As the excitement of our Series B funding sets in, we want to acknowledge our gratitude and the pride that we feel to have come so far as a company.
Instead of focusing on the changes we’ve undergone since Series A, we thought that we’d put the spotlight on some of our fantastic university partners whose success and enjoyment of the platform have bolstered the success of Unibuddy.
Without further ado, we present these success stories from two of our outstanding partners that illustrate the benefit of the relationships we’ve cultivated throughout our journey thus far.
St. John’s University
In the case of St. John’s University, a large private institution in New York City, virtual events were a driving force behind yield. In the age of COVID-19, virtual events played a pivotal role in enrollment initiatives, but their value is not limited to pandemic-era student recruitment strategy.
For St. John’s, recruiting their Fall 2021 class presented layers of challenge due to the limited number of in-person opportunities available to interested students.
The Unibuddy platform allowed them the opportunity to reach thousands of students who connected with them directly or attended one of their targeted events.
“When researching platforms that would best suit our needs for yield events this spring, Unibuddy checked all the boxes.
We needed a product that would allow us to offer live-streamed presentations, rather than recorded videos—a ‘home base’ where it could all live together to make things easy for our student attendees, and a collegiate look, with campus imagery that was stimulating, yet reserved.
And the data… we always need the data,” said Corinne Gentile, Director of Enrollment Management Events.
The Unibuddy team had already begun building this very product and, after seeing it in action, St. John’s quickly jumped at the opportunity to utilize the platform as we rolled out our newest features in beta.
Students commented about their comfort level at events since the anonymity of a text-based platform removes the need to begin each conversation with the arbitrary: “This might be a silly question, but…” followed by the generic response: “There’s no such thing as a silly question…“
“Removing the face-to-face might make some feel as if you’re removing the personalization of each event when, in actuality, you’re opening up a higher level of communicating,” Gentile explained.
In the 20-21 academic year, St. John’s hosted 46 events, reaching nearly 7,000 attendees. 49% of their deposited students attended at least one event hosted through Unibuddy during the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semesters.
“Studies have continued to show us that this generation craves immediate responses and ‘likes’ and they communicate via texting or direct messaging and imagery on Instagram. Unibuddy is a perfect blend of their world and ours, and it somehow seems to get even better every day.”
At HOGENT University in Ghent, Belgium, peer-to-peer chat enabled increased conversion. We know that students prefer to consult others in their decision-making process, whether it’s about buying a pair of shoes or choosing a place to study. That said, facilitating connections between peers is integral to guiding them through their student journey.
“Before using Unibuddy, we had no idea how and if prospective students were getting in touch with our students.
That happened only a few moments during the year: During our Open Days, we invited some students (not as many as are now active on Unibuddy) to talk with prospective students,” said Jeroen Goossens, Community Manager.
“The technology is fantastic. It enables the contact between prospective students and our current students perfectly, without us really interfering,” he continued, “In our search for digital alternatives, Unibuddy became a good option very fast.”
They wanted a tool that could get their prospective students in touch with their current students and staff to help them with making the right choice, and they saw the opportunity to make this tool an important part of the student journey.
“We implemented the Unibuddy solution in just three weeks! On the day we went live, we had over 300 ambassadors on the HOGENT Unibuddy platform,” Goossens reported.
Unibuddy is now an essential resource that they offer to prospective students. They can chat with ambassadors when they want throughout the year; every basic course at HOGENT has an ambassador live on the platform.
“At this moment, 130 student ambassadors are on the platform to chat with and inspire our prospective students. Each of those ambassadors is passionate about helping the prospects and tell them about their experiences at HOGENT. They feel part of a ‘special’ group and want to stay in that circle.”
As a result, 37% of the prospective students who had a chat with their ambassadors on Unibuddy have enrolled at HOGENT.
The path ahead: post-Series B
It’s because of the mutual support of institutions like these that we’re able to continue growing and facilitating integral connections between universities and their prospective students.
These interactions truly make a difference in student recruitment and decision-making endeavors, and we feel so fortunate to cultivate and nurture our partnerships.
This raise will allow Unibuddy to support our university partners to a greater extent than ever before, yielding even better results and more success stories like these.
Check out our Series B press release to learn more about what this means for you as a potential or current partner.