3 Budget-Savvy Tips for Reaching Prospective International Students

Carnegie Higher Ed Jun 04, 2015 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

With so much opportunity to diversify your campus with international students, the big question is how to reach them—and reach them on budget. But beyond travel and tour plans, what can you do to penetrate your current international student markets or establish new ones? Here are a few cost-effective ideas to consider.

1. Don’t show up to the party unannounced

Did you know you could introduce your school’s brand to the exact areas you’re about to visit around the world, establishing familiarity and creditability even before you got there?

Let’s say you’re headed to Latin America on the CIS tour in September. You plan on visiting Sao Paulo on the first stop. You can set online display ads to deliver in that city for two weeks before and during your stay. Students, parents, counselors, agents: anyone with college-bound indicators can see your brand online, including on their mobile devices. Establish yourself early and you’ll be the most recognized one at the events!

Budget note: hyper-focused geographies minimize budgets and maximize returns.

2. Use your data

Your international traffic is very telling. Google Analytics can tell you where they’re coming from, when they’re visiting, and what they’re doing. You probably already know off the top of your head your top three international markets—but what are your top 10? (And are you sure?) Your Analytics can show you based on site visitors. Match that with enrollment goals and then hone in on those areas.

Budget note: Google Analytics is free. Free info. Free data. All yours! Take advantage!

3. Stay connected with those who already show an interest

We all know that students, no matter where they’re from, aren’t as likely to raise their hand and announce their interest in a school with a completed form as they once were. (Sigh, the good ol’ days.) But they are all online. They are visiting your site. Learning about your programs. Self-teaching about your university. Hot prospect, right? By setting Retargeting pixels specific to your international section, you can stay engaged with those visitors. Better yet, deliver display ads specific to the country they’re in after they leave. That’s message match perfection!

Budget note: your spend is only as large as the volume of your international website page visitors

The international student market is going to continue to grow. The sooner your brand is established among those students, the better. Since no one can flip the switch on marketing to the entire audience, finding the right switch for your school can mean smarter budget spends and better returns.

Share your budget-savvy international recruitment marketing ideas in the comments below or tweet to @meghdale.

And if you are looking to brand globally, check out our AC&U platform. In partnership with CIS, we can help you reach more than 2,300 locations in 175 countries with one of the most recognized and respected international student recruitment lead generation services out there! Yes, this is a shameless plug, but AC&U is still a cost-effective international student recruitment tool!

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