Determining the Value of an Online Recruitment Campaign

Determining the Value of an Online Recruitment CampaignHow do you evaluate the success of a digital recruitment campaign, especially when using a third-party vendor? Which of the many metrics included in the campaign report show success in reaching the right prospects and moving them through the admissions funnel?

To be honest, when I was an associate vice president of marketing for a Catholic university, I struggled with this. The reports I received were rife with metrics, but rarely showed the bottom line. No doubt, digital marketing is complex, but understanding a campaign’s effectiveness shouldn’t be.

To determine if an online recruitment campaign is working, I focus on three Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): the number of actions, the cost per click (CPC), and the cost per action (CPA). Actions reveal the effectiveness of our targeting and messaging. If we’re reaching the right people and inspiring them to act, the campaign will generate actions. The cost metric speaks for itself, revealing how efficiently the budget is being spent and how targeting and optimizations are honing in on the ideal prospect.

There are many actions a user can take in an online campaign and some are better than others. A submitted “I want to learn more” form has greater value than a user who clicks from the landing page to the website, but all actions matter.

At Calculate, we categorize actions according to their value:

  • Primary actions result in direct leads. These include submitted forms and phone calls to Admissions.
  • Secondary actions show a high level of interest by the user and consist of clicks to apply, clicks to visit/tour, or clicks to the institutional website.
  • Tertiary actions are when a user engages with the campaign via social media post comments, reactions and shares, along with clicks for location and sitelink clicks via Google Ads.

For example, we recently completed a mid-year Transfer campaign. The five-week campaign had a modest budget of $7,300, yet generated 4,945 clicks and the following actions:

  • 157 Primary actions (direct leads sent to Admissions)
  • 443 Secondary actions
  • 265 Tertiary actions

The breakdown of costs:

  • Cost per Click: $1.48
  • Cost per Action (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Actions): $8.44
  • Cost per Direct Lead: $46.51

Of course, we all want prospective students to see our ads and immediately apply, but we know that choosing a college isn’t a frivolous decision. The campaign’s true purpose is to find right-fit prospects, inspire their interest and connect them to the institution.

Are you interested in generating actions for your Admissions team? Contact us today to see how Calculate utilizes a storytelling approach to engage with right-fit students.

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