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Content Personalization Strategies to Increase Student Engagement

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Grabbing and keeping student’s attention is tougher than ever.

That's where content personalization steps in as a real game-changer for schools. 

Whether you're a large state university or private trade school, creating content that speaks directly to the right student at the right time is critical for building lasting connections and meeting your institutional goals.

Understanding Content Personalization and its Importance

Content personalization goes beyond just serving up generic information.

It's about tailoring what you offer to match the unique interests, preferences, and habits of each individual student.

By tapping into the wealth of data available, universities can create a more personalized experience for every kind of student they serve.

According to McKinsey & Company, 71% of modern online shoppers appreciate and expect personalization, while 76% of them are frustrated when they don’t receive recommendations that relate to them.  



Think about it this way — instead of sending out a generic newsletter or posting generic announcements, imagine being able to tailor those messages so that each student receives information that's specifically relevant to them. 

This could look like:

  • Suggesting relevant courses based on a student's academic interests.
  • Highlighting campus events that align with their hobbies, or
  • Providing resources tailored to their career aspirations, ensuring that every interaction resonates with the individual student.

And why does this matter?

Because when students feel like the university understands their needs and interests, they're more likely to engage with the institution.

But it's also not just about engagement in the moment.

By delivering content that's relevant and meaningful to each student, universities can also drive long-term outcomes like enrollment and retention.

When students feel connected to their university and supported in their academic journey, they're more likely to stick around and ultimately graduate.

A recent webinar on leveraging website personalization to attract mission-fit students uncovers how. 


The Power of Personalization in Engagement

Imagine scrolling through a website and feeling like it's talking directly to you — showing you stuff you're actually interested in, like a trusted friend. 

That's the power of personalization.

It grabs your attention and keeps you engaged.

The following statistics, featured in an Inside Higher Ed Article recapping an Anthology report, reveal insightful information about how today’s students want to be communicated with:

  • 90% of students want reminders about academic due dates.
  • 87% of students want reminders about upcoming deadlines.
  • 89% of students want recommendations on what classes to take based on their specific career goals and aspirations.
  • 82% of students want information on social events on campus.

What’s more interesting, however, may be the following:

  • Half of student respondents (52%) want communication via a personalized email.
  • 31% of students would prefer text messages as their main form of contact, with less than 30% interested in a phone call or 27% wanting a generic, non-personalized email.




Now imagine how you can apply this information to increase student engagement.

Below are some ways to tailor the way institutions can interact with students.

Tailored Recommendations

Think of it like getting personalized recommendations from a friend who knows you.

By leveraging data analytics and machine learning algorithms, businesses can anticipate user preferences and deliver relevant recommendations, thereby increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Dynamic Content Modules

Dynamic content modules allow your website to adapt in real-time based on student behavior, preferences, and demographics.

Whether it's adjusting the homepage layout, displaying personalized acceptance pages, or showcasing trending content, dynamic modules enable schools to create a more personalized and engaging browsing experience for their students.

Contextual Messaging

Have you ever gotten an email or seen a message that feels like it was written just for you? That's contextual messaging.

It's about sending the right message at the right time, like knowing exactly where your students are in their journey to give them the right information, exactly when they need it — or often anticipating their needs before they do.

Beyond the Basics

Personalization isn't just about recommendations and messaging.

Here are a few unique ways to make your student engagement feel more personal.

Personalized Events and Workshops

Tailor event invitations and workshop offerings based on students' interests, academic majors, or career aspirations. By hosting events that directly align with their passions, you can foster deeper engagement and participation.

Tailored Communication Channels

Offer multiple communication channels (e.g., email, text, social media) and allow students to choose their preferred method of communication. By meeting them where they are, you can enhance engagement and responsiveness, leading to more meaningful interactions.

Customized Learning Paths

Imagine a curriculum tailored to each student's learning style, pace, and goals. With personalized learning paths, students can embark on educational journeys that cater to their individual needs and preferences, maximizing their academic success.

Targeted Support Resources

Provide personalized support resources, such as tutoring services, career counseling, or mental health resources, based on students' specific challenges or concerns. By addressing their unique needs, you can ensure they receive the help they need to thrive academically and personally.

Simplifying Pathways with an Integrated Solution

Streamlining the process of optimizing pathways for student engagement can be both time-consuming and resource-intensive due to the multitude of tools required. However, envision the efficiency and effectiveness of having an all-in-one platform to achieve these objectives seamlessly.

By consolidating these functionalities, schools can allocate resources more thoughtfully and focus on fostering meaningful connections with students, ultimately enhancing the overall student journey.

Introducing Clive

79% of consumers are willing to share relevant information about themselves for personalized product recommendations. 

Introducing Clive, our cutting-edge web personalization tool designed to enhance engagement and streamline content management.

Here’s how: 

Custom Webforms: Collect quality data for your CRM while crafting personalized website experiences through custom web forms.

Visitor Attributes: Dive deep into your audience segments by gathering insights from form submissions, visitor locations, page views, visits, and search terms.

Smart Content: From calls to action to images and paragraphs, Clive empowers you to adapt every aspect of your website content to match each visitor's unique attributes and segments. 

Clive seamlessly integrates with leading content management systems like Cascade CMS, enabling organizations to easily deploy personalized content modules without disrupting workflows.

Schools can utilize advanced targeting and segmentation to tailor content based on demographics, behavior, and preferences while gaining actionable insights into user behavior and content performance. 

With real-time analytics and A/B testing, schools can refine their personalization strategies over time, ensuring sustained engagement and long-term success. 

Learn more about Clive today.


Content personalization has become a cornerstone of effective digital marketing strategies with your students.

By leveraging personalized content experiences, finding unique options to connect more deeply with students, they can drive meaningful engagement and ultimately achieve their institutional goals and objectives. 

Feel empowered to unlock the full potential of content personalization and elevate your online presence to new heights.

To learn more about how Clive can help you tailor your content, request a discovery call by filling out the form below.

Last Updated: Apr 4, 2024 11:00 AM

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Rita Winthrop
Content Creator