The 12 Months of IP Targeting

Carnegie Higher Ed Feb 12, 2015 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

IP Select is an online marketing strategy in which home addresses are used to match a specific Internet Protocol (IP) address. This means that schools can take specific lists of students (name buys, current inquiries, non-responders, alumni, etc.), use their home address to identify the IP address of that location, and place targeted online marketing ads directly into that home. Typically the ads are shown 15–30 times a month on any device in that household connected to Wi-Fi. This is a game changer for traditional recruitment!

IP Select is designed to work in harmony with any Search campaigns you may be running. You can IP target directly into the households of your purchased names for a month or even a few weeks before you drop your first Search piece or send your first e-mail blast. Studies show that a higher level of brand recognition and a positive image lead to a higher level of engagement and demand. By the time you start reaching out to them through direct mail or e-mail, they will have already seen your ads, become familiar with your brand, and possibly even checked out your website.

One outstanding bonus to IP Select is the ability to segment the students you are marketing to. Perhaps you want all prospective juniors to see an ad that pushes them to request information or apply, or maybe you are trying to reach those seniors late in the year with a “you still have time to apply!” ad. Maybe you are trying to drive applications for your new engineering program or market to a list of prospective nursing students. With IP Select you have the ability to get creative with your message and deliver that message to the right students.

IP Select can be used at any time throughout the year and customized to your goals at that moment. We like to say that schools can do “12 Months of IP” because each month you could be targeting a different list of people. Here is an example:

  • September and October: Run in conjunction with senior Search; promote attendance to open houses; advertise counselor visits
  • November: Push ads to current inquiry database to promote Early Decision deadlines; advertise specific academic programs
  • December: Push ads to alumni to promote a Day of Giving
  • January and February: Run in conjunction with junior Search; push for spring open house sign up; promote summer programs; FAFSA reminders
  • March and April: Reach out to current applicant list to push for enrollment; reach out to an updated inquiry list to push last-minute applications; summer program sign up
  • May: FAFSA reminders
  • June and July: Combat summer melt
  • August: Welcome back enrolled students

These are just a few of the strategies where IP Select can be beneficial; in addition to specific households, you can also reach businesses, schools, and even within your own institution to promote a big campus event or advertise graduate programs. IP Select can also be useful for reaching potential transfer students currently enrolled in community college; those students are online everyday at school, and it’s an excellent opportunity to get in front of them to promote transfer open houses or counselor visits.

Whatever your enrollment goals–undergraduate, graduate, transfer, or non-traditional—IP Select is the most highly targeted form of online advertising available. There is saying in marketing called “The Power of Seven,” a reminder that it takes seven “touches” before someone will interact with you. Some experts say that now may be closer to 13 “touches”. Marketing to potential students is no different, and in the very competitive higher education landscape, it is imperative to have a comprehensive and ongoing marketing approach that reaches your audience with personal and relevant messaging. Adding IP targeting as another layer in your overall strategy is almost as good as a knock on the door.

You can follow me on Twitter @JLawnchair or on Google Plus as Jennifer Lonchar.


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