Who is the Direct Applicant? Everything you need to know about this type of Clearing student

Categories National Clearing Survey

It’s time to cast our Clearing focus over to the Direct Applicant, as we look at another Clearing student profile in more detail. Make sure to visit our previous blog post for more information on the Mind Changer, another Clearing student profile.

The National Clearing Survey 2017, is bursting with useful insights and findings on how the minds of Clearing students tick; make sure you download a copy.

Who is the Direct Applicant?

The mean average age of this group is 24 and they tend to come from a wide range of different backgrounds. The Direct Applicant is on average the oldest profiled group and as such, is likely to have additional considerations to make when choosing to study at HE, perhaps balancing work, family and other commitments.

Additional commitments, because of these factors, are always going to play a pivotal role in which institution they choose. This is why location is so important to the Direct Applicant profile; as they need to be able to balance study with other elements of their lives. When executing your recruitment campaigns, use accurate targeting to make sure your adverts are reaching the right people, in the right location. You might want to target prospective students, within a five-mile radius, as a way to reach out to this demographic, who value the importance of location? 

The National Clearing Survey findings revealed that 58% of Direct Applicants had never intended to apply to a university at an earlier stage. The Direct Applicants require a longer nurture period, perhaps up to several years in some cases, before making a decision. The conversion funnel looks very different for this group, compared to other profiles; who are being pushed down a recruitment plan by their college or by the UCAS deadlines. Empathetic messaging, long-term brand story and having the right answers to the questions are all important factors for successful recruitment.

Your institution needs to make sure they are running effective brand awareness campaigns to go hand in hand with the promotion of specific courses. The Direct Applicant is also more likely, than any other Clearing profile, to contact just one institution, to receive one offer and to enrol at the first institution. Make sure your team of call centre operators are prepared to answer relevant questions.

Why not contact our team of digital experts to start planning your Clearing campaigns, as well look at maximising your brand awareness, which speaks out to the demands of each Clearing profile?

The results from the National Clearing Survey show that Facebook is the most popular social media platform for this particular type of Clearing student, followed by YouTube and Instagram.

Make sure you are delivering campaigns, and content messages on social media channels that are going to suit this demographic. As the Direct Applicant tends to be slightly older, we might suggest that perhaps platforms, such as Snapchat, wouldn’t be as appropriate as the three above.

If you are dealing with a lot of Direct Applicants, make sure you’re promoting the right course, combined with a strong offer and the correct messaging. Remember, this group of Clearing students are not following the traditional conversion funnel and will have potentially spent years coming to this decision to study at your university. Overcome these barriers and provide added value to your marketing activity to reach out to the Direct Applicant.  

For more information, please download the full National Clearing Survey.

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