.
GRAYBOX worked with PELA to optimize their marketing, website, brand definition, and other services.
PELA's partnership with GRAYBOX over the last six years has meaningful contributed to their online marketing efforts
PELA has seen a massive, 260% increase in online student applications over the years as we've continually driven PPC and SEO traffic to the new site (which we also redesigned) — this 500%+ increase in traffic has been a major driver in their online success.
514%More Website Sessions
609%Increase in SEO visitors