NEGAP 2011: Sizing Up A Monumental Task: Building your Recruitment Funnel and Measuring the Flow


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Take your recruitment to the next level by determining which channels yield the best results, leveraging social media to expand your reach beyond your "fans," appropriately assessing results from each of your lead sources and identifying ways to efficiently allocate your resources. This session will delve into each stage of the recruitment funnel and discuss how you can collect your leads, engage them to inquire and apply and assess the results. Presentation by Marcus Hanscom, Associate Director of Graduate Recruitment and Outreach at the University of New Haven, at the NEGAP Annual Conference on November 18, 2011.

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NEGAP 2011: Sizing Up A Monumental Task: Building your Recruitment Funnel and Measuring the Flow

  1. 1. Sizing up a Monumental Task:Building Your Recruitment Funnel andMeasuring the Flow Marcus Hanscom, M.B.A. (@MarcusHanscom) Associate Director, Graduate Recruitment & Outreach, University of New Haven
  2. 2. About Me: A Case Study I enjoy watching golf on TV (and no, it’s not boring) DISCLAIMER: This isn’t me.
  3. 3. About Me: A Case Study I eat my cereal dry
  4. 4. About Me: A Case Study Commercial aviation photography is one of my favorite hobbies
  5. 5. About Me: Marketing Assumptions• Advertising on a milk carton is a bad idea• I might be inclined to read an ad on Tiger Woods’ or Phil Mickelson’s hat• Advertising on the side of an airplane might work:
  6. 6. One more thing…• I love the Red Sox… …so don’t advertise in here:
  7. 7. About Me: A More Practical Approach• 28 years old• Hold B.S. and M.B.A.• I might “like” your Facebook page or follow you on #Twitter• I might click on a paid ad if it is interesting to me• I am persistent, so I will find info on your site regardless of how many clicks it takes (I am an exception to the rule)
  8. 8. Marketing to Me, Practically Speaking• Have a social media presence• Be willing to communicate with me electronically, though I like the phone as well• Avoid snail mail – it just clogs my mailbox.• Buy paid ads where I may go – Google, Facebook• Make information easy to obtain on your website
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. The “Informed” ROI Process Assess Incoming/ Current Students Lead Tracking Generatio n Funnel Managemen t/Marketing/ Recruitment
  11. 11. Just the basics. Where are we now?THE FOUNDATIONS
  12. 12. Consider leadership… “Know thyself… and others.”
  13. 13. Your current students• Assess the demographics and needs of current students – Average age? – Male/Female ratio? – Previous major? – Referral Source?• In an ideal world, assess by program – Easier for decentralized admissions
  14. 14. A Case Study: M.S.E.D. M.S. Education Applicants by Age and Gender Three-Year Analysis: AY08-09 through AY10-11400350300250200 Male Female150100 50 0 Age 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
  15. 15. A Case Study: M.S.E.D.M.S. Education Applicants by Referral Source and Gender Three-Year Analysis: AY08-09 through AY10-11 Referral Source n % of n Gender % of n n Fair/Expo/Tour 15 1.6% Female 71% 653 Internet 169 18% Male 29% 267 UNH Mailing/Email 6 0.6% Total --- 920 Newspaper Ad 3 0.3% Other 142 15% Print/Web Directory 16 1.7% Word of Mouth 506 55% Empty 63 6.8% Totals 920
  16. 16. Assignment #1• Conduct a program demographic assessment – Age/Gender – Location (In/Out of State, International) – Referral Source – Previous Major – …and others• Present to program faculty – Engage faculty in process if not already – Faculty buy-in is crucial
  17. 17. We all want our cake, and we want to eat it, too.BUILDING THE FUNNEL
  18. 18. Generating Awareness• That’s so 2001… – Printed Directories – Bulk Snail Mailings – Cold Calling – Newspaper tombstone ads
  19. 19. Generating Awareness• …but this is so 2011 – Directory Sites (,,…) – University Website – Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare…) – Google/search engines – Blogs – Virtual Information Sessions/Chats – Open Houses
  20. 20. Lead Sources• Purchased Lists • Word of Mouth• Directory Sites • Click-thru campaigns• Social Media • Mailings/BRC• University Website • …and more• Search Engines (Paid and Organic)• Graduate Fairs/Visits• Open Houses• Webinars / Chats
  21. 21. 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?
  22. 22. Assignment #2• 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?” – We have a collective groupthink problem. Does your institution suffer? – Just the basics: How many students are applying or enrolling from each source?
  23. 23. So, the funnel is flowing. Now what!?ENGAGING PROSPECTS
  24. 24. Keys to Success• Communication Plan (Automated)• Relevant Messaging• Cross-channel messaging• Regular social media participation• Personalization whenever and wherever possible
  25. 25. Communication Plan• CRM is key• Automation = efficiency – Particularly for small offices – Does not necessarily mean impersonal• Integrated marketing opportunities – Letters, emails, personalized portal pages – Phone call management• Ensure communication consistency to all audiences
  26. 26. Relevant Messaging• Graduate 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- 20% Specific
  27. 27. Social Media• Not a “set it and forget it” process• Engaging students on SM means exactly that – Regular interactions – Go beyond the “press release” posts – Offer contests• Remember the audiences for each platform• Create opportunities to request information, learn more, “see” your experience• Integrate with your website
  28. 28. 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?
  29. 29. Assignment #3• Set up Unique Source Pages – Set up landing pages or inquiry forms unique to each lead source – Create vanity urls (ie. for print advertising – Create pages for your generic lead generation and for event advertising management – Use QR codes on mailings and advertisements with a unique landing page
  30. 30. Assignment #4• 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
  31. 31. They came, we talked, but I have no idea what happened!MEASURING ANDUTILIZING RESULTS
  32. 32. Measuring Results• CRM System Results – Email Results (Open rate, interactions) Email Interaction Rates General 4% Program- 20% Specific – Personalized portal results• Source Coding (Referrals) – Create definitions/guide• Unique Landing Pages w/tracking• Google Analytics (or other software)
  33. 33. Personalized portal results • 9% of all visitors clicked an “Apply Now” link • 69% of those completed and submitted an application • Average visits per user: 4.9 • Average login time: 20 minutes • 4,408 active visitors in last six months • 675 engaged visitors (15%)
  34. 34. Google Analytics• Great for assessing website effectiveness• Learn what content works• Determine how students get to your content• Determine which content is generating the most leads• Determine information paths• Be mindful of where you are sending students – If sending to external sites, can affect your Analytics efforts
  35. 35. Google Analytics
  36. 36. Assignment #5• 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?
  37. 37. Campaign Tracking• Google URL Builder – Other tools are available – Ease of use for beginners and advanced users• Use for web ads, landing pages, social media links, blog posts, etc.
  38. 38. URL Builder
  39. 39. Campaign Tracking Results
  40. 40. Assignment #6• Use the URL builder to create a tracking URL – Try it with a social media ad – Assess the results in GA after two weeks; a month; two months• Advanced option: create two ads that link to two different pages on your website – Use two separate unique tracking URL’s – Evaluate which pages/ads have better results • Bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit, etc.
  41. 41. Tips on Tracking• Minimize options on how students get to your site – 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
  42. 42. 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
  43. 43. 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?
  44. 44. ROI ExampleDirectory Listing College Fairs• Avg. Total Revenue/student = • Avg. Total Revenue/student = $25,000 $25,000• Students enrolled = 10 • Students enrolled = 2• Total revenue from source= • Total revenue from source= $250,000 $50,000• Annual Directory spend: $32,000 • Annual Travel Spend: $30,000• ROI: 681% • ROI: 67%**Remember this is using a gross revenue figure.
  45. 45. 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
  46. 46. Assignment Review1. Conduct a program demographic assessment2. Do a lead generation audit3. Set up unique source pages4. Create a referral source policy5. Become a user on Google Analytics (and use it)6. Use the URL builder to create a tracking URL7. Assign revenue to lead sources for ROI
  47. 47. 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
  48. 48. Marcus Hanscom MHanscom@newhaven.ed u 203.932.7277 Twitter: @MarcusHanscomQuestions?THANK YOU.