- Case Studies
How U-Explore signed up 404 schools to their new careers guidance software in an incredible 12 months
“Our Chief Executive, Andy Pickles worked in the entertainment industry (selling over 10 million records as the infamous Jive Bunny & the Mastermixers) and used to be in and out of schools regularly during the early 2000’s doing careers presentations. He was dismayed at the state of careers guidance in schools and wanted to do something about it; so he turned his presentation into a PowerPoint, then an interactive CD-ROM, and ultimately in to the careers guidance software we provide to schools today.
During this time, the team has grown and the offering has expanded to incorporate face-to-face guidance, careers strategy and consultation, and tracking tools that allow schools to measure the impact of their careers guidance. In January 2016 we launched our free careers guidance software, Start, and so began a new era in U-Explore.
Although we had existing relationships with many schools across the UK, Start was a completely new product for us and so we were starting from a position of having zero schools signed up.
Initially, we used 3 different channels for our marketing of Start. Firstly, we ran some adverts and sponsored events such as National Careers Week. The problem with this was that it was very difficult to measure success in terms of sign-ups so we’ve gradually shied away from this.
Secondly, we attended events such as The National Careers Guidance Shows and other similar ones. They worked well because you get face-to-face time with people and you can sign teachers up there and then. About 150 schools signed up from these events so it’s been useful but very expensive! You can quickly spend up to £6k on an event without even having much of a presence.
Thirdly, we wanted to run an email marketing campaign to schools through Sprint Education, which is where we’ve seen by far the biggest take-up from schools.
THE SOLUTION: FULL YEAR DIGITAL STRATEGY (MASTER PLAN)
All of our outreach email marketing for Start has been done through Sprint Education. Not only has it been much lower in cost compared to other channels, I like how every aspect is measurable so we can see exactly where new sign-ups have come from and track them right through to upgrading and becoming a paying customer.
“Sprint Education knows the audience so well, and has the expertise to do it so much better.”
What I’ve enjoyed about working with Sprint Education is that it didn’t take me long to explain the product before the guys were completely tuned into it and able to draw upon experiences of previous campaigns to come up with a successful strategy. I was happy to pass over the responsibility of deciding what will work best for us – in terms of timings and content – as it would be pointless for us to try and do it ourselves when Sprint Education knows the audience so well, and has the expertise to do it so much better.
In terms of ROI, the email strategy managed by Sprint Education has definitely been the most successful. In total, the campaigns this year have generated 404 direct sign-ups from new schools.
We’ve already managed to encourage several of these schools to upgrade to our paid plan which equates to £11.5k in sales. In terms of lifetime value to us this equates to around £60k, but we know that we’re going to be able to convert many more of those 404 schools on the free plan so in reality the lifetime value of the campaigns will be sky-high!
We’ve worked with other education marketing agencies in the past but the big difference between them and Sprint Education is that what Sprint Education do is so tangible and adds to our bottom line. We need to find new customers and sell to them, and Sprint Education helps us to do that.
I can’t help but be really excited about the future, bearing in mind the number of schools that we’ve signed up in such a short space of time. The feedback we’re getting from schools about the software is superb and we’re being invited to many events to demonstrate Start as best-practice in terms of schools’ careers guidance.”