Geotargeting 101 for College Admissions

Why Geotargeting?

 According to Noel Levitz (consulting firm for higher education enrollment managers) university marketing and admission’s offices spend $2,500 dollars to recruit one enrolled student. This includes 23 pounds of direct mail (mtnpr.org), flying admission counselors across the country to college fairs and flooding email inboxes to any unsuspecting college-fair attendee, standardized test-taker or third-party college search website. When surveyed by Noell Levitz,  97% of students reported the college website to be their most trusted source for collecting college information. And yet, not much has changed in the way colleges recruit students. Introducing geotargeting for college admissions. 

Geographic Advantage

Geotargeting is taking what most admissions officers know about their prospect pool and putting it to use in a space that matters most: the website. Unbeknownst to many, geotargeting is what’s happening when you look at a college-fair invitation from Sydney Australia and decide “No. I think I’ll pass.” The same is true on the opposite side of the coin. Your go-to college fairs happen in your high yield areas. Adding some geotargeting to your website makes it possible for colleges to deliver custom messages right on their homepage or their admissions website simply using the IP address of their website visit. Visiting from California? Here are three famous alumni doing amazing things in your area. Click here to ask them a question. Visiting from Florida? Here is a student that currently attends our college and is doing their summer internship in Tampa Bay.


 

Setting Up Your First GeoFli Campaign

College admissions offices geotarget. They create direct mail campaigns for users based on location. Email marketing managers create CRM filters based on application yields, historical enrollment data and massive PSAT imports (known in the biz as name-buys). These campaigns, while perhaps reaching your target audience, only reach leads already existing in your inquiry pool.

Imagine a prospective student from Virginia visiting your college or university’s homepage. What do they see? GeoFli works at the top of the enrollment funnel and solves the problem of the one-size-fits-all website. Log-in, create a campaign for California and now anyone visiting your college’s homepage from that region will see a new and highly personalized message.

A prospective student from Boston visits your homepage. Rather than seeing a generic image of a classroom, they’ll be introduced to Kevin. Kevin is a student that grew up in New England and now attends your college to study Finance. The prospective student will also view information about when admissions will be in their area. “Join admissions for the Boston College Fair. Click here to meetup for coffee while we’re there!”

Imagine a prospective international student visiting your admissions page from Japan. Now imagine your call-to-action “Apply Online” or “Request Information” written in Japanese.

 

Video Transcript

Welcome to the dashboard. My name is Kyle Pucko. Together with co-founder Nick Shontz, we built GeoFli to empower you, from your office or wherever you call home, to create a remarkable website experience. We’ve designed the dashboard, where you find yourself now, and the sequential steps with enough simplicity for a first-timer to navigate without trepidation and enough sophistication for a seasoned digital marketing expert to spread both their artistic and analytic-focused wings: in both cases connecting at a deeper level with customers across the country and around the world.

There are four steps in setting up your first campaign. Let’s take a look. What’s your geotargeting goal? Increase leads? Drive event sign-ups? Increase awareness in a specific region? For this example, our goal is to increase campus visitors.

Step 1: Create a new campaign. This is where you decide which page you’d like to change. Since we want to capture website visitors not-yet in our sales-funnel, we will use the homepage as our starting place. Hit next.

Step 2: Now that you’ve selected which page you’d like to change, you’re going to decide who you’d like to change content for. Using our simple drawing tool to create your geographic region. No coding, no latitude and longitude coordinates and no uploading IP addresses.

Step 3: Your next step is to add your targeted Midwest content.
After hitting “start”, you’re now in the driver’s seat to select which old one-size-fits-all media or copy are you going to replace with targeted and personalized messaging. Targeting Japan? Change the call-to-action to Japanese. Targeting a trade-show or college fair? Let users in that region know you’re coming. Point, click, create.

Step 4: Remember, none of your changes are live until your web team installs a one-time single line of code letting GeoFli know that in-fact, you have permission to create geographic content on this website. In the final step, simply click “email instructions” to your web manager. Once the code is installed, you can say goodbye to the for-everybody-for-nobody website.

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