TxGAP Webinar - Sizing up a Monumental Task: Building Your Recruitment Funnel and Measuring the Flow


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As graduate admissions offices warm up to new technology, flashy CRM systems and social networking, the number of channels available to reach prospective students is immense. With a shaky economy and growing competition, growing the top of the recruitment funnel is crucial to boosting enrollments and deepening the applicant pool. 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.

Presented by Marcus Hanscom, Associate Director of Graduate Recruitment and Outreach at the University of New Haven and President of the New England Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NEGAP)

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TxGAP Webinar - Sizing up a Monumental Task: Building Your Recruitment Funnel and Measuring the Flow

  1. 1. TxGAP WebinarSizing up a Monumental Task: Building YourRecruitment Funnel and Measuring the Flow Presented by: Marcus Hanscom, M.B.A. (@MarcusHanscom) Associate Director, Graduate Recruitment & Outreach, University of New Haven
  2. 2. Overview•  Assessing the present•  Building the funnel•  Engaging your prospects•  Measuring and utilizing results•  Determining ROI and “selling” it
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. The “Informed” ROI Process Assess Incoming/ Current Students Lead Tracking Generation Funnel Management /Marketing/ Recruitment
  5. 5. Just the basics. Where are we now?THE FOUNDATIONS
  6. 6. Consider leadership… “Know thyself… and others.”
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. A Case Study: M.S.E.D. M.S. Education Applicants by Age and Gender Three-Year Analysis: AY08-09 through AY10-11400350300250 Male200 Female150100 50 0 Age 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
  9. 9. 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  
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. We all want our cake, and we want to eat it, too.BUILDING THE FUNNEL
  12. 12. Generating Awareness•  That’s so 2001… –  Printed Directories –  Bulk Snail Mailings –  Cold Calling –  Newspaper tombstone ads
  13. 13. Generating Awareness•  …but this is so 2011 –  Directory Sites (Gradschools.com, Petersons.com, GraduateGuide.com…) –  University Website –  Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare…) –  Google/search engines –  Blogs –  Virtual Information Sessions/Chats –  Open Houses
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. 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?
  16. 16. 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?
  17. 17. So, the funnel is flowing. Now what!?ENGAGING PROSPECTS
  18. 18. Keys to Success•  Communication Plan (Automated)•  Relevant Messaging•  Cross-channel messaging•  Regular social media participation•  Personalization whenever and wherever possible
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. 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-Specific 20%
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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?
  23. 23. Assignment #3•  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 –  Use QR codes on mailings and advertisements with a unique landing page
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. They came, we talked, but I have no idea what happened!MEASURING ANDUTILIZING RESULTS
  26. 26. Measuring Results•  CRM System Results –  Email Results (Open rate, interactions) Email Interaction Rates General 4% Program-Specific 20% –  Personalized portal results•  Source Coding (Referrals) –  Create definitions/guide•  Unique Landing Pages w/tracking•  Google Analytics (or other software)
  27. 27. 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%)
  28. 28. 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
  29. 29. Google Analytics
  30. 30. 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?
  31. 31. 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.
  32. 32. URL Builder
  33. 33. Campaign Tracking Results
  34. 34. 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.
  35. 35. 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
  36. 36. 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
  37. 37. 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?
  38. 38. 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.
  39. 39. 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
  40. 40. 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
  41. 41. 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
  42. 42. If you enjoyed this session… “Not Everything is Bigger in Texas: Small Things That Make a Big Impact on Recruitment Efforts” NAGAP 25th Annual Conference Thursday, April 26, 2012 10:45am – 11:45am
  43. 43. Marcus Hanscom MHanscom@newhaven.edu 203.932.7277 Twitter: @MarcusHanscom Questions? THANK YOU.View this presentation and the sample referral source guidelines online at www.slideshare.net/mhanscom