Colleges See 25-Fold Return on Capture Marketing Automation

Graduate schools are looking to strategies found in undergraduate admission offices as well as the business world to update their recruitment and marketing approaches. That’s because colleges and universities from across the country are seeing the benefits of adopting modern, effective and useful marketing automation technologies that have already been successful and influential in non-education markets.

Take Capture Higher Ed’s own partners, for instance.

Measuring return on investment for the second enrollment year, Capture found that partner colleges and universities using Capture Behavioral Engagement (CBE), Capture’s marketing automation technology that is super-charged for higher education, received impressive results on the ultimate enrollment of their fall 2017 classes.

Results for the 33 schools that used CBE to influence enrollment — ranging from small private to large public schools (and everything in between) — increased significantly as the institutions became more experienced using our technology.

A 25-Fold Return

The overall return across the colleges and universities was 25 times of their CBE license investment. This means that, for every $1 they spent on the product, they can expect, on average, $25 in return over the collegiate career of the students Capture influenced. Results ranged — in fact, four of Capture’s partners will see ROI that is several hundred times their investment.

The results were measured for four specific contributions CBE makes to the enrollment process.

  1. Allowing counselors to target outreach to identified students based on students’ engagement and specific interests;
  2. Influencing enrollment through dynamic content like toasters (ads that rise from the bottom of a website like toast), pop-overs, social media ads and similar advertising and branding;
  3. Guiding the student’s decision by allowing prospects to interact with dynamic content messaging;
  4. Capturing new stealth prospects through CBE progressive identification (PID) forms


Capture’s data scientists produced the ROI study by:

  • Measuring the current four ways that CBE influences student enrollment: 1) identifying a prospective student, 2) showing a student dynamic content, 3) interacting with a student using dynamic content, and 4) offering the student the opportunity to fill out a progressive identification (PID) form as an organic prospect;
  • Measuring the “lift” in enrollment for these students compared to similar identified visitors that CBE didn’t influence;
  • Attributing a small fraction of credit for this CBE influence, recognizing that there are many other factors that influence students’ enrollment. This “discount factor” varies by the type of CBE influence. For example, with each extra student enrolled from organic PID forms, Capture only takes credit for 35 percent of that extra enrollment. (Unlike other companies, which take 100 percent of the credit for any student they touch, we believe that the hard work of your institution and team do a lot of the heavy lifting;
  • Totaling up the net additional enrollments attributed to CBE and multiplying it by the six-year expected, net-tuition revenue for the school (the students’ lifetime value).

Go here to read a more detailed description of the study’s methodology.

As impressive as these ROI results are, it’s likely that Capture is understating the benefits of CBE on the enrollment process. For example, the study did not measure the impact of CBE’s influence on anonymous visitors, which account for more than 95 percent of the visitors to a partner-college website. It also didn’t measure the influence on pre-2017 students, although presumably that will show up in future ROI analysis.

Also, the study didn’t account for several other types of dynamic content that could have swayed student decisions. Updates to the software have enabled us to track even more of CBE’s super powers and we estimate that future studies will yield even more impressive results.

By Matt Cobb, Chief Operating Officer, Capture Higher Ed