Face the (Country) Music:Utilizing Connect to Measure ROIand Stop Wasting your Resources Marcus HanscomAssociate Director of Graduate Recruitment and Outreach University of New Haven July 17, 2012
Agenda• Introduction• Assessing where we are• Building the funnel• Engaging prospective students• Measuring ROI• Q&A / Online Evaluation
University of New Haven• Private, nonprofit university in West Haven, CT• 4,600 undergraduate/1,800 graduate students• Centralized graduate admissions• Grad using Connect, AY, VIP• Client since December 2007
Learning Outcome for Today• We will recruit more efficiently and deliver higher ROI if we: – Evaluate our current student base – Use student information to make educated decisions on marketing channels and relevant messaging – AND track student data throughout the funnel including activity on our website, social media
The “Informed” ROI Process Assess Incoming/ Current Students Lead Tracking Generation Funnel Management /Marketing/ Recruitment
Consider leadership…“Know thyself… and others.”
Your existing funnel• Assess the demographics of prospective students – Geographic Origin? – Male/Female ratio? – Previous major? – Referral Source?• In an ideal world, assess by program – Easier for decentralized admissions
Assignment #1• Create a “demographic dashboard” – Utilize a broad filter for all reports • Ie. All graduate students for fall 2012 – Potential reports • International /Domestic Breakdown • Gender Breakdown • Applicants by State (Geo-targeting) • Applicants by Source (ROI) • Applicants by program – Use dashboard attribute filtering
Dashboard Filtering• Customize data reporting in real-time• Helpful attributes: – Gender – State (Geographic Origin) – International/Domestic – Referral Source – Status – Funnel Status
How we fix the funnel• Bulk edit based on current status – Populate all related options in a separate attribute: Funnel Status
Helpful Bulk Edits• Funnel Status• Program name – Collect concentrations under one title if necessary• College name – Filter with related college programs• Use for dashboard filtering
Food for Thought• Is there a correlation between those that apply? Enroll?• Are particular sources more productive?• Are certain groups benefitting from custom communication plans? Support?
Assignment #2• Conduct a program demographic assessment – Age/Gender, state, domestic origin – Referral Source – Previous Major• Filter dashboard by program for data ease• Present to program faculty – Engage faculty in process if not already – Are faculty using Connect on your campus? – Faculty buy-in is crucial
Generating Awareness• …but this is so 2012 – Directory Sites (Gradschools.com, Petersons.com, GraduateGuide.com…) – University Website – Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, FourSquare…) – Google/search engines – Blogs – Virtual Information Sessions/Chats – Open Houses
Lead Sources• Purchased Lists • Open Houses• Directory Sites • Webinars/Chats• Social Media • Word of Mouth• University Website • Click-thru campaigns• Search Engines • Mailings/BRC (Paid and Organic) • …and more• Graduate Fairs/Visits
Purchased Lists• Importing into Connect?• Critical to prevent purchased leads from getting into communication plans for true inquiries – Unsolicited vs. solicited interest• What triggers the inquiry? – VIP pages are a great option
Key Questions• What is the total budget allocated to generating leads?• Are lead generation techniques/processes customized by program?• What role do faculty members play? Administrators?• How do you manage your prospect leads versus your inquiries?
Assignment #3• Do a lead generation audit – List all current lead sources and costs – Identify financial goals: spend more or less? – Are you doing some things because “that is what we always do?” – Just the basics: How many students are applying or enrolling from each source? (Dashboard)
Where are you sending prospective students?• Generic page on your site?• An inquiry form?• A specific landing page for just the leads from a particular source?• A specific inquiry form?
Assignment #4• Set up Unique Source Pages – Set up landing pages or inquiry forms unique to each lead source – Create vanity urls (ie. www.newhaven.edu/nytimes) for print advertising – Create pages for your generic lead generation and for event advertising management – Pursue potential custom options with Hobsons
A Referral Source Policy• Define your data captures – Created source, how did you hear?, Referral Source, Lead source (custom pages)• Create attributes to centrally collect data• Identify means of collecting: – Specific sources – Broad source categories
Bulk Edits• Move each data set from source attributes into one attribute (ie. Referral Source)• Use new attribute to help further “funnel” sources into broad attribute (Referral Source Category)• Use broad attribute to get a pulse on what channels work or need improvement
Referral Source CollectionCreated SourceHow did you hearof us? Referral Referral Source Source CategoryLead Source (HobsonsCustom)
Referral Source Category Collection International GRE Search Search Names Names International GMAT Search Hobsons Names Leads Purchased Lists
Assignment #5• Create a referral source policy – How do you accurately report where students came from? – Identify how the created source versus a “How did you hear about us?” question will vary in your data• Create one data set/attribute to collect this data – Greatly reduces reporting headaches
Keys to Success• Automated Communication Plan• Relevant Messaging• Cross-channel messaging with common brand message• Regular social media participation• Personalization whenever and wherever possible
Communication Plan• Automation = efficiency – Particularly for small offices – Does not necessarily mean impersonal• Integrated marketing opportunities – Letters, emails, VIP pages – Phone call management• Ensure communication consistency to all audiences
Relevant Messaging• Students want personalization• Avoid the fluff communications• Provide program information as soon as possible – Preferably through multiple channels – mail, email, phone• Clear, succinct, “What’s in it for me?” communications Initial Email Communication Interaction Rates General 4% Program-Specific 20%
Tips for Email• Toss out the “HTML graphic email” is king mentality – Keep in mind personalization, smart phones – Perception of your message Counselor Email Interaction Rates HTML 0.25% Plain text 6%• Send one-time emails to targeted audiences with program-related news
Social Media• Engaging students on SM means exactly that – Regular interactions – Go beyond the “press release” posts• Remember the audiences for each platform• Create opportunities to request information, learn more, “see” your experience• Hobsons can create interest form for iframes (Facebook)
“You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em…”MEASURING ANDUTILIZING RESULTS
Measuring Results• Results in Connect – Email Results (Open rate, interactions) Email Interaction Rates General 4% Program-Specific 20% – VIP page results• Source Coding (Referrals)• Unique Landing Pages w/tracking• Google Analytics (or other software)
VIP results• 8% of all visitors clicked an “Apply Now” link • 59% of those completed and submitted an application• Average visits per user: 5.7• Average login time: 27 minutes• 6,245 active visitors in last 12 months• 1,267 engaged visitors (20%)
Google Analytics• Hobsons can put university code on interest pages• Request to have redirect to your site• Use goal gauges to determine percentage of traffic completing form
Assignment #6• Become a user on Google Analytics – Learn how to find your specific site content – Evaluate metrics as a whole – No single metric on its own is helpful• Use metrics to make educated decisions about page content – Do you need to adjust content on your admissions pages? Program pages? – Would new landing pages help?
Tips on Tracking• Minimize options on how students get to your website – Tracking does little good if you have too much to track• Use vanity URL’s for ease of use or hidden tracking URL’s• Use short inquiry forms if directing students there first• K.I.S.S.• All tracking involves a grain of salt
Utilizing Results• Allocation of financial and human resources• Development of new channels/expansion of current ones• Strategic advertising timing• Strategic planning for links/awareness• Restructure/rewrite existing content
A Starting ROI Argument• Avg. Rev/Student x # enrolled from source = Estimated Total Revenue/Source – Can simplify numbers by funnel status – Determine the “value” of a given inquiry or applicant• Compare revenue to annual spend per source – Is your return worth the investment?
ROI ExampleDirectory Listing College Fairs• Avg. Total Revenue/student = $25,000 • Avg. Total Revenue/student =• Students enrolled = 10 $25,000• Total revenue from source= $250,000 • Students enrolled = 2• Annual Directory spend: $32,000 • Total revenue from source=• ROI: 681% $50,000 • Annual Travel Spend: $30,000 • ROI: 67%**Remember this is using a gross revenue figure.
Assignment #7• Assign revenue to lead sources and determine estimated ROI – Gross revenue is a start – Determine average revenue/student • Can be most helpful at program level – Can compare to other sources by percentage return on the dollar
Assignment Review1. Create a “Demographic Dashboard”2. Conduct a program demographic assessment3. Do a lead generation audit4. Set up unique source pages5. Create a referral source policy6. Become a user on Google Analytics (and use it)7. Assign revenue to lead sources for ROI
Final Thoughts• None of this happens overnight• Need commitment of human (and in some cases, financial) resources• Involve faculty if not already doing so• Be adaptable
Marcus Hanscom MHanscom@newhaven.edu 203.932.7277 Twitter: @MarcusHanscomQuestions?THANK YOU.