Graduate admissions officials at colleges and universities across the country are researching new and better ways to recruit and enroll prospective grad students. Some enrollment managers are looking to new practices being implemented in undergraduate admissions. Others are taking their cue from the tech innovations in the business world.
Whatever the case, the matter certainly is getting some thought. Earlier this year, the Arizona State University Graduate College released “Best Practices for Successful Graduate Student Recruitment,” a study that focused on three broad stages of recruiting graduate students. These included: 1) Program visibility and student identification; 2) Prospective and application stages; and 3) Admission and enrollment stages.
With several bulleted points across the three stages, ASU’s report offers an array of excellent suggestions when developing a recruitment strategy for graduate students. In the “Program Visibility” stage, the paper touts the importance of engaging, clear and accessible websites and a strong social media presence as well as developing effective networks and being responsive.
But the report misses an opportunity by not discussing the potential of marketing automation in the graduate recruitment process. As we’ve noted before, in research from enterprise marketing automation firm, Marketo, it is estimated that less than 10 percent of colleges and universities are making marketing automation a critical component of their marketing tactics. This is something we’re trying to change here at Capture Higher Ed.
Give Them More
Sure, it’s great to have attractive, clean and informative web pages, but how do you know they’re working? Prospective students visiting your graduate pages are already showing an interest, so why not give them more information?
For example, one of Capture’s partners — a Catholic university in the Midwest — had the specific goal to raise their graduate population. Using Capture’s industry-leading marketing automation technology, CBE, the school set up the following 30-day campaign:
After a prospective student visited the university’s Graduate Studies page two times, CBE triggered a toaster (an ad that rises from the bottom of the page like toast) inviting that prospect to RSVP to a graduate information session. This campaign led to more than 4,300 unique impressions; 6.5 percent of them clicked through to RSVP. It is just one example of how marketing automation can enhance graduate recruiting efforts.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out Capture’s webinar “Graduate Recruitment Strategies That Make the Dean’s List.”
By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed