Generating enquires from North America & Europe at a $30 CPL

How we delivered high quality leads from Google and Meta, at the best cost for James Cook University.

From 8 countries to the Great Barrier Reef.

$30 Cost per lead

Across the 4 month campaign

9% Conversion Rate

From click to lead capture

1.5% Click Through

The Education benchmark is 0.40%


2019 - 2022


Strategy & Student Acquisition
Meta Advertising
Google Advertising
International Lead Generation

Adapting to the changing international perspective

Since January 2019, Student Garden has partnered with JCU International to deliver a lead generation campaign, targeting prospective students across the USA, Canada and Europe. Students would be required to travel to Australia to complete their studies.

Since the beginning of the campaign, our primary goals have been delivering high-quality leads at the best cost. This proved a challenge in the wake of COVID-19.

The key element of our success in running our campaigns across 8 different countries has been a deep understanding of our target audience and testing different audiences, keywords, ad creatives and LCPs to identify the optimal journey to conversion.

We’ve kept our cost per lead low at $30, with a conversion rate of 9% and click-through rate of 1.5%, all setting the standard well above industry benchmarks.

How did we do it?

1. Clear keyword strategy

We identified high-intent keywords and search volume based on each study area and overall brand awareness for JCU. This created a strong foundation for our campaign.

2. Maximising Google creative

We maximised the suite of Google assets (previously extensions) in our ads to align with search terms and the landing page. This improved overall UX and worked well with the Google algorithm.

3. Utilising Meta high-intent audiences

We used high-intent audiences based on interest, web traffic, social media engagement and databases, allowing Meta to retarget engaged users. Providing high quality data also helped the algorithm identify prospecting audiences.

4. Country-specific content

Once we understood our target audience demographic and psychographic profiles, our experienced content team created engaging ads using user-generated content and country-specific messaging.

5. Seamless client relationship

Our consistent interaction and communication with the client helped us to understand the target audience and implement effective strategies that aligned with their expectations. This, combined with Student Garden industry expertise, allowed us to successfully run campaigns across 2 continents and contribute to JCU student acquisition targets.

“Social Garden provide us with clear guidance,
great content, regular check-ins, and technical
and functional recommendations. They drove us
to reach and exceed our SEO goals.”

Gino Crawford,

Senior Digital Marketing Coordinator

Result and insights snapshot

72% increase

Traffic to site from 01 November 2021 to 30 November 2022

23% increase

In Page Views from 01 November 2021 to 31 November 2022

40% increase

In Sessions from 01 November 2021 to 30 November 2022

60% Organic Traffic

Showcasing the efficacy of on-page content and site structure updates, as at October 2022

“Not only have we surpassed the client’s original targets, but we have done so 6 months ahead of schedule! The results speak for themselves.”

— Orla Moffatt,
Melbourne Polytechnic's dedicated Account Manager