Recruiting International Graduate Students in the Digital Age

Recruiting international graduate students is a challenge, especially in recent years as international enrollment in graduate schools has dipped. Grad schools need to find new and creative ways to recruit this audience — an audience that overwhelmingly turns to an institution’s website to get information.

Here is how one Capture Higher Ed partner did just that.

Greetings From South Korea

Over a six-day period in the fall of 2017, a prospective graduate student from Gwangju, South Korea visited the graduate site of one of Capture’s partners, a mid-sized private liberal arts university in the Northeast. The student went directly to the academic program pages. These visits resulted in an official inquiry in September and a subsequent enrollment application in November.

But, then the student’s browsing history went quiet.

On Dec. 9, while awaiting an application decision, he received a web retargeting digital display advertisement that led him back to the university’s website. On a February visit to the site he received an international specific toaster, leading him to remain on the site for one hour and five minutes and visit 25 pages.

This South Korean student is now deposited and set to begin his master’s program at the Capture partner school this fall.

What was his visitor profile?
  • # of Visits: 66
  • Pages Visited: 206
  • Was served 7 popovers, 3 identification forms and 35 toasters
  • Received 1 digital display retargeting ad
What tools did the university use?

Dynamic Content

From toasters and popovers to image swaps and triggered emails, there are nearly a dozen forms of dynamic content colleges and universities can use to communicate with prospects in real-time while they are researching on an institution’s website. Each of these tactics is chosen based upon the goals of graduate school. It’s often a subtle nudge, influencing next steps by targeted messaging based on variable data and browsing history.

The content appears on an .edu site at the time a prospect is most interested in an institution, encouraging next steps in the application and registration process and also providing specific messaging pertinent to international students.

Digital Display Retargeting

Digital Display Targeting (DDT) is Capture Higher Ed’s multi-channel suite of online tools used for discovery, engagement and influencing prospective students and parents through customized digital ads. Whether it’s through audience segmentation, geo-targeting, retargeting or paid search, DDT ads can be served on any device through web, mobile and social media channels.

DDT retargeting reminds prospective students of your institution, it’s value and your brand; reengaging a student to keep Drew top of mind in their decision process.

Are you ready to get creative with your strategy for recruiting international graduate students? Click here to contact us!

By Amanda Scott, M.A.Ed., Senior Director, Capture Higher Ed