Virtual Fair Leads To More Qualified Students for Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University is a public research university in Nova Scotia, Canada. Aside from being one of the oldest universities in Canada, Dalhousie is one of the top 15 research institutions in the country. When they contacted UniCentrico by Centrico Digital they were falling behind their international admissions goals for 2021 and international travel wasn’t an option because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, they partnered with our team to organize a Virtual Fair through our proprietary platform MyUniGuru.

This campaign resulted in:

  • Increase in applications and admissions for September 2021.
  • Increase in the number of highly qualified students in the client’s funnel.
  • Increase in overall brand awareness in the region. 
  • Connections with key guidance counselors from the region.
  • An increase in qualified students interested in enrolling next year (Fall 2022).

The Client’s Struggle

Amidst the pandemic crisis, Dalhousie University found itself falling short of meeting its international admissions goal for 2021. Like most North American universities, Dalhousie heavily relied on sending recruiters abroad to attend university fairs, a costly endeavor with questionable ROI. With international travel out of the picture due to COVID, Dalhousie struggled with generating, tracking, qualifying, and nurturing student leads. With a fast-approaching deadline of admissions for international students, Dalhousie contacted MyUniGuru while seeking an alternative recruiting strategy that would provide them with quality leads and that will strengthen their recruiting efforts in Latin America.

Their Goal

Dalhousie University’s main goal was to increase enrollment numbers for their September 2021 intake. With only a month and a half away from the first admissions deadline, Dalhousie wanted to take a last stab at boosting up their application numbers.

MyUniGuru’s Initial Assessment

When Dalhousie University reached out to us, the first thing we did was to analyze their current marketing efforts. We discovered that:

  • They did not possess the adequate lead generation technology to track leads through the admissions process. Instead, they depended on one-to-one communication between students, college counselors, and Admissions Recruiters.
  • They needed a quick,  but well-developed solution in just over a month. To carry out such a sprint, they needed well-connected experts in the region.   
  • They had not implemented digital lead generation strategies for any international region in the past, they mostly relied on their alumni network.

It became evident that Dalhousie University was not on route to fulfilling their admission objectives. They were in deep need of experienced, and time-effective alternatives to attract leads, and nurture them through their funnel for them to apply to Dalhousie.

MyUniGuru’s Solution

Dalhousie University needed to implement a lead generation strategy, develop a lead qualification system (automated/manual), raise brand awareness in the region, and design customized journeys to nurture potential students throughout the entire admissions process. MyUniGuru was up to the task.

Our platform connects promising Latin American students with North American universities. To register on the platform, students go through a qualification process that allows our algorithm to get information on their academic profile, English proficiency, budget, and institutional preferences. With this information we are able to correctly introduce qualified students to the right North American universities, functioning as matchmakers driven by data. 

Via the use of the MyUniGuru platform, we would be able to meet the client’s objectives: 

  • Generate Leads

  • Qualify those Leads

  • Nurture them towards application

We proceeded to develop a 5-point solution: 

  1. Roll out a region-wide Latin American Virtual fair co-hosted by MyUniGuru and Dalhousie University.
  2. Advertise the event internally and externally (Facebook and Instagram Ads) to track conversions and generate attendees. 
  3. Introduce email marketing and nurturing campaigns to promote the event amongst key guidance counselors from top schools in Latin America.
  4. Integrate the best CRM practices to gather and analyze crucial data to find qualified and suitable students for Dalhousie’s admissions profile. 
  5. Extend nurturing campaigns after the event to encourage students to apply before the March 1st admissions deadline.

MyUniGuru: Due to our platform’s strong network of students who currently use the platform to research for Universities in North America, we first extended the invitation for our virtual fair event to them. 

Facebook and Instagram Ads: We developed a cost-effective campaign structure with different ad formats (Dynamic, Video, Carousel, and Static) to attract our target audience efficiently. In addition, we honed our target audience by developing A/B split tests within each of our ad groups to identify what ad copy resonated best with our audience. Leads were captured via the MyUniGuru platform which allowed us to measure, score, and rank leads, ensuring that we only target the students who fit the optimal academic profile of Dalhousie University. 

Nurturing Campaigns: We launched a structured nurturing campaign aimed at top college counselors in the region asking them to encourage students to attend our event. As registrations increased, we invested in a series of nurturing touchpoints with a clear messaging strategy and engaging content from Dalhousie University targeted to students. After the event, we nurtured both attendees and no-show students by sharing our event recording and interacting content that encouraged them to apply to Dalhousie before the admissions deadline. 

The Results

This campaign resulted in:

  • Increase in applications and admissions for September 2021.
  • Increase in the number of highly qualified students in the client’s funnel.
  • Increase in overall brand awareness in the region. 
  • Connections with key guidance counselors from the region.
  • An increase in qualified students interested in enrolling next year  (Fall 2022).

Important Metrics

  • 80% event attendance (40 attendees out of 50 registrants – an extremely high attendance rate for an online event).  87% of our attendees were fully bilingual. 
  • 80% of our attendees had grades of 85% or above.
  • 70% of our attendees mentioned having an international curriculum (American, IB, AP, etc.).
  • 13% of our attendees applied to Dalhousie before the 2021 deadline. 


What Dalhousie Had To Say About Our Partnership:

“Working with MyUniGuru has been wonderful. They are exceedingly cooperative, truly customer-focused, and well-equipped with market knowledge. Their expertise in recruitment via lead generation and higher education marketing exceeds our expectations. Our event was a success and we are looking forward to continuing working together co-hosting virtual events via the MyUniGuru platform.”

– Dalhousie University