23 June 2020
Lead generation for universities

At Unibuddy, we often talk about ‘attracting, recruiting and retaining’ students. Each of those stages are equally important to making sure you have a diverse and successful student cohort. 

This is where lead generation for universities comes in. How are you attracting students, and keeping in touch with them? 

There are a lot of tactics that Higher Education institutions are using. For example, ‘gated content’ that can only be downloaded by inputting data, that can be uploaded to a CRM.

But Gen Z students are savvy and protective of their data. It means lead generation for universities can sometimes be a challenge. But if you provide a resource that genuinely supports and benefits students, and communicate this effectively, students will sign up and you’ll be able to keep in touch with them.

The results of using Unibuddy

Lead generation in lockdown 

There are usually many in-person opportunities to generate leads. For example, through an Open Day sign-up, or out at fairs and recruitment events. With the world in lockdown, adapting is key.

Generating leads and driving those students to apply has always been a priority for Jacobs University. Faced with demand from their applicants to chat with a student, the university decided to seek a peer to peer solution.

As Sharon Min, Recruitment Counselor and Admissions Officer, said: “While it’s great to be physically present, it has geographic limitations. Having the digital ambassador programme bridges that gap”

High-quality leads

The school recruited a team of 22 volunteer buddies who were embedded onto the platform. They had hoodies made up to create a sense of community for the ambassadors. They also utilized Unibuddy’s new Chat to Staff feature to add 6 academic and admissions staff.

With over half the world’s population in lockdown – Gen Z are spending 62% longer on messaging services, and Jacobs University wanted to adapt to this new normal. Jacobs University was able to implement Unibuddy very simply with a single line of code.

“The platform is really easy to use,” said Sharon, “and the team are so responsive to any questions.”

Jacobs University has put Unibuddy across their website, allowing them to connect with their site visitors. They also reached out to applicants and leads, benefiting from the increased clickthrough rate of the ‘Chat to a Student’ call to action.

As Sharon explains: “This is a great new source of leads – high quality leads, coming in through the platform.“

Call To Action 

It’s important to think closely about the call to action you will use in marketing emails and ads, to ensure you are generating leads as effectively as possible. Erasmus School of Economics found that the ‘Chat to a Student’ call to action was substantially more effective for driving traffic – with a 150% higher clickthrough rate compared to their benchmark. 

And with GDPR, it’s also important that you have student’s consent to marketing. Unibuddy uses a transparent and fully GDPR-compliant marketing opt-in. The engaging platform means a significant number of students opt in to marketing. In fact, Kozminski University found that 80% of their student sign-ups opted in to receive further marketing communications from the university. 


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