Innovation of Necessity: How Student Search Changed in 2020

One of the biggest changes in 2020 for many higher ed professionals was in the area of student search. In March and April, we saw (on a grand scale) the cancellation of several scheduled tests and, with that, an INCREDIBLE loss of lead potential for rising seniors (second semester juniors). This was a big deal because it directly impacted the top of the funnel performance for both F’20 and F’21.

We have seen a sort of withdrawal syndrome that has happened from these missing leads. Luckily, Capture’s ENGAGE, the marketing automation software on our Behavioral Intelligence Platform, is ready for the challenge. Our pro-active marketing automation campaigns, which use progressive identification forms (we call them PID forms) are perfect for engaging your web-visiting audience. Not only do the campaigns find leads that are actively engaged on your site, but the PID forms also segment the audience based on where the form is filled out (e.g. transfer specific forms on transfer URLs, and junior forms on underclassmen URLs).

Getting used to a new system usually IS NOT FUN, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all bad. The vacuum of leads from the cancelled assessment sessions has created an opportunity for our clients to press more into organic sources that have a traditionally higher conversion rate.

In this way, they narrow the field to make sure the most interested students are getting the best material possible to answer their questions, moving them to the next step of the student decision journey. Ultimately, the withdrawal that was created from missing test takers has made our systems more efficient.

This is just one of the innovations of necessity that was made during 2020. I am happy we could offer our clients a better way … and help ease the pain of those missing leads.

By Jamie Gleason, Director of Undergraduate Initiatives, Capture