Convert stale leads into active prospects


A leader in career training institutions with 16 campuses nationwide.


A brainstorming session with the leading career college revealed that the school had years of old lead data collecting dust. The college believed that too much time had passed from previous interactions for the leads to hold any value in the present or future. This notion was backed up by traditional higher ed marketing expectations, the environment in which mere seconds on an inquiry callback can impact a potential student’s likelihood to enroll. For these reasons, the school was unconvinced that the old leads were worth diverting digital dollars to. Despite these preconceptions, Statwax’s digital higher ed experience told them the old leads were worth exploring.


The college had well-established procedures for engaging with leads, which relied on traditional methods like quick call-backs and interview-setting. But Statwax saw a pattern in prospective student behavior, one that required an extremely long-lead view to recognize. This data suggested that lifestyle changes (such as starting a family, or buying a home) were causing users who had once passed on attending to reconsider. Others may have simply not been ready for the commitment at the time. But Statwax found that the college had tens of thousands of once highly valuable prospects with proven interest in the school at one time.

To uncover the value in these old leads, Statwax created a campaign strategy that analyzed previous potential students and their past interactions with the college, to determine the duration since their last engagement as well as examine demographics and lifestyle to predict the value in reconnecting. A powerful backend tracking system, collaboratively made by Statwax and the college to follow the entire student journey, allowed fully visibility into the prospects and their behavior while stale, and in the current digital landscape.

A key step in setting up campaigns for the group was to segment the massive lists based on key touchpoints, which would ensure ad spend was not wasted on those who are truly no longer ideal students or eligible for enrollment. Campaigns were then targeted toward prospects’ campus and program of interest, leaning heavily on paid social tactics to engage undecided users with emotionally driven messaging surrounding career advancement, course flexibility, and other benefits.

To create an even more immersive and persuasive experience for prospective students reconsidering enrollment, Statwax designed and deployed a landing page specific to old leads. Together, the ads and the website experience emphasized the value of the college’s education, addressed fears of committing to higher education, and clearly outlined next steps.

The storytelling, student journey-focused campaign appealed to the lifestyle demands of former leads – helping to inform and persuade them where they had previously fallen stale due to a hard sales pitch approach.


Traditional higher ed marketing is all about the quick response to inquiries. If one school doesn’t get to the person, four others will. The old mindset would say that prospects who go stale, especially those from years ago, would not be worth any marketing spend to re-engage. But modern digital behaviors are showing that the decision process is much longer than it once was. Thousands of touchpoints and sometimes years of consideration are required. Remarketing to past inquiries is as important and remarketing to website visitors always has been, as long as the messaging and targeting is tailored appropriately to re-walk someone through the journey. 

Are you leaving leads behind? Let us know what your enrollment goals are, and we’ll help you uncover more opportunities to reach them.

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