Student Search Strategies Lead to 153% Increase in Response

Carnegie Higher Ed Jan 14, 2015 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

Yes, you read that right: a 153% increase in student leads. Since 2008, the number of unique students delivered to colleges and universities as qualified leads from the PC&U Platform has gone up 153% (235,000–595,000). How is this possible?

Throughout 2014, Carnegie challenged schools to “Search differently™.” We asked schools to take a step back and re-evaluate the way they think about and approach Student Search and, most importantly, to engage student audiences throughout the entire enrollment cycle based on their behaviors in today’s world. And we’ve been practicing what we’re preaching.

Since 1985, Carnegie’s PC&U Platform has represented what is essentially the largest-scale Search campaign available to colleges and universities. With access to all College Board, NRCCUA, and ACT names, PC&U reaches and engages more than three million prospective undergraduate students (freshmen through seniors) every year—doing so through print, e-mail, and online channels. And in 2014 almost 600,000 of those students engaged through PC&U and expressed interest in the different schools participating (nearly a 20% response rate).

Some of the “Search differently™” strategies we’ve applied:

  • Integrating Pay Per Click and Online Display ads to boost awareness
  • Developing custom landing pages for specific audiences
  • Focusing a ton of attention on social media to drive engagement
  • Content, content, content
  • Increasing audience segmentation and custom messaging
  • Personalizing the experience as much as possible for each individual
  • Delivering multiple touch-points, frequency of message, and multi-channel reach opportunities
  • Retargeting all relevant areas of the site to deliver higher conversions
  • Implementing IP Targeting strategies to reach specific lists and audiences online
  • Developing a fully responsive experience across all devices

The proof has been in the performance:

  • More than 5.4 million student inquiries delivered in 2014 (up 20% from 4.5 million in 2013)
  • 100% of those inquiries represent a student who expressed specific interest in the institution they were inquiring about
  • Record number with our international lead generation platform: more than 128,000 qualified leads delivered in 2014
  • Record numbers for some of our program-specific lead generation platforms: 166,000+ qualified leads for Science and Engineering and 101,000+ for Health and Medicine in 2014
  • Client feedback data of 12.7% of enrolled students being first source PC&U
  • Client feedback data of 348 first source admitted students from PC&U
  • Client feedback data of 1,310 first source applicants from PC&U
  • Client feedback data of 114 first source enrolled students from PC&U

In its purest form, success in enrollment marketing and Student Search is about getting names and building audiences, delivering the right stuff to them, and driving response. For qualified lead generation—and a resource that will fill your pipeline with prospective students interested in your institution that have been proven to convert—no other resource does what PC&U does.

For a brief 10-minute demo or for more information, contact us today.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Cunningham527

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