Graduate Management News

January 2015

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

Measuring Success: Calculating the ROI from Your GMASS Searches

Have you been to a recruiting fair lately? Presented at an information session? Finding a receptive candidate audience whose profile is a good fit for your MBA or master’s program is key to your recruiting success.


In multiple webinars and prior articles, we have talked about purchasing GMASS® names and crafting outreach messages so that you are targeting the candidates that you want. Now comes the question on all of your (your bosses’) minds….how do you measure success? 

With more than 30 criteria in a candidate’s profile and a daily-updated database of 400,000 names, GMASS allows you to build searches based on the specific criteria that you are looking for in a candidate. Once you purchase those names, you will be integrating the data into your already-existing candidate pool, and tagging the names with GMASS as your source for the lead so you can track candidate progression and measure the results. 

One next step is to assess financial return on investment to indicate how many dollars you generated for each dollar you spent. You can do so by applying this formula: 

ROI = (revenue from GMASS names – cost of GMASS names)               
(Cost of GMASS names) 

Example A: Quick Costs and Revenue 

Imagine you are visiting a European city and use GMASS search criteria to target 100 candidates that meet your profile requirements (i.e., female, from Western Europe, interested in full-time MBA programs). At only US$0.75/name, the total list costs $75. Your school’s application fee is $125; your tuition is $65,000. From the emails you sent to these 100 prospects, fifteen visited your information booth, two applied, and one enrolled. What was your ROI? 

For each dollar you spend on GMASS names purchased, you generated $869 in revenue.
[($65,000 tuition + $125 application fees) - $75]/$75 = 867 or an 86,700% ROI. 

In this example, even the application revenue would offset the cost of the GMASS spend for lead purchases. 

Of course, you may have incurred other related expenses, and I encourage you to net out your actual numbers for a more precise understanding. Other data that might factor into your analysis for revenue associated with GMASS names, includes travel expenses, recruiting materials costs and/or tuition scholarships granted.

Example B: Expenditure Strategies and Returns


How Can This Be Relevant to You? 

Hear how The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College leverages GMASS to recruit the best talent for their programs.

The strategy for purchasing early lead names can vary widely by one’s cost management parameters and correspondingly, the returns will adjust. Whether calculating for gross or net figures, this ROI formula can be applied to your entire portfolio or just to a unique program. You can use your entire set of GMASS names purchased in a given period, or a list that was generated for a specific event. (Of course, applying the ROI formula to a single event, as in the above example, may not always yield a positive ROI). Keep in mind that in the application lifecycle, it could take many messages and touch-points to move a candidate from interested to applicant to matriculant. ROI from GMASS list purchases might be something you want to track over a multi-year period, or consider using for creating more efficiency to specific candidate segments. 

Many schools have shared with us that, whether they applied the above formula in short- or long-term scenarios, by calculating the ROI from their GMASS purchases, they have been able to not only justify these expenses but are subsequently encouraged (by their bosses) to expand them. 

Beyond the short-term goals of the next applicant pool, perhaps not all the advantages of a GMASS purchase will be visible at first glance. Stay tuned for another article about the non-revenue benefits of using GMASS in crafting your outreach strategy. 

If you wish to explore how you can begin using GMASS or how you can even further utilize GMASS as a primary recruitment tool, let’s talk! You can reach me at

About the Author 

Paula McKayPaula McKay is the director of School Products at the Graduate Management Admission Council.