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George Washington University

With a single view of all activities, we can now identify which campaigns and channels generate the most applications and enrollments.

george washington university photo of patsy torres directrice adjointe principale admissions des tudiants Patsy Torres
Senior Assistant Director, Graduate Admissions
George Washington University

Highlights

  • Open rates of 4x
  • Click-through rates increased by 300%
  • 57% Conversions

Challenges

 

With advanced digital marketing, Graduate Admissions can easily identify prospective students, immediately follow up, and effectively nurture them along the path to enrollment.

For colleges and universities, attracting business leaders of tomorrow is highly competitive. George Washington University (GWU) School of Business was using a variety of activities to compete for top-tier students, including virtual and live information sessions, events, and direct marketing. Patsy Torres, Senior Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions, was chartered with the mission of creating a seamless experience to nurture prospective graduate students through the admissions lifecycle. However, the school’s processes for communications, application, interview, and enrollment resided in disparate systems that didn’t communicate with each other. Consequently, Patsy and her team couldn’t track the prospective student’s path from initial touchpoint through application processing to enrollment. With Marketo, the staff now has powerful tools for engaging students with personalized interactions that motivate them to attend GWU and guide them along the admissions path.

Objectives 

  • Enhance staff productivity so people get more done in less time. 
  • Develop a cohesive marketing strategy for targeting and engaging with students who are the best fit for GWU. 
  • Distinguish between cold, warm, and hot leads and focus on the prospects that matter. 

Solution

 

Fast time to value

From the beginning, Marketo’s higher education consulting experts worked closely with the Graduate Admissions staff to plan the implementation and ensure fast time -to-value. An early win involved transitioning 50 annual student information sessions to Marketo. Previously, these events were set up and executed separately. Today, Marketo generates all invitations, registrations, landing pages, thank-you emails, and follow-up messages. The efficiencies gained and time saved across these and other activities are significant. For example, one staff member who worked full time running a single marketing program is now able to handle four programs.

"Marketo is changing the way we operate as a school. One of the coolest things is our ability to arm senior management with the data they need to make smart decisions in critical areas such as enrollment targets and marketing targets, and to understand how each area affects the other.” 

Benefits

 

Long-term benefits

With the addition of Marketo, the staff has gained visibility into the student’s journey from initial interest to enrollment. Staff members now track all marketing channels— websites, multi-city fairs, on-campus information sessions, coffee chats, and visit programs—all in the same tool, powered by the same marketing platform. They can analyze data to understand which channels and programs deliver the most awareness, generate the most applications, and drive the most enrollments. They use that information to adjust campaigns in real time, tweaking them for optimal performance, and to allocate funds more intelligently across campaigns and channels.

Marketo is also delivering impressive efficiency gains. The staff has increased the number of leads tracked from approximately 30,000 to more than 100,000 names. The much larger database created by Marketo provides a rich source for running targeted campaigns that help the school attract and enroll more of the world’s best and brightest students. Response to the Marketo-driven personalized and relevant campaigns is much higher than the generic campaigns of the past. For example, open rates for a scholarship email campaign rose to 57%.

"Marketo empowers us to create a seamless, engaging, and interactive experience, which is critical for attracting high-caliber students. That experience differentiates us from other business schools and enables us to do a better job of showing them the opportunities available at George Washington University School of Business.”