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Erasmus University

A student customer journey that lasts

interested students
CTR increase

Founded in 1913, Erasmus University Rotterdam has been placed in the top 100 universities in the world by three major ranking tables. In 2017, the university was ranked among top ten business schools in Europe by Financial Times, and it is world-renowned for its faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Erasmus University turned to Dept to help with its digital marketing, including SEA, SEO, analytics and social. We are also increasingly working on the Erasmus website and, alongside target group research, we carry out A/B testing in order to improve campaigns and website behaviour.

The customer journey for the student transcends channels and can last years

The Erasmus University has a great many separate faculties and limited companies, each with their own challenges and unique requirements. Our task is to fulfill the individual faculties’ needs, paying attention to applying lessons from all of the various campaigns. A huge challenge in this context is maintaining a grip on the ever-changing young target audience.


The customer journey starts at school

Campaigns focused on students begin with branding among secondary school children, and end when the student signs up for a Bachelor course. This online customer journey for the student transcends channels and can last years. During our international branding campaign Make it Happen, we shared videos on YouTube and Facebook to enable pupils to familiarise themselves with EUR.

The moment when a pupil starts looking at courses is actually two years later and requires other channels. The fact that we measure everything means we can link the right KPIs to each phase. We report results from the various campaigns, per country and faculty, via DoubleClick for Search.

Keep them tempted

SEA plays a huge role, particularly in international contexts. Many potential students are looking for courses abroad and university rankings. As they begin to clarify what they would like to study, they carry out more specific searches. By combining online results with data from the EUR, we can more effectively localise the areas which offer the most likely students. We are smart when it comes to SEA and expand the visibility in these specific locations.

The challenge is to then keep ‘tempting’ the target group after their first introduction. With remarketing campaigns via the Google Display Network and Facebook, we highlight call-to-actions such as registration data and brochures. We always take account of the individual’s most recent online behaviour.


  • This campaign obtained over half a million website users via Google Adwords. This equated to 6% growth, within the same media spend.
  • The number of international, interested students was over 4,000.
  • From Facebook, 44,990 people visited the site.
  • The campaign achieved an 88% increase in click-through-rate, with a cost-per-click reduction of 5.6%.

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