International Connections Academy Logo - Education Website

A global digital marketing campaign for Pearson.

Design / SEO / PPC

International Connections Academy is one of the largest virtual private schools in the USA. Owned by Pearson, they approached Strawberrysoup to embark on a global digital direct-response campaign for the school.

The International Connections Academy is an affordable, college preparatory online private school for grades K–12. In a virtual classroom, students from around the world work with certified teachers to reach their highest potential through fully accredited, uniquely individualised learning programs that include full-time schooling, individual courses, and summer schools.

A word from
Neil / Managing Director

“Targeting a niche audience globally is quite a tricky task. We chose to test and learn across a range of different channels, technologies and audiences to understand what works and what doesn’t. Then we turned off what didn’t and dialled up what did.”

Country specific landing pages

The first step we took was to understand our target demographic, what they were looking for, which countries they were based in and which digital marketing channels they were most likely to be using.

We identified countries from historical Google Analytics data, previous enrollment data, past Salesforce leads and by simple desk research. We identified 60 core countries to form the structure of this direct-response campaign.

We wanted prospective customers to land on a contextually relevant page that felt specific to their needs. We created 60 location-specific landing pages that took the prospect through who International Connections Academy is, what they offer, how they work with students, the results they’ve achieved and to reinforce the fact that they are truly global. Each page took the user through a journey by scrolling and then displayed an obvious form to request a course guide.

To help with landing page and contact form optimisation, we included:

  • An early enrollment offer to prompt urgency and leads before key commercial dates
  • A free program guide download, specific to which curriculum was selected
  • Previous student testimonials to help gain trust
  • The key unique selling points of INaCa, including facts and figures
  • A video to help boost on-page engagement
  • A step-by-step ‘how to enrol’ illustration
  • An optimised contact form, with inclusive form validation
  • Landing pages that were equally effective on both mobile and desktop

During this process, we also set up Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics, so we could clearly attribute campaign performance to specific countries, based on the actual pages the leads were submitted from. We could also break these down further, based on the interested curriculum.

Supercharged PPC advertising

Due to the specific targeting and budget management options of the Google AdWords platform, this was to be our main driver of activity. We strategised a core set of campaigns and targeting with the aim of capturing users at different entry points and requirements. In essence, this was our best option for capturing a US audience living in another country looking to access a US curriculum, most likely for their child/children.

And whilst this wasn’t strictly a brand awareness campaign, a combination of the below campaigns and targeting was used to first raise awareness of INaCa outside of the US and then capture people as active leads. Here are just some of the campaigns we used:

  • Search only advertising
    • Branded text campaign
    • Non-branded International campaign
  • Display advertising
    • Keyword targeted
    • Managed placements
    • Similar audience
    • In-market audience
  • Remarketing
    • RLSA
    • Customer match
    • Custom audience remarketing
    • Facebook

A custom dashboard for management reporting

Using Geckoboard, we aggregated campaign data from all platforms into an easy to understand dashboard. This enabled our client to login and gain a top level overview of daily performance whenever required. We included multiple data sources, and provided the following useful information that could be communicated to key stakeholders:

  • Daily visits
  • Number of completed contact forms
  • Leads by country
  • Top country landing pages by day
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Daily spend

Alongside providing regular progress updates, this was used to give the client confidence we were making positive improvements daily and that there was a healthy balance of leads being generated across key markets.

Remarkable results

The client is really happy with the results that we achieved across the 130-day campaign. The headlines are as follows:







More work.

Shady Grove
Design / Social / SEO
Hennings Wine
eCommerce / SEO

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