The Power of Microsegmenting in Higher Education Recruitment

Although the toolbox for college admissions officers and enrollment managers has expanded when it comes to generating leads and sustaining consideration, the traditional search campaign is still an effective instrument—and thanks to technology, a sharper one than ever. Analysis of past data on student progression (or lack of progression) from inquiry to matriculant can be used to refine the purchase parameters for name buys, and then those same parameters can be used in variable printing and electronic programming to deliver targeted content that is relevant to each student.

That’s segmenting. Now meet microsegmenting.

Microsegmenting involves using in-depth data analytics to target a very small group of recipients with a very specific reason to act. As an example, consider the following microsegmenting campaign that The Lawlor Group deployed for a small private college. The data analytics from an admissions-focused e-communication to around 10,000 inquiries revealed that one particular content item, the announcement of a new accelerated undergraduate/graduate degree program, resulted in 40 individual students clicking on the academic program link in the email. Those 40 students were segmented into a new “micro” recipient list using the built-in list management capabilities. They then received a follow-up email providing greater detail about the degree program, expected learning outcomes, and a clear call to apply. The results of this microsegmentation were nearly perfect open and click-through rates and a full 85% conversion rate of recipients who clicked on the “apply now” link. And since the names and email addresses of those who clicked were known, the college was able to reach out to them directly for further personal follow-up.

Microsegmenting demonstrates the power of email analytics to reveal prospects’ self-identified motivating interests so the institution can then focus on them precisely. But just as importantly, it gives today’s prospective students what they have come to expect as digital natives—content that is personalized, timely, relevant, and engaging.


Generation Z Arrives

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Teens and Technology

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Subject Line Creativity

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Lawlor Recommends

Microsegmenting is targeted marketing at its best, particularly for higher education marketers who must constantly balance effectiveness with fiscal prudence—because its reliance on data analytics allows both. There’s little cost waste since you are focusing on the right people, and there’s a high success rate since you are engaging them appropriately.

Enrollment managers and fundraising professionals alike can benefit from the ability to microsegment according to various affinity groups. It enables them to implement their content strategy with precision in order to sustain interest and inspire action.