The Rising Senior: A Step-by-Step Guide for This Fall

Carnegie Higher Ed Jun 18, 2015 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

They’re out there. They’re active. And they’re behaving like never before. Your strategies to accomplish different results with this fall’s rising seniors needs to be different. Here are some things to consider as you plan.


  • Make sure you have Retargeting set up on your admission pages. Starting in August, swarms of rising seniors will be visiting them. And guess what? They’ll be visiting the pages of various other schools as well. Retargeting enables you to stay in front of these audiences after they’ve left your site (and likely not having identified themselves), gain a competitive advantage, and drive higher conversions by getting them to return. It’s also one of the lowest cost digital marketing options available.
  • Build new audiences by setting up Site Visitor Attribution (SVA). SVA enables you to develop digital audience profiles of the visitors to any section of your website. With that information, you can then develop models for reaching similar “look-alike” audiences.
  • It’s also not too early to start a Search communication strategy. Students continue to take standardized exams in the late spring and early summer, so new rising senior names are available in June and July. Take advantage of that and start building relationships now with those student prospects. That way, when summer ends and school begins, you’ve already established brand recognition, allowing you to push your “apply now” messages to those seniors even sooner in the fall.


  • You have prospect lists of rising seniors. What was your last campaign or interaction with them that was something different? In September, launch an IP Targeting campaign for six to eight weeks against those lists to drive them to apply. Reach them and their parents virtually anywhere they’re spending their time online and across all devices with messaging catered to what you know about each segment.
  • Use the data from your Site Visitor Attribution models to reach new audiences through digital targeting.


  • Market your on-campus events. It’s one of the most common phrases used today: “If we can get them to campus, they’re much more likely to convert.” A six-week digital campaign to the right audiences before those sessions can be both affordable and effective. One recent example: over 75 registrants from a $5,000 campaign.
  • Implement a lead nurturing campaign involving personalized and customized messaging to each individual based on what you know. With today’s technologies, this can be done easily and cost effectively. Platforms now exist to make the process automatic based on behaviors, engagement levels, and stage of the funnel.


  • Measure and react. How are your numbers looking so far at this point? Do any adjustments or new strategies need to be considered? Take your landing pages, registration pages, or application pages for example. Are they optimized for conversions? Are they clearly conveying what you want visitors to do?
  • Do you have any new lists that anything from prior months can be applied to? IP Targeting, for example, can be implemented within days to virtually any audience and can have an impact immediately toward any goal, including driving applications.

These are just a few things to think about and plan for as we quickly approach these fall months. For more information on any of these strategies, contact us today.

Follow Mark on Twitter @Cunningham527

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