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Arizona State University expands online student enrollment through Microsoft Advertising

March 2024

  • Article
  • Success stories
Happy university students celebrating on graduation day with graduation gowns.

The goal

Arizona State University (ASU) has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. To advance its charter, ASU had a goal of reaching prospective students interested in its online programs, which presented a challenge of identifying and reaching qualified prospects. They turned to Microsoft Advertising to help reach these new students.

The solution

To capture the incremental demand of prospective students, ASU Online implemented a lower funnel non-brand Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) strategy across their Microsoft Advertising campaigns. These dynamically created ads served as a constant presence throughout the long enrollment process. To make each interaction more compelling, ASU Online utilized responsive search ads (RSAs) alongside contextual landing pages to provide the right message and details to prospective students along their decision journey.

Dynamic Search Ads have proven to be incredibly effective in capturing incremental demand. By deploying this strategy along with Responsive Search Ads, we’ve leveraged the best of Microsoft Ads AI, ensuring we reach the right prospect with the right message at the right time. In partnership with our agency, Neo Media World, we’ve seen great success with this tactic, ultimately advancing ASU’s Charter.

— Claire Slattery, Sr. Manager Marketing Data Analytics, ASU Enterprise Partners

The results

  • 135% increase in non-brand impressions year over year.
  • 145% increase in non-brand clicks year over year.
  • 58% increase in non-brand leads year over year.
  • 25% decrease in cost per click (CPC) compared to non-brand keywords.
  • 11% decrease in cost per acquisition (CPA) compared to non-brand keywords.

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