Successful Clearing 2020 campaigns
How TSR helped university clients smash their student recruitment targets with winning Clearing campaigns.
In 2020, The Student Room ran over 600 Clearing campaigns
Our huge, diverse audience of prospective students is ideal for Clearing campaigns.
We can send timely messages to highly targeted audiences, based on study level, subject interest and their onsite behaviour e.g. if they have viewed Clearing content.
Here are a few examples of how we worked with clients in 2020 to achieve their student recruitment goals.
University 1: a London university with silver TEF
Aim: regional and subject-specific targeting
The university wanted to target prospective students in London and who were interested in specific courses. Our campaign maximised brand awareness (display and weekly spotlight), while positioning the university as an authority in their subject area and attracting relevant student traffic (sponsored a relevant article), finally, we targeted their ideal audience with a compelling story (regional and subject emails).
A sponsored article, 750,000 mixed-format targeted display impressions, x1 weekly spotlight, x1 regional targeted email (London), x8 subject-specific emails (plus an email to retarget users who engaged with the emails or the university's content on The Student Room).
The display campaign over-delivered impressions by 5%, with an average viewability of 82%. The average CTR was also well over target, with mobile leaderboards achieving 0.13% CTR vs a benchmark of 0.9%.
The weekly spotlight delivered over 100,000 impressions and 19 clicks (benchmark is 15 clicks per week).
The email campaigns also performed well, with an average open rate of 25.8%. These emails did particularly well:
- Computer Science: 36.1% open rate, 65 unique clicks
- Nursing: 37.7% open rate, 107 unique clicks, 15.8% click-to-open-rate
- Law: 33.7% open rate, 107 unique clicks
One university had an open rate of 66.7% (Chemistry email), another had an open rate of 43.1% (Healthcare email)
University 2: Globally-renowned Scottish university
Aim: raise awareness that they had places in Clearing
This university wanted to raise awareness that it was offering places in Clearing. We ran a high-impact display campaign to target thousands of prospective applicants in our student audience.
120,000 billboards, 750,000 targeted impressions
The billboards performed extremely well, with a CTR of 0.19% (against a benchmark of 0.10%). They delivered 227 clicks for the client.
The targeted impressions over-delivered impressions by 6% and achieved 724 clicks. Both the leaderboard and mobile leaderboards outperformed the benchmarks for CTR.
University 3: a Northern Russell Group university
Aim: fill specific courses in Clearing
The Student Room targeted 12 different subject-specific audience segments with emails on behalf of the university. Then in September, we ran a campaign specifically targeted around Engineering recruitment, which included forum sponsorship to attract users who were interested in relevant content and a subject alert. Subject alerts are ad units which appear and remain in view while an applicant is viewing the relevant subject forum - they are excellent for exposure, CTR and recall.
July to August 2020; September 2020
Targeted emails (multiple subject-specific sends in July and August); September: forum takeover (Engineering), subject alert (Engineering)
The August email campaigns achieved an average open rate of 28.7% and 1104 clicks. Here are some of the results from some of the subject-specific campaigns:
- Chemistry: 66.7% open rate, 97 unique clicks
- Nursing: 27.9% open rate, 76 unique clicks, 15.1% click-to-open-rate
- Foreign languages: 33.1% open rate, 64 unique clicks
The display campaign results also well-exceeded benchmarks:
- Forum takeover banners - 78% viewability and 0.14% CTR
- Mobile leaderboard 0.23% CTR (university client benchmark: 0.9%)