Cara Lambregts

Student journey mapping: Getting students the right information, at the right time


“Good luck and good timing are the same thing.” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi 

Understanding the student journey allows institutions to sync the timing of your marketing campaigns to your students’ perspectives and psychology. This caliber of analysis will enable you to deliver the right marketing message at just the right time. 

Here are some sophisticated recruitment timing tricks from Studyportals’ kitchen: 

  • Increase your capacity to answer inquiries through automation around the peak search seasons: December-January and August-September 
  • Publish articles with more specific information about your university’s surrounding city or more detailed student testimonies are most relevant to prospects who are searching for a study-abroad destination rather than a discipline or programme. 
  • Drip email marketing campaigns are most compelling to prospective students who’ve subscribed or requested more information from your institution. 
  • Retarget students who’ve visited your website when application deadlines are approaching  
  • Promote year-round rather than at the tail-end of this decision-making process.  Reaching students earlier ensures top-of-mind awareness amongst students when they begin selecting their university options. 
  • Focus on brand storytelling all year round

You can also make sure that prospective students can find the answers to their questions, at the right moment. Make sure that this content is easy to find:  

  • Study programme – description, course content, entry requirements, rankings, scholarships, application procedure and deadline, career prospects and internships opportunities and facts about student life/university culture. 
  • Country and city – Give students the city experience. Based on student’s country of origin, consider information about visas, work permits and safety. Students especially coming from emerging markets can be wary about levels of cultural tolerance, or just how much “at home” they may feel in a foreign country. Include key facts about the infrastructure, such as airports and public transport. 
  • Cost of studying abroad – Can a student actually afford to study abroad? You can help them budget by including not only tuition fees and scholarships, but also living, housing, transportation, and healthcare costs. 
  • Career opportunities – Give students concrete examples. They are concerned about how and if they can transition from the academic to the working world. Consider including alumni testimonials about their career paths and the types of jobs they’ve landed after graduating from a specific program. 
  • Life on-campus – sports facilities, social events, counseling: anything that describes the academic and social support students will need during their time abroad. 
  • Housing – rising prices and the shortage of housing are one of the student’s increasing struggles. In some cities, students drop out of their programmes because they cannot find or cannot afford a place to stay. Offering information on a support network can increase your retention rates. 
  • Student reviews – you simply cannot skip this one: students want to know how other students experienced studying at your institution. Reviews impact students’ choice just as much as affordability and employability as it helps them assess their fit with your institution.   

Successfully mapping the student journey gives you a better understanding of where your students are and what information they need to successfully enrol.  

This will help you deliver the right marketing message at just the right time by syncing the timing of your marketing campaigns to your students’ perspectives.  

Download our free Guide to mapping the student journey  


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