How to Retarget A Select Group of Prospective Students

A conversation about retargeting

A Director of Admissions at one of the colleges that we work with (a highly competitive private liberal arts college in the Midwest) recently asked me, “It is great that the retargeting is getting people to our website, but we don’t need top-of-the-funnel help; we need qualified applicants. How can retargeting address that challenge?” He then reminded me that purchasing a list of names for Student Search enabled him to pre-define the characteristics of prospective students that would likely be viable candidates based on entrance exam score ranges, grade point average, etc.

Website retargeting serves ads to those who have visited a school’s website. Therefore, it is a great way to re-engage those who have already expressed interest in a school. But, how to address the issue of ensuring that selected prospective students see institutional advertising online?

Luckily, retargeting is not solely relegated to a school’s website visitors. Retargeting can also be applied to prospective students on purchased lists for Student Search in that those same prospects on the list can be found online and served advertisements for colleges. This “list retargeting” can bolster the email and postal mail campaigns associated with traditional Student Search tactics and provide additional outreach opportunities across online channels and devices. Ultimately, list retargeting can address the challenges associated with targeting a select group of prospective students. Not only can list retargeting powerfully complement Student Search at the top of the funnel, but it can also be applied at every phase of the college selection process. More on that later.

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