GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

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Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Alicia Lyons | February 28th, 2019

LinkedIn InMail:  Hyper-Targeting Prospects for Enrollment

Computer with LinkedIn website on screen

How LinkedIn Can Benefit Your Recruiting ROI

LinkedIn is a platform often overlooked by most schools, as they prefer to lean towards SEM or Facebook, but LinkedIn can be a viable and essential medium for marketing graduate programs. LinkedIn is a networking platform that targets working professionals. It is also the number one platform for B2B marketing.


Statistics show that
  • 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers
  • 40 million are in decision-making positions
  • 44% of LinkedIn users earn more than $75,000 a year


Sound familiar? This audience demographic is precisely the target market for graduate programs. Some of the benefits of targeting this demographic through LinkedIn are:

  • The majority of users interact with LinkedIn while at work. Also, some employers will contribute to on-going graduate education. Therefore if your prospective student sees your message while at work, this may spark an exploration or conversation with their employer about professional development.
  • Users on LinkedIn are looking to increase their skill sets and worth in their employer’s eyes. A majority are also looking for new career opportunities.
  • LinkedIn users treat the platform as a social network, following thought leaders, consuming content and forming personal/professional connections.


LinkedIn offers two forms of paid advertising:
  • Sponsored Content which is much like Facebook’s boosted posts. They are images, ads, and blog content that will appear on the users’ news feeds.
  • Sponsored InMails are specific to LinkedIn. InMails are messages that include the member’s name that will appear in the user’s LinkedIn messages. They are a personalized form of both awareness and remarketing ads.


How does InMail work?

InMail is simple and effective and works much like an email campaign. First, determine your budget and audience demographics. InMail can be pricey, so it is important to target well and develop compelling messaging.  Audience demographics should be determined by location, education, and career background.  Messaging needs to include a clear call to action and should be personalized.

How to write a good InMail

Write a brief but pointed message — 3 paragraphs of no more than 100 words each. Introduce yourself, why you are writing to them, what you are offering, the benefits to them, and why they should contact you. The message will be sent to a user’s inbox. The message will only be sent to users that are currently active on the platform, and there are strict frequency caps (a user can only receive an InMail every 45 days from any organization, not just yours specifically) to ensure that users don’t get inundated.

How does InMail generate leads?

InMails employ a combination of awareness and remarketing tactics. When a school introduces their program through an InMail, they are starting the awareness process. This tactic is at the top of the marketing funnel. These users are just becoming familiar with your programs. However, within that same InMail, the school can start encouraging the user to connect by advertising upcoming events, admissions deadlines, and calls for more information. Therefore, through one message a School has the opportunity to appeal to multiple points in the decision making/funnel process.

Beginning a Dialogue: When Leads Become Conversations

Engagement is much higher with InMail campaigns. The average open rate for most of our clients is 94%. A well written InMail with a solid CTA and a sense of urgency can quickly turn into a conversation or a request for more information on the program.


For more information on social marketing for graduate programs or other topics discussed in this article, please visit our blog.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Alicia Lyons | February 22nd, 2019

Know Your Audience – Graduate Program Audience Personas

In order to develop a marketing plan with impact, you must first determine who your prospective student should be. In order to do this you must ask yourself three questions:

  • Who are we?
  • What makes us stand out?
  • What individual would benefit the most from our program?

Who are we?

This may seem like a simple question, but you need to be specific if you are going to determine the types of prospective students that you want to attract. How large is your program? What tracks do you specialize in? Where is your program located? These are just a few questions that you could ask yourself. Try to keep it concise, yet targeted.

What makes us stand out?

What makes your program different than the others? Do you have professional mentoring, affordable tuition, or an international immersion experience? What values do you look for in candidates and what culture are you looking to foster? Why should a prospective student attend your program?

Who would benefit the most?

The best way to tackle this question is with audience personas. An audience persona is a semi-fictional representation of the prospective student that you are looking to attract to your program. You can shape your perfect student. Then Graduate Program Recruitment Solutions (GPRS) can get them through your door.

How to Create the Perfect Audience Persona

Ask the right questions:

  • What are their demographics? Gender, Age, Location.
  • What are their motivators?
  • What industries are they working in?
  • Where are they in their career trajectory?
  • What are their career aspirations?
  • What does your student enjoy? What are their interests? What are their hobbies?

These are just a few questions that you can ask as you create the perfect graduate student profile.

Create a Great Profile

Start to put this information together and create a hypothetical dossier for that student. Maybe include a photo or and sample student ID to add some realism.


  • If you need inspiration, look at some of your current students and alumni. What do they have in common? What patterns can you spot?
  • Try to keep them grounded in reality. Personas should reflect the best student opportunities for your program.
  • Don’t spend a great deal of time putting together the aesthetics of the report, it’s the information that counts.

Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Alicia Lyons | February 5th, 2019

4 Key Metrics to Track Your Graduate Program Marketing Efforts

Metrics for Graduate Program MarketingThe equation is simple:
Graduate Program Marketing = Solid Leads = Conversions and New Students!

It’s that easy right? Wrong. If you are relying solely on conversions to track the success of your marketing efforts, then your marketing plan is failing. The most proactive way to produce a string of leads and conversions is to measure their effectiveness and create quantifiable marketing analytics.

Where are my conversions?

Let’s give you an example. Your program executes a LinkedIn InMail campaign that aims to target a nice sized crowd. You send out a series of awareness InMails and then wait for conversions. After a week, you become frustrated when you don’t receive any conversions.  You begin to question your advertising investment.

Just because you’re not seeing conversions from your marketing efforts doesn’t mean your efforts are wasted. Quality leads need to be nurtured into converting. You must track all of the metrics in a campaign to highlight quality leads and to nurture them into conversions.

Lead Generation

Find out how well your lead generation efforts are working by tracking the number of new leads generated by each campaign. For the most accurate measurement of lead generation, we use GP Insights™. Some of the metrics we track are Performance Metrics, such as Click-Through Rate (CTR), Cost per Click (CPC), and Cost per Lead (CPL). We track by channel, impressions, audience demographics and geotracking.

Most Effective Channels and Mediums

Find out which platforms and mediums are most effective in attracting new student inquiries, including those most likely to convert. Be sure to look at channels like social, paid social, search, and paid search for a complete picture.

Spending Efficiency

To understand how efficiently you are investing your marketing budget, take the average cost of lead generation versus your average spend on marketing efforts per lead. Measure the effectiveness of your investment month over month and year over year. By consistently aiming to outdo prior performance, you’ll continuously improve your marketing efforts. Always take into account outside factors, such as enrollment dates, events, and the academic calendar.

Return on Investment (ROI)

A graduate program’s tuition costs are typically set every year, making it easier to determine the ROI needed from marketing. It’s important to take this into account when determining your spend and investment in each lead. You are not looking for hundreds of customers, there is a limit to how many students can attend – therefore it’s the quality of the lead that matters. How much money do you dedicate to each lead?

GP Insights

We report on our metrics with a laser-focus on results. We prove it in great detail through our proprietary campaign measurement and graduate industry benchmarking platform. GP Insights was custom built to not only track campaigns but also optimize results. Without that level of detail, we could not ensure campaign success.



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For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

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