Success Story:

Saint Louis University

A data-driven digital experience delivers record enrollment.

The Challenge

Saint Louis University (SLU) is one of the most prestigious Jesuit higher education institutions in the country, providing a rigorous learning environment focused on developing students as a whole—mind, body and soul. When the 200-year-old university was experiencing stagnant enrollment, it turned to MediaCross for help increasing its relevancy with new audiences—including Gen Z and their parents—with the aim of offering prospective students a unique, personalized experience on their college search journey.

Our Solution

Having worked with more than 30 higher education institutions, MediaCross was brought in as the strategic partner to formulate a new approach. Our discovery process led to recommendations that would better engage digitally minded Gen Z students. MediaCross offered a completely customized solution, opting to reduce the size of the coffee-table viewbook into a smaller piece, which was also supplemented by an interactive, mobile-ready digital viewbook.

The digital viewbook modernized and personalized the college search experience in many ways. The new approach condensed new-student-specific information into an easily navigable tool. Brief user surveys, presented throughout the viewbook, helped students find the information they were looking for—faster. Answers given were tailored to each student’s individual content preferences. And parents could navigate the digital viewbook, identify themselves, and learn important information about the application process and available scholarships. Moreover, the online format meant everything could easily be shared by parents and students across a variety of channels.

MediaCross also ensured that the viewbook was seamlessly integrated with SLU’s CRM, Salesforce, so valuable lead data (e.g., lifestyle and extracurricular preferences, academic interests, etc.) could be easily captured and utilized.

Our digital viewbook proved so successful that SLU asked MediaCross for a second, even more personalized iteration. Synthesizing the insights from analytics and user experience (UX) testing garnered from the first viewbook, the second iteration was completed and launched in September 2019. The second edition refreshed the navigation based on site flow data, drove engagement with more clearly defined opportunities for user customization, and presented students with more chances to learn about the university by auto-populating related content the student “may also like.”

SLU’s digital viewbook was built mobile-ready, making it accessible to visitors across all devices.

Scroll on the desktop to explore a page of the digital viewbook’s site.

Snapshots of SLU’s digital viewbook experience, as seen on a mobile device.

The Results

By advocating for a digital viewbook, MediaCross helped SLU create a memorable, custom experience that delivers on the expectations of a new generation of students. Thanks to its interactive mobile design, students were given a fresh way to learn about SLU’s story in a take-anywhere, share-everywhere format—and it’s working!

Record Enrollment

The digital viewbook helped SLU experience record fall enrollment, leading to their largest freshman class in university history.

Deeper User Insights

By setting up the viewbook to ingrate with SLU’s CRM and report on a student’s interaction, we’ve enabled SLU to track user engagement for deeper insights.

Lower Costs

The digitized format helped SLU avoid expensive production and fulfillment costs that would have been spent on the traditional printed viewbook.

Proven ROI

Pairing data collected from the CRM integration with the university’s enrollment metrics, SLU is easily able to prove and track the viewbook’s ROI.

Increased Engagement

The data we collect allows SLU to provide increasingly personal communication flows that will continue to inform future content decisions.

Greater Flexibility

The digital format allows for timely adjustments based on user data, allowing future changes to be made quickly and inexpensively as university needs change.

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