Admissions

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Liaison International
Jan 22, 2024

St. Cloud State Streamlines Admissions and Boosts Enrollments with Enrollment Marketing Overall Since Before the Pandemic.

In graduate education, the need to attract best-fit students in a shrinking pool of prospects is complicated by ever-changing privacy measures. With tech giants like Apple and Google revising data-protection policies that make connecting with potential students more difficult, admissions professionals find themselves embracing a spirit of innovation, testing creative approaches to engage and enroll students.

The graduate admissions team at St. Cloud State University, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, has found an integrated campaign approach that is not only innovative but also remarkably effective.
Using a thoughtful combination of enrollment strategies, St. Cloud State has achieved:

  • a 8.5% enrollment increase Fall 2022 to Fall 2023
  • a 10.4% enrollment increase Fall 2020 to Fall 2021
  • a 21.1% enrollment increase since Fall 2020 and ~30% growth in graduate admissions
    overall since before the pandemic.

These are impressive results in a competitive environment. So, what is the key to their success? One undeniable contributing factor is the role Liaison’s integrated solutions play in St. Cloud State’s graduate enrollment initiative.

Elevating Engagement: Maximizing Yield with Integrated Campaigns

St. Cloud State, one of the largest public universities in the Minnesota State system, leverages Liaison’s BusinessCAS, EngineeringCAS, and GradCAS platforms—centralized application services that increase the applicant pools for specific graduate programs. Connecting with interested students who otherwise might not be on the institution’s radar has helped drive more applications. The key was to nurture best-fit students through the funnel to enrollment. To do that, the school relied on Liaison’s Enrollment Marketing Platform (EMP)—an automated inquiry response and multi-touch marketing campaign solution that engages prospects from first interest to the first day.

“As a team, we thought about the unique things could we do. What type of communications our students prefer and how we could personalize messages more effectively. Working with Liaison and the Enrollment Marketing Platform came up at the perfect time for us.”

– Sean Pitzer

Associate Director of Admissions at the School of Graduate Studies, St. Cloud State

Liaison’s Enrollment Marketing Platform integrates:

  • Inbound Marketing: Drawing attention through content creation to enhance brand awareness.
  • Personalized Outreach: Tailoring communication, including creating personalized URLs (PURLs) for each student, and responding promptly to inquiries.
  • Omnichannel Communication: Using various channels, from digital communications to customized direct mail pieces, to engage prospects and minimize missed connections.

St. Cloud State noticed three things at the onset of the pandemic that were critical to launching its enrollment strategy:

  • The quicker you respond to an inquiry, the more likely you are to matriculate that prospect.
  • Gen Z likes to receive direct mail.
  • People will follow a call to action if you give them useful information and tools.

Using Liaison’s solutions, the admissions team created integrated, automated, and personalized campaigns designed to engage each prospect and their primary influencers. The strategy leveraged an omnichannel approach that spoke directly to each prospect, creating an early personal relationship that was nurtured with each touchpoint.

The Enrollment Marketing Platform, built exclusively for higher education, helped ensure that each campaign was:

  • Immediate
  • Relevant
  • Automated
  • Trackable

“Having an automated system with the ability to speak directly to each student using various channels, combined with the ability to measure effectiveness, helps ensure we are on the right path. We’re always thinking about how we can utilize some of the data and information we get back to help us segment our audiences a little differently. This allows us to send more personalized and meaningful messaging that explains how St. Cloud State will benefit them, their education, and their career.”

– Sean Pitzer

Associate Director of Admissions at the School of Graduate Studies, St. Cloud State

Shaping the Path Forward: Personalized Engagement Redefined

The role of Liaison’s Enrollment Marketing Platform in St. Cloud State’s success is clear. Seamlessly integrating immediacy, relevance, automation, and trackability, this platform empowers the admissions team to craft campaigns that speak directly to each student. The ability to measure and refine these interactions helps ensure that the university continues to forge meaningful connections with its prospects, offering an educational experience that can be transformative.

Liaison International

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Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 40,000 programs on more than 1,200 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.