Student retention campaign
This type of campaign was a new direction for WGU. With digital campaigns traditionally focusing on student recruitment, marketing to existing students wasn’t given priority status.
With concerns over student retention and feedback from the NSS suggesting that there needed to be more focus on student engagement a new campaign based for freshers and current students evolved.
Why do students leave?
Once contact is lost it’s hard to define the main reason that students do not return to college after the first semester. Anecdotal evidence suggests a number of reasons including feeling homesick, struggling to settle in and make new friends, depression, financial struggles, difficulties with their studies. Some students may transfer to other colleges or universities whilst others may wish to enter the workplace. Some simply take time out to consider their next steps.
The reasons given above appear to highlight a lack of pastoral support, or at least a lack of awareness in what support is available to students.
With mental health at the forefront of society, particularly with young people, WGU wanted to make this the main focus of the campaign, encouraging current students to engage and share their experiences.
Highlights of the campaign:
Creation of micro-site within main WGU website, detailing all the support services available.
Campaign hashtag to encourage engagement across social channels.
Inclusion in welcome week/induction pack to target new arrivals.
Peer support/shared experiences – student blogs and case studies from current students/alumni.
Weekly soundbites for social media
Giveaways including logo bookmarks, temporary tattoos etc to create awareness of campaign.
Example of marketing material