William & Mary’s Mason School of Business was seeing declining class sizes for its program, falling conversion rates, lengthening decision timelines, and an inquiry target rising unsustainably. With it taking an average of 9 months to convert a prospect to an admit, the school needed to deliver program messaging to its target audience in the most timely and cost effective manner.


In William & Mary’s new strategy, LinkedIn was the primary tool to nurture website traffic and leads captured across all paid digital efforts. An analysis of its marketing efforts and channel results revealed that LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms and LinkedIn Messages Ads delivered the highest quality inquires across all partners. “Today, across all of our programs, LinkedIn acts as a screener and delivery medium for all of our paid lead generation efforts,” shared Watson.

Year-Over-Year Results

By focusing on the quality of the lead and less on the sheer number of leads, William & Mary’s Mason School of Business was able to efficiently drive higher quality leads into the funnel, decrease the length of the decision timeline, and enroll 23% more students.

Product Overview

  • With LinkedIn Message Ads, you can engage prospects through direct messages delivered as ads to your target audience through LinkedIn inboxes.
  • LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms are short, smart data capture forms that pull in relevant information from a member’s LinkedIn profile to make it easy for members to share contact details.

Capitalizing on a Powerful Duo: LinkedIn Message Ads and Lead Gen Forms

After initially visiting William & Mary’s Mason School of Business’s website, prospective students receive a LinkedIn Message Ad from the school’s chief recruiter introducing herself as a resource. The email provides her direct contact information, along with a LinkedIn Lead Gen Form for easy data collection.

By filtering all its traffic through LinkedIn for pre-qualification, William & Mary was empowered to focus only on the leads most likely to convert into students. “Some of our most effective inquiry generation campaigns came from remarketing campaigns on LinkedIn,” adds Watson.

Product Highlight

Schools that use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms see an average reduction in CPL of 75% versus off-platform lead collection. Lead Gen Forms are short, smart data capture forms optimized for mobile. By pulling in relevant details from a member’s LinkedIn profile, they make it easy for members to share contact details.

Overall Impact

William & Mary’s Mason School of Business greatly increased the efficiency of its campaigns by being able to fine-tune audience targeting and narrow its pool of prospective students. By utilizing LinkedIn to focus on driving quality prospects to their funnel, they drove 23% more enrolled students YOY with 12% less leads. “The biggest pivot we made, the one that ultimately had the most impact on our marketing and recruitment efforts, was to stop letting the lead define our strategy,” added Watson.   




The mission of the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary is to prepare principled future leaders for sustained outstanding performance and career success through personalized, experiential learning that fosters intellectual curiosity, innovation, rigorous critical thinking and adaptability to change.

INDUSTRY: Higher Education
NO. OF STUDENTS: 1001-5000
HQ LOCATION: Williamsburg, VA
View University Page
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Dave Ball
T. Cody Watson
Associate Director
Marketing at William & Mary’s Mason School of Business