Calculating ROI from 6 years International advertising

RMIT University have recruited using Hotcourses International sites for over 6 years. With their market-leading focus on conversion, could we calculate the ROI from that partnership?

A perfect opportunity!

We were excited to get the chance to chat to Elissa Newall, Assistant Director, Customer Acquisition and Engagement at RMIT University, one of the highest ranked and internationally-focused institutions in Australia.

International student research can take several months and years, so it’s not possible to see a full picture of ROI in just one year. But we’ve worked with RMIT since 2009 - would this be a perfect opportunity to see how Hotcourses International sites had worked over the years?


Email inquiry conversion

Many institutions can’t effectively track email inquiry through enrollment, but with RMIT we were in luck. Their simple tracking of the inquiry source meant they could match 99 of their international enrollments from Hotcourses’ email inquiries alone.

Email inquiries through enrollment

Better quality, less effort

Not only that, we could see an improvement in efficiency as a result of Hotcourses’ investment in improved matching technology & RMIT’s inquiry management tactics.

RMIT shared how our performance compared against averages and we were pleased to see that our inquiry quality far surpassed other recruitment websites.











Did our web traffic convert?

RMIT’s best practice Google Analytics set-up meant that we could track meaningful goals completed by users on the RMIT website as a result of clicking through from Hotcourses’ websites, then compare against averages and model enrollments. Elissa already knew the average enrollment from application and inquiry, so by looking at how many goal completions Hotcourses’ users generated, we could draw up a picture of how our web traffic performed.

We looked at Google Analytics. We looked at Google Analytics again. We met at a conference and ran some more reports. Finally we were able to attribute a further 64 enrollments from Hotcourses web referrals.

Overall ROI

It was great to be able to build up a 6 year picture with RMIT on Hotcourses’ conversion from lead through enrollment but what did we learn?

  • We learned how important it is to have conversion and analytics professionals at your institution who can understand how traffic sources are converting and how to improve them.
  • We were able to demonstrate 163 enrolled students over a 6 year period. Here’s how the full picture looked.
Elissa Newall, RMIT University

“We really like working with partners that offer transparency and accountability, and our work with Hotcourses has displayed that over the years. While we have access to a lot of data and can analyze web interactions easily, it is important to understand that international student decision-making is a lengthy process with multiple influencers, and not all of it happens on the web. 

In addition, we must also recognize that the data we have drawn from Google Analytics for this case study is likely to under-report actual behavior, because we do not always have visibility of the originating source. For example where a student uses more than one device or returns to us after a 90 day period, or where they have gone straight to a local agent after gathering information from our site. That is what makes this case study and its returns all the more impressive.”

Now it’s your turn

  • We’d love to prove delivery for you too. We appreciate that in any organization this can be difficult, so we provide a range of free tools to match our clients’ enrollments to our registered users. To learn more, email:
  • We offer free Google Analytics training for all our clients. To learn more,email: