What we did
Leading up to 2017, Bryant had seen applications steadily increasing by a rate of 10% year-over-year. However, the percentage of accepted students who ultimately enrolled in the college was consistently below their expectations. The university wanted to utilize personalization to target accepted students and increase enrollment — with an emphasis on female applicants and international students (particularly China).
Prior to setting up the personalization campaign, we developed a stand-alone Undergraduate Admissions website for Bryant. This was a complete redesign with a new strategy, information architecture, content approach, and infrastructure on Drupal 8. This site was based on a comprehensive discovery including user research.
First, we designed and developed a site that highlighted key messages right on the homepage. Each of Bryant’s differentiating messages have a landing page that details Bryant’s unique attributes.
Second, we created a large repository of student, faculty and alumni stories that highlight the connected community that helps graduates find jobs and get started in their careers. We used Drupal taxonomies, to promote these stories across the site on relevant pages (and we later used Acquia Lift to show the most relevant stories to prospects).
Third, we pulled together all of the academic programs into the Undergraduate Admission site. This streamlining of the content kept prospective students in one digital experience (rather than wandering over a large site) — and allowed us to more effectively use personalization. To encourage exploration and to highlight Bryant’s requirement that students take courses in business and the liberal arts, we created an interactive tool that shows the outcomes of merging these two areas of study.
The first step in the implementation of a personalization strategy was to meet with Bryant’s internal team to define the key segments they would target with Acquia Lift, and outline campaigns targeted to those segments.
By reviewing their site analytics and conducting extensive stakeholder interviews, we developed a campaign strategy with a focus on providing unique calls to action (CTA) tailored to accepted students in the following segments:
- Interested in Studying Business
- Interested in Studying the Liberal Arts
- Area of study is Undecided
- Female Students
- International Students
- Students from China
To maximize the data available, We began tracking users at the start of the project even while the strategy was being defined. Our next step was to configure segments and personas in Lift, and create new content assets in the Drupal 8 CMS. Once the campaigns were in place, accepted students who were included in the target segments would receive a completely customized homepage. Each segment received unique: call to action buttons, student profiles that matched their segment, new photo galleries, and tailored admission and financial aid message.