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Recruiting Intelligence

Moving the Needle on Your International Student Recruitment


So your international enrollment numbers are ok, but not what you need them to be.

Or worse, like many of our colleagues, your numbers took a real dive over the past 12 to 18 months.

What steps can you take that will move the needle north? And north of what? How much growth can you expect? Oh, and how much investment will that require?

Let’s just take a breath and point out that, you ask some really hard questions!

Let’s try to answer them…with DATA!

Read on for some concrete next steps...

If you want to move the recruitment and enrollment needle, you need to have benchmarks and analytics. This is your first step. You need to be able to answer a whole host of questions about what is working now. How do you get answers to these questions? It’s all right there in front of you. You just need some time and some smart hands to help you along.

We’re going to keep this basic and doable – you could take each of these far deeper, but you really don’t have the time. We understand. It’s ok. This is still going to work for you.

Your current students: Give them some pizza and get them to tell you:

  • How they first heard about your institution (first awareness points to your best marketing channels).
  • Who helped them make the big decision to attend your institution (this gives you primary influencers).
  • What other options they considered (tells you about your competition).
  • How they would describe their experience at your institution to friends back home (helps you with strong, culturally appropriate messaging)

Your Google Analytics: Consider your top 3 sending markets and review the traffic from those countries.

  • Review the visitor demographics, specifically the age range. Do the math to make assumptions about the number of visitors below 18 (Google does not report on visitors below 18 years of age). This gives you perspective on the numbers of potential graduate and undergraduate visitors and a benchmark for comparison to know if your future digital marketing is driving traffic.
  • Review the devices (computer or mobile device) being used to access your site and the amount of time spent on your site per device type. This review guides where you place different types of content to feed your visitors what they can handle at any given time. User experience is key.
  • Check your browser and page download speeds. Some countries have great bandwidth (S. Korea) while others will stumble if your pages are not streamlined (India). Notice which pages are giving international visitors a problem and make their visits better with streamlined page designs.
  • Review your traffic sources: organic, direct, referral and social. Identify which sources are working best for you. Identify the referral pages that are driving traffic and consider how you can leverage that.
  • Review the page flow. Identify their entry point and exit pages, which content they spend the most time on. This tells you what lead messaging to test in this market to confirm that it is attracting qualified leads for you.

Your Inquiry to Lead to Enrollment Rates:

  • Identify the number of inquiries you get from a single country and how many applications are generated from those leads.
  • Identify the number of applicants from that country that are admitted and how many then choose to enroll.
  • Identify the number of incomplete applications. Find out what hinders their completion. Can you get one more application by addressing this issue? How much effort would be required and how much would that additional student be worth?
  • Identify the lead source for all enrolled students.
  • Identify the timing from the point of inquiry to application and application to enrollment.

No matter where your enrollment numbers are, taking time to review your data will help you identify opportunities – often there is some very low hanging fruit right in front of you.

You can do this work yourself if you can find the time. Or...

Intead does these kinds of reviews and deeper analyses all the time. It helps to have an extra set of really smart hands making your work easier and your results stronger.

We can do this for you. Be in touch.