5 Solutions for Identifying Stealth Visitors Online and On-Campus

Heather Sumperl |Sep 10, 2020

40% of Seniors and 47% of Juniors do nearly all web browsing from a mobile device according to one RNL E-Expectations Report. The mobile revolution has transformed the way we work and gather information and has empowered a generation of students to do their due diligence at any time, and from anywhere, prior to submitting a college application.

But for admissions and enrollment professionals, the growing demographic of the stealth student visitor places the college at a disadvantage.

A lack of information on the early stealth visitor takes the control out of the hands of university officers to gauge interest and influence a student’s decision to apply.

Here are five digital solutions to quickly identify the stealth student visitor both online and on-campus.

1. Name Capture

Most digital marketers would agree that name capture forms are the most popular and effective way to generate leads in a virtual space.

When building out your name capture form, keep in mind the following:

  • Placement - this will look different on mobile and desktop
  • Fields - capture only the most essential information
  • Length - most people are willing to fill out shorter forms
  • Submission Button - try different CTAs to test conversion
  • Privacy Policy - show students how you will use their information

And, remember to get students excited to see what’s beyond the name capture! Without the presence of compelling content behind the “gate,” name capture could potentially turn away stealth visitors.

2. Live Chat

Implementing a live chat solution is an easy way to connect with prospective and newly enrolled students in real-time. In fact, many StudentBridge clients are combining a chat function throughout their websites allowing prospective students the opportunity to ask questions and engage with campus ambassadors along their web journey.

Not only does live chat help bridge the engagement gap between the stealth online visitor and admissions professionals, it helps lay the groundwork for a solid first impression and a way to fill your enrollment funnel.

3. VisiTOUR for Stealth On-Campus Visitors

Recently, several schools have turned to VisiTOUR, StudentBridge’s mobile web-based, virtual tour app to tackle the challenge of the stealth campus visitor.

VisiTOUR leverages the power of Google Maps to guide on-site visitors through campus using 360° images, photos, videos and audio.

Not only does it act as a virtual guide, VisiTOUR connects prospective students with their potential futures by allowing them to design tours based on their academic and social interests.

And if you’re worried about a shrinking inquiry pool due to stealth on-campus visitors, VisiTOUR requires a name and email to get started.

4. Host One-on-One Zoom Tours

According to a recent White Paper study conducted by StudentBridge, 88% of enrollment professionals believe the most important part of an on-campus visit is assessing the “feel” of the school and making a connection with a campus rep.

Place call-to-actions on your website inviting your stealth online visitors to schedule a personalized one-on-one campus tour with a student rep using Zoom and an interactive campus map as a guide.

Schedule a tour

The role of the student ambassador should be hyper-focused on promoting what truly sells your campus -- the people, stories, and value, not just buildings and walkways.

5. Virtual Events in a Dedicated Microsite

Lastly, many colleges and universities are turning toward microsites to host virtual events such as Open Houses. And, of these institutions, most are reporting:

With fall fast approaching, it’s ever-more critical for colleges and universities to reach any and all prospective students to encourage them to apply. Our expertly crafted online events have seen a 35% increase in participation and, with our name capture feature, are a great way to start to fill your inquiry pool.

As we plunge headlong into this accelerated digital transformation, colleges and universities must embrace technology to regain control of the admissions funnel at an earlier stage. Contact us today to see how we can help your institution develop customized digital solutions to engage with students and drive conversion.

Ruffalo Noel Levitz & OmniUpdate. (2018). 2018 E-expectations report. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Available at www.RuffaloNL.com/Expectations