Clearing Students are taking fewer affirmative actions during the student recruitment cycle, creating a bigger challenge for student marketers to attract, engage and support students from initial interest through to enrolment. So, what can be done?

Despite students being more likely to have heard of the institution they enrolled at (86% of Clearing students had heard of their chosen institution prior to A-level Results Day), they were less likely to take any actions.

Open days are a key part of many HEIs strategies, however, the latest National Clearing Survey outlines that only 37% of Clearing students reported visiting their chosen destination, down from 42% in 2016. As well as being less likely to visit an open day, Clearing students are also less likely to visit an institution’s website (67% in 2018 and down from 69% in 2017). And even more of a challenge for student marketers during Clearing is that once prospective students visit an institution’s website, only 41% of those will register their details, down from 64% in 2016.

Actions students take before Clearing

But how does this compare between different Clearing students? Download the full National Clearing Survey, at the bottom of this article, to find out. 

Why is it that students don’t feel compelled to register their details? We asked the question in the National Clearing Survey and interestingly, data privacy was not a particular concern for students. It was in fact due to a lack of options to register their details or because they didn’t want to receive promotional material. However, of those who did register their details did so in order to keep up-to-date with open day events (57%) and because they felt that it might give them a better chance of receiving a place (39%).

So, what can we learn from those students who are taking action? Of those who did attend an open day, 88% said that it influenced them either ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’. So while data from the National Clearing Survey does suggest that students are becoming more passive, what remains important is inspiring and encouraging students to attend an open day in the first instance as we have found that this does, in fact, have an influence over their final decision.

For inspiration and recommendations download our Student Marketer’s Guide to A Successful Open Day.

How can student marketers inspire more action?

First up, student marketers need to ensure that they are capturing that all important lead data in order to inform and utilise an engaging content-led strategy. Make sure your forms are user-friendly and stand out to your target audience. Make it clear what users will receive by filling out your form.

Once you have this data, you can nurture these prospective students and keep them warm in the lead up to A-level Results Day. But, make sure you are clever with your content. Students don’t want to receive promotional material. Ensure your content is relevant to them and their needs, it’s personalised and offers them the information they will find useful during this time in the student recruitment cycle. For some top tips on delivering a successful conversion strategy, watch the recording from our webinar: Seven top tips for nurturing long-term leads through to conversion.

For a more in-depth analysis of these findings, and how they differ between our established Clearing personas, download your copy of the National Clearing Survey.

Article by


Megan Dillon

Content Marketing Executive