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Royal College of Art

Tripling conversion rates and creating a buzz among offer holders

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Conversion-to-conversation increase


Prospects engaged via Group Chats


Nationalities of prospective students


Heading to university is an exciting experience, but it can be daunting, especially for students who are uprooting their lives to move to a new city or even a new country. That's when the excitement starts mixing with other, more complex feelings of uncertainty (and perhaps a little fear!). London-based Royal College of Art wanted to create a community ahead of their 2023 September intake to help prospective students feel more confident and prepared for the big leap ahead. 

Enter Group Chat, one of the most loved features of the Ambassador Platform. It's a nifty tool we've seen used to support several use cases, from facilitating mentoring to boosting retention. What they have in common is that Group Chats create a strong sense of community that helps students see that others are sharing the same experiences, and feel reassured by the fact that support is always available.

Royal College of Arts, meet Group Chats

On The Ambassador Platform, Admins can create topic-based groups chats to create spaces for prospective students to ask questions and interact with others - finding accommodation, for example - and invite student ambassadors to the group. Prospective students can access these chats directly on the Feed, and they can be set as public for topics of general interest, or private if they are meant for a smaller group (like applicants or offer holders). Group chats make it easier for prospects to join the community, especially if they are not yet ready to send a direct message an individual ambassador just yet. 

The challenge

Building a sense of community ahead of enrolment it's not always a walk in the park, but it can make a real difference for recruitment teams, especially when it comes to conversions.

To do this, Royal College of Art in London wanted to keep the buzz alive for offer holders in the run-up to their September start. They wanted to connect future freshmen with each other so that they could make friends, find flatmates, and ask course-specific questions. And it was much easier for them to do so through Private Group Chats than by using other tools like Zoom or Teams. 

They created 38 Private Group Chats on popular topics like  ‘Accommodation And Living In London’, plus course-specific groups such as ‘Curating Contemporary Art MA - Offer Holders’. Their student ambassadors jumped in right away for support, and the chats became instantly active, with 900+ messages exchanged.

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Private and Public Group Chats

Build confidence and tailor your chats to prospective students throughout the recruitment funnel, depending on their needs and interests.

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Community Feel

There's nothing like the fuzzy feelings generated by a sense of belonging. Bring your prospective students and ambassadors together before and after key milestones in the recruitment journey to create a strong sense of community. 



All Group Chats are protected by built-in safeguarding tools. Plus, Admins keep an eye on ongoing chats in the messaging section of their dashboard and jump in to moderate the conversation as needed.

The journey

Fanshawe College started their journey by building their Digital Ambassador team. They wanted their ambassadors to come across as authentic and personable without being overly institutional. Diversity of representation was also incredibly important to them. To select their ambassadors, they took into account the student's program of study, and asked each candidate to send a short video talking about themselves and why they wanted to be an ambassador.

When they started the program, they recruited 18 ambassadors hosted a workshop on how to use The Ambassador Platform, and provided guidance on how to approach chat conversations with prospective students; the team also created a WhatsApp group to foster a sense of community among the ambassadors and exchange advice.

To ensure their ambassador program ran smoothly, the Fanshawe team built a fantastic incentivization system, including a certificate of participation and weekly giveaways for the ambassadors who spoke to the most students.

In only 18 months, Fanshawe College scaled its ambassador team from 18 students to 78 without scaling its admin team. If you want to find out how they did this, check out our Customer Spotlight webinar with Priyank Mistri, Digital Recruiter at Fanshawe College. 

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The team at the Royal College of Art has become a big fan of The Ambassador Platform. In just two months after setting up Group Chats, they tripled their conversion-to-conversation rate. Here's a snapshot of their results:

  • 840 students from 88 nationalities who used their TAP feed registered as prospective students.
  • Conversion rates have increased from 8.8% to 27.4% - yep, that's a 311% increase.
  • 76.5% of registered prospective students actively took part in a Group Chat, engaging with ambassadors and fellow prospects.

By inviting their prospective students to join Group Chats on The Ambassador Platform, the Royal College of Art sent a clear message: There's a community for them where they can connect with others, make friends and find a listening ear.

“Without fully knowing what to expect, it’s been great to see such an incredible uptake in our offer holder group chats. Group chats gave us a better understanding of the types of questions asked by incoming students, and allowed us to bring together students from next year’s cohort. We saw students advertising flat shares or finding flatmates, and have started to build that sense of community that’s so important for the start of the academic year. We're hoping that the questions answered by our marketing team and student ambassadors will also contribute to an increased retention rate in the upcoming months”. 

Jeroen van Dijk

Marketing Manager
Royal College of Art

Do you want to know how we can help you show your prospects what it's really like to be part of your institution? Book a call with the team today.

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