The University of Sheffield had seen how much value peer-to-peer conversations added to their standard prospective student experience. In the summer of 2019 they decided the time was right to expand their use of the platform to include their clearing campaign.
As part of the clearing period, they wanted to give prospective students the chance to speak directly with current students to help them decide where to study. They put our platform at the heart of their clearing efforts, with impressive results.
87% of clearing leads went on to register as a student
For UK universities, clearing, where students who have either surpassed their predicted grades, not met their original offers, or even only just entered the market to apply directly to universities (rather than using UCAS), has become one of the most important parts of the recruitment cycle. Although clearing is open from July to September, activity peaks on A-level results day (when UK students discover their grades) and on the days that immediately follow.
The challenge for universities during this period is standing out. How can they cut through the noise and find students who would be a good fit for their institution? One such way is to use the power of their student voice and enable prospects to have direct conversations with current students.
Sheffield realised the value of these peer-to-peer conversations in giving clearing applicants an authentic and personal connection to their university, and a safe space to ask the questions they really wanted to know, so put our platform at the heart of their clearing activity.
15 student ambassadors already had profiles, another 4 were added just for clearing. The university created a bespoke landing page for the duration of the campaign. Pop cards were added to the university’s clearing homepage to maximise visibility and drive traffic. The university promoted the TAP Feed directly to clearing applicants via email.
Of the 15 clearing-specific new leads who chatted to Sheffield ambassadors via TAP, 13 of them went onto register as a student and enroll. That’s an 87% lead-to-enrollment rate. Across the whole month, Sheffield saw 17 of 68 leads register, a 25% lead-to-enrollment rate.
Over the month of August, 808 messages were exchanged on Sheffield’s TAP Feed. 632 of these were sent either on A-level results day or during the two weeks after it (78% of the total messages).
Students from 19 different countries across five continents engaged with Sheffield’s student ambassadors during August 2019.
The most popular topic of conversation was course details, followed by the clearing process, entry requirements, university life and accommodation.
Most conversations ran across 1-2 days and saw, on average, 10 messages exchanged.
Prospects who used TAP commented:
“Thank you so much for all your help and answers, if I think of anything else I’ll be sure to message you!” (UK Prospect)
“I don't know what to say but a big thank you sis.😘 You have shared me a lot of information about your experience. I find it totally fun to know about your life there and also about your journey to get there.” (Malaysian Prospect)
“Thank you so much for everything! It is so great to be able to talk to someone who is studying what I am interested in!” (UK Prospect)
If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you tell prospects what it's really like to be part of your institution then why not book a demo of The Ambassador Platform?