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Recruiting Intelligence

Audience Segmentation Worksheet for International Recruiting

If we said it 1,000 times—and we probably have —it still wouldn’t be enough. Audience Segmentation is the fuel that drives your email and digital marketing to the next level. By segmenting your prospective international students based on geography, academic interest, TOEFL scores and other demographic information, your creative content will engage them in a way that stands out from your competition.

Here’s the thing, of the 4,000+ universities and colleges in the U.S., only a handful are doing this level of marketing. So, if you are wondering if you should make the effort…uhm, YES!

So the Intead team has created a worksheet that spells it out in 9 steps. Want to download a copy to share with your staff? Read on...

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The Power of List Segmentation Part III: So You Want More International Applications, Right?


Here comes our third and final post about audience segmentation in our three part series! This one talks about which influencers are most powerful for you. At the end of the post, we offer you a link to pre-register for our soon-to-be-released research and a segmentation worksheet. And below, Emily will hook you up with links to the first two posts on segmentation in case you missed them.

We get pretty excited about this stuff. It is a bit of an indicator that you are a tech geek among tech geeks when the office humor that gets the most laughs is a joke about spreadsheets. This embarrasses us, but there we are.

Let us teach you more and in person. Join us at the AIRC and ICEF conferences coming up in December. There are still a few slots left for our 3rd annual ICEF Pre-conference Global Marketing Seminar for Education Institutions.

The bottom line on audience segmentation: List segmentation can be daunting when you consider all of the regions you want to reach along with the student motivations and education levels in each of those regions. There is a lot of messaging and content to develop. Nevertheless, this is how you get more international student applications and make your international student yield higher. You wouldn’t market your institution to Texans the same way you’d reach out to Minnesotans, would you? Different international markets require different approaches. So many institutions simply dump all prospective “international students” into a marketing bucket called “INTERNATIONAL.” We hear it all the time, “Let us show you our ‘international’ recruitment brochure.” That might have worked five years ago, but today, to stand out from the crowd, take the time to segment and implement a marketing plan (message, content, dissemination channel) to each group. Success follows.

Emily will now take you through a more detailed look at who might be your strongest messenger and how to push the information out there. Don’t miss the handy step-by-step at the end.

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The Power of List Segmentation Part II: What's Motivation Got To Do With It?

In last week’s blog post we introduced you to our mini-series on email segmentation. As promised, Part II of email segmentation is here with insights into student motivations and influencers, and how to make use of this data for your international student recruiting.

Generally segmentation–along geographic, demographic and interest lines–is helpful. What data-driven surveys have done is broken down groups of people to help you, as a recruiter, discover what motivates students to seek out your campus. Your university is, after all, a world away. So students must be motivated to come to you for an education.

The market segments we discuss below are common to most students no matter where they come from. Yet, each segment has different influencers based on what part of the globe they come from. There are so many ways to parse the data. No wonder so few institutions take the time to implement this granular approach to marketing. You can bet clothing retailers are doing this stuff with their digital marketing.

Retailers use CRM (customer relationship management) platforms and employ small teams of people to write copy and develop marketing approaches for each clothing line based on audience segmentation. They commit the resources to meet each audience segment with the right information to help them make an informed decision about a purchase.

Bottom Line: We certainly see parallels with how retailers and universities can communicate their offerings to audience segments. What we don’t see is a parallel commitment of resources. Easy to find excuses in strained budgets, etc. A tired refrain. Those committed to growth and success commit funds to reaching the right audience with the right information.

Meet us at the AIRC and ICEF conferences coming up in December and we can teach you a whole lot more. Our ICEF Pre-conference Global Marketing Workshop for Education Institutions is filling up.

Now let’s turn to Emily and find out what she’s researched on this topic for us this week…

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The Power of List Segmentation Part I: Are you already doing this?

Our recent blog post on creative, personalized digital marketing really resonated with our readers. Did you catch that one? (Catch up HERE). Creativity is great, of course, and today we talk about how to apply that creativity to the right leads. In fact, we are going to give you plenty of details over the next few weeks on the power of segmentation as you recruit international students. (Tip: you may want to share this post series with a few key colleagues.) 

Our team (Elizabeth Frederick, Jen Thayer and Maggie Li) will be at NAFSA Region XI October 20-22 giving presentations on digital marketing and how to target your international markets. Please be in touch if you will be there and would like to set up a meeting (or get a bag of our custom m&m’s). We’d love to hear about where you are succeeding and provide some guidance where you face challenges.

Bottom Line: by segmenting your international student leads based on geography, academic interest, TOEFL scores and other demographic information, your creative content will engage in a way that stands out from the competitive crowd. You are going to need some help to do this kind of work including a CRM (customer relationship management) platform that gives you the ability to design flexible landing pages quickly and easily. You’ll need someone on your team who knows how to write great content to your different segments and someone who knows how to manage lists and track results. Don’t be daunted. This is where digital marketing has already gone. If you are not doing this already…your lunch is about to be eaten by others.

Now we turn to our international blogger Emily to give us the low down on international list segmentation and email marketing.

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Know Your Neighborhood - Fall 2017
Global Alumni Management for U.S. Institutions