With over 60,000 students accepted through Clearing last year, it is a busy time for universities. It is also an important – and often daunting – time for prospective students and your offer holders. Bombarded with marketing and under pressure, the charity Student Minds has noted what a difficult time this can be for students.
A well managed campaign is essential during this period. Guiding students through the stressful Clearing period, offering communication channels they prefer to use (not the University), and encouraging best-fit students to apply are the aims of a successful Clearing campaign.
Best-fit matters: research by YouthSight has found that Clearing students are more likely than other students to be dissatisfied with their early university experience than those who applied in the main cycle, and they are much more likely to drop out before they finish their course.
Unibuddy can help prospective students discover if your university is right for them, and the platform can be used throughout your Clearing campaign to ensure a great experience for prospects, and improved conversion and retention for you.
If you’ll be promoting your Unibuddy platform during the Clearing period, make sure your ambassadors know the ins and outs of the process. It’s important – as it always is – that your ambassadors are able to signpost prospective students to the best resource for them.
Your ambassadors don’t need to be Clearing gurus: on results day, your prospective students’ priority will be to speak to a decision maker to find out if they can join your institution. But it is vital that your Unibuddy ambassadors can properly direct them.
Your ambassadors are your most authentic voice, and the social content they create on Unibuddy is a valuable asset. By using the “share” button on any blog, you can share a direct link to a blog on social media or in your email campaigns.
Prospects may find themselves making a decision about university without getting the chance to visit – so this could be a great time to share vlogs showing them around the campus.
If you have ambassadors that have been through Clearing, encourage them to write a blog or film a vlog sharing their first-hand experiences. Not only will this content reassure prospects thinking about Clearing, it will also make them more likely to start a chat with your students…
The run up to results day can be a nerve-wracking one for students, and those students who may be preparing for Clearing will want advice and reassurance. Who better to give them this than a current student with first-hand experience of Clearing day?
You can share a link directly to a specific ambassador’s profile on social media using the “Share” button, or you could embed an ambassador’s Buddy Card onto the relevant Clearing page on your website. Ambassadors can even edit their bio to mentioned their Clearing experience.
Unibuddy Live is a new way to attract, reassure and retain your prospective students – that you can utilise at any point in the recruitment cycle.
The real-time chat enables scheduled group-chats or 1-2-1 chats between prospects, ambassadors and the university enquiry team. You can create live feeds to organise the Live Event and control which ambassadors have access.
After Clearing day is over, it would be a great idea to invite your new students into a live chat specifically targeted at them. Unibuddy Live allows for multiple channels within a chat: so you could have dedicated areas for conversations about student life, accommodation or course.
Throughout the Clearing period, share your Unibuddy platform across all your networks! Make sure all of your Clearing leads know how to contact a current student through the platform.
Posting the blogs and profiles mentioned above on social media, linking to them in your targeted email campaigns and giving Unibuddy a physical presence at your Clearing events with business cards or banners will all go a long way to driving Clearing traffic onto the platform.
Niall has 360° experience working across departments within student recruitment and marketing, both as a student ambassador and an international admissions and recruitment manager. He joined Unibuddy as Customer Success Manager in October 2017, promoting the best practice use of Unibuddy and helping our partners maximise their benefit and ROI.
Niall is avid morning spinner and in his spare time he likes to get out of London and go hiking along with other adventurous activities.