Clearing 2017: The landing pages we loved
And that’s a wrap! Another Clearing Day done and dusted. Of course, you’ll still be receiving enquiries and applications over the coming weeks – but the chaos of Results Day is over and it’s time to reflect on how it all went. We’ve already written about our seven biggest takeaways from the day, and talked trends and insights with Google and our own digital experts. Now we’re turning our attention to Clearing landing pages.
We took some time on Results Day to visit each and every UK university’s Clearing page, to see how you’re presenting yourselves to potential Clearing applicants in this highly competitive space. We know from our National Clearing Survey that students are shopping around on Results Day, researching multiple universities and contacting three (on average). We also know that University websites are the second most popular place (after UCAS) to find out about Clearing information, so it’s vital that this first interaction with your institution grabs their attention and entices them to apply!
Working our way through 150 university websites, we saw the good, the bad and the just plain ugly – black Times New Roman font on a white page with no images weren’t actually that uncommon! Eek! But let’s take a closer look at the Clearing landing pages that we were swooning over…
University of Derby
As soon as the student lands on this page, they see a video in the header which immediately grabs attention. This video shows a range of subject areas and a view of the campus – allowing students to imagine themselves there. Far more inspiring than a plain banner saying “CLEARING” with a phone number.
The information provided is clear and concise – a very brief overview of what Clearing is, and simple CTAs for the next steps to take.
The page also features lots of other helpful resources; Clearing Open Days, which allow Clearing students to explore campus and meet staff prior to beginning their studies. FAQs, hints & tips and information on foundation courses as an alternative option to Clearing.
The Twitter widget pulling through mentions of @derbyuni and #derbyuni also allows prospects to see what other students are saying about studying, and even opens up a communication channel with a potential new classmate!
University of Hull
A bright, eye-catching page with clear CTAs to meet each student’s individual needs – not sure? Book an Open Day visit. What even is Clearing? Find out about the process. Ready to apply? Call now or there’s even the option to apply online.
On some sites, students were bombarded with a list of each and every available course, but Hull have got it right with a concise (but not restrictive) list of subject areas, which click through to the individual courses in that area. There’s also a section of information about accommodation – a vital part of moving to university, but something that wasn’t widely mentioned on our search of Clearing pages.
We love the video case studies of past Clearing students. These real-life stories are sure to put to rest any worries of potential applicants and assure them that Hull is a welcoming place for them to study.
There’s also a great Parent’s guide to Clearing – expelling the myths often associated with this entry route to university. The National Clearing Survey found that parents have a strong influence over applications, so getting them on side is a smart move.
Finally – we love the ‘Power Through Clearing 2017’ Spotify playlist that University of Hull have created for the occasion. A collection of motivating power tunes to help students get through the day. This really shows students how Hull care about their students and provide more than just an education – they provide an experience too.
Leeds Beckett University
This cheery microsite is packed with useful features for prospective Clearing applicants. Again – eye-catching design , with a clear phone number at the top as phone remains the most popular method of communication for the Clearing process. However, the National Clearing Survey found that 48% of students would actually prefer to communicate via other methods. Enter Becky, the Leeds Beckett Chatbot. (Becky…Beckett…geddit?)
‘Becky’ spoke to students via Facebook Messenger to provide information about courses and give provisional offers. Our advertising strategists noticed that Facebook Messenger was really popular for Clearing communication this year, and Leeds Beckett were leading the way with this new platform.
We also liked the interactive UCAS points calculator resource on the Leeds Beckett site – allowing students to quickly see which courses were available to them with the grades that they received that morning. This would be really helpful for students who did better or worse than predicted.
The page is interspersed with lots of past student’s Clearing success stories, which (similarly to the above) adds a personal touch, reassurance and makes it feel ‘real’- and exciting! There’s also lots of useful and interesting resources available; articles, videos, a virtual open day, and a student’s guide to Leeds – all of which contribute to an engaging and memorable touchpoint with this institution.
By doing so, you’ll be able to nurture leads to enrolment, remarket to them or build lookalike audiences for future campaigns. Our friends at Akero have written about how to ensure you’re making the most of this high traffic to your website with effective data-capture forms. Check it out here.
If you’d like to speak to one of our experts about your 2018 Clearing strategy, or any other aspect of your digital marketing strategy, get in touch.