How a Top-Ranked University Increased Deposits and Yield Through Digital Marketing

When a top-ranked university with more than 40,000 students needed help increasing yield rates and deposits, they partnered with Fathom to transform their digital marketing strategy — resulting in record numbers across the board.


Increase in Click-Through Rate


Increase in Deposits


Decrease in Cost Per Deposit

The Campaign: Increasing Yield


32% of admitted students end up attending, and 89% of those that make a $100 deposit start class. Increasing yield by a single digit could mean millions in tuition to the university.


Partnering with Eduventures, we evaluated the motivations of prospective students to understand which mediums were most impactful in making a decision on which school to attend.


We found that most schools were using the same activities to persuade ideal students to attend their university (events, direct mail, email, phone calls, SMS, etc.). None of the competing schools were using digital to increase deposits.


Messaging was crafted specifically for Underrepresented, In-state and Out-of-state admitted students to motivate them to make their $100 deposit directly from our campaign. The results showed that students were willing to take action immediately.

Our Strategy for Increasing Yield

The university's incoming class included more than 21,000 admitted students. Historical data showed that of these 21,000 admits, only 32% of them would make their $100 deposit to reserve their start date. Students who make their deposit provide the strongest signal of their intent to attend Indiana University, with 89.7% of them making the start.


Our goal was to encourage Underrepresented, In-state and Out-of-state admits to make their deposit using channels that have traditionally been ignored for yield efforts, such as Facebook, Gmail, Twitter and Google Remarketing. At the same time, having integrated messaging and coordination with their traditional efforts (email, events, SMS, calls, etc.) was paramount in making this as successful as possible.


Positioning to each of our audiences was demonstrated through messaging and creative. We found that through the research data available from Eduventures, that Underrepresented students were more responsive to messaging around scholarships and costs, while In-state prospects were served messaging around the university being right for them, and Out-of-state prospects had big considerations around higher tuition and being far away from home.

The Results

Our primary channels for encouraging prospects to make their deposit were Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Google Remarketing. Each of these tactics required us to upload our list of admitted students to create a match rate. Overall, our match rate resulted in the ability to reach 55%, or 10,725, admitted students at a low cost of $.25/click. Throughout our flight (March-May 1st), we were able to generate 1,127 deposits directly from this campaign. This effort resulted in record numbers across the board for our three audiences and proved that an integrated approach to driving yield is an effective way of driving deposits and reaching today's prospect student.




Cost Per Click



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