Testing the Influence of Higher Ed Email Campaigns

There’s a central doubt some colleges and universities have about Capture Higher Ed that comes in the form of the question: Were the students who inquired, applied and enrolled going to inquire, apply and enroll anyway? Did Capture actually drive those students to take action, or is Capture just taking credit?

It certainly seems our higher ed email campaigns do have an effect.

For the Fall 2018 class, more than 124,000 students who opened an email inquired at one of our partner schools. More than 14,000 of those completed an app, and more than 4,000 made a deposit. It’s unlikely all those students were going to apply and deposit anyway.

One of our partners, Biola University in Los Angeles, decided to put us to the test. At their request, we withheld about 10 percent of the school’s Fall 2018, 2019 and 2020 prospect pools as a comparison group and didn’t communicate with them.

The results? Students who we emailed were five times more likely to complete an application.

  • For graduation year 2018, 0.37% of the group that received emails completed applications; 0.07% of the group that was held out completed applications.
  • For graduation years 2019 and 2020, 2.30% for the group that received emails completed inquires; 1.30% of the group that was held out completed inquiries.

So yes, a few students would have inquired, applied and deposited anyway, but for the vast majority of students who inquired or applied, Capture’s higher ed email campaigns have influenced them to that point of their decision process.

By John Foster, Senior Data Analyst, Capture Higher Ed