Case Study: TargetX and Simpson University

The TargetX Recruitment Suite Makes Applying to Simpson University Simple

Challenges: Simpson’s CRM was creating roadblocks to converting inquiries into applicants

Simpson University was nearing contract end with their existing CRM. They needed a solution to help them convert more student inquiries into applicants. An essential first step was making their online application easy-to-access and mobile friendly. “Ten percent of our prospects will start an application and not finish. We know many of our students are completing their applications on phones,” explains Dustin Lowe, Senior Director of Admissions. “We had to streamline our application processes and make them mobile-friendly.”

Lowe says students were also road-blocked by a difficult online application sign-in process. Each student was assigned a very specific user name that was hard for students to remember, resulting in innumerable locked accounts.

Other challenges with Simpson’s existing system included the CRM’s inability to handle paid events, report on who attended an event, or provide information on if an event attendee matriculated as a student. “We had few analytics to know if what we were doing was valuable,” Lowe comments. The lack of analytics extended to email campaigns; Lowe’s team was unable to track essential information like open rates and opt-outs.

The Simpson staff particularly wanted to move away from the manual processing and manipulation of data. “It was such a manual process to import student information like SAT and ACT scores. We would have to manipulate the data multiple times to make it work,” says Lowe. “Luckily, we have someone on staff who really understood the system. If she left, we would have been ruined!”

That same person would come in every morning and pull a report from the previous CRM and manually enter the student application information into the SIS. “The ability to connect our SIS to our CRM was a must,” says Lowe.

Solutions: The TargetX Recruitment Solutions make applying to Simpson University simple

Lowe says, “As soon as we saw TargetX, it was clear that it would be an obvious enhancement to our student experience, especially on the mobile side of things.”

The TargetX Recruitment Suite has a mobile-first Online Application, which is the first of its kind in the higher education marketplace. Most online applications are designed around outdated paper models that are difficult to read and offer a disjointed user experience. The TargetX Online Application is clean, clear, and easy to use on any mobile device, appealing to the growing number of students who use their phones to apply to college.

TargetX is used by hundreds of colleges and universities to recruit the right students with the most comprehensive and integrated solutions all in one place. In TargetX, the SIS is seamlessly linked, allowing Lowe and his team to say ‘goodbye’ to manual processing and ‘hello’ to “strategic thinking,” he says. All of Simpson’s data has been migrated from their previous CRM and is now centrally located, accessible at their fingertips.

“TargetX really checked all of our boxes from beginning to end, from automation to communication,” Lowe says.

Results: Simpson plans to increase number of applicants with the support of TargetX

By adopting the TargetX Recruitment Suite, Simpson University is now engaging with a robust student lifecycle solution that is expandable, buildable, and ready to grow with their needs to support student success — while continually improving regular TargetX updates.

“Admissions is the driver right now, but we plan to use TargetX for retention and eventually to support alumni development goals,” says Lowe.

Lowe adds, “Right now, our main goal is to convert inquiries to applicants. We’re excited that TargetX makes it simple for prospects to sign-in to their online application, and they can do that on their phones, or anywhere they want with ease. We plan to cut the number of students who don’t complete their started applications in half (at least). We feel confident that we can do that with TargetX.”

Simpson University

Simpson University at a Glance

  • Founded in 1921
  • Located in Redding, CA
  • Four-year, private Christian University
  • Approximately 1,000 students
  • Home of the Red Hawks

TargetX Solutions


Simpson University required a solution that would convert inquiries into applicants through:

  • increased automation capabilities for data processing and communications;
  • a mobile-first online application with a user-friendly sign-in;
  • a robust events module; and
  • improved reporting capabilities.

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