CRM News

UCB sees a 20% increase in applications

Simon Chatterton, Director of Admissions at University College Birmingham (UCB) has used Student CRM to manage their student recruitment for the past six years.

“Data Harvesting’s knowledge of the different educational sectors has made them leading experts in developing a bespoke online admissions system and the natural choice for UCB to develop its online admissions systems with. They have developed a simple and easy to use online admissions systems for FE, part time and international applicants which has seen our applications to all these areas increase by 20%.

Linking the Student CRM’s pre applicant data with applied data means we now have an incredibly powerful tool to engage with our students, aiding retention and increasing conversion for all applications to UCB."

Click here to read more about the Applications app.


Waving the flag for international students

world-cup football

To celebrate this week's kick-off for the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brasil, we're focusing on the importance of international student recruitment.

Out of the £17 billion generated by universities each year, £10 billion of that comes from overseas students which makes international student recruitment a booming part of any university's student recruitment. This equates to more than 488,000 international students with the British Council predicting this will increase by 25% within the next ten years.

With the rising number of international students, Student CRM can make the student journey simpler for recruitment teams, and seamless for students.

Capturing student data is invaluable for international recruitment teams with the first interaction likely to be at a recruitment fair.

Our Mobile Event Capture app is instrumental in starting the international recruitment journey as students use an iPad to type their details directly into the app, which later syncs with the CRM and triggers the touchpoints and ongoing targeted communication with those students. With recruitment teams traveling the world collecting student details, speed and accuracy is key.

Many of our clients also benefit from having a specific Application form on their website dedicated to international students who wish to apply, and filtering directly into the Applications app in the CRM.

Check out how Applications could enhance your international student recruitment and improve the way you collect data with Mobile Event Capture.


All things British

Being based in the UK is excellent news for universities looking for a CRM to manage their domestic and international student recruitment. Our 5 star UK-based Customer Service and Support is invaluable (just ask any of our customers). They're able to get hold of us during THEIR working day, at any time THEY wish using a method which is convenient to THEM.

We're here during YOUR working hours, so if you would like to ask a question or require technical support, you simply log a ticket or pick up the phone and speak to one of our student recruitment experts.

It makes perfect sense - you're based in the UK, we're based in the UK.

As Student CRM was born and bred in the UK, we thought we'd list our top 10 for 'all things British'.

1. The Royal Family

Being British, we're a fan of The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family. There's nothing better than celebrating the Diamond Jubilee, the birth of the Royal Baby, visiting Buckingham Palace and generally waving the flag for Great Britain.


2. Afternoon tea

Everyone loves scones, jam, clotted cream, finger sandwiches, fancy cakes and a pot of tea.

When you come to Data Harvesting in Poole for your Student CRM training, we'll treat you to a delicious British afternoon tea. Is it cream THEN jam, or jam THEN cream? And is is scones (sc-owns) or scones (sc-ons)?


3. The best beaches

Compared to the rest of the UK, our beaches down on the South coast are second to none. We have three and a half miles of beautiful sandy beaches stretching the coastline of Bournemouth and Poole with a number of them achieving the prestigious Blue Flag status.


4. The Mini

The Mini is considered a great British icon of the 1960s.

Between 1959 and 2000, 5,387,862 Minis had been manufactured, making it by far the most popular British car ever made. Rule, Britannia!

Staying true to our country, more than half of the Data Harvesting team owns a Mini (albeit one of the new designs).


5. The Beatles

Widely known as one of the greatest and most influential bands in the rock era and lead the British invasion of the US pop market.

They have sold over 600 million records worldwide.


6. The London 2012 Olympics

We proudly hosted the 2012 Olympics, and what a great job we did too! From the performances at the Opening Ceremony to the sporting champions, we have no doubt about it, we were BRILLIANT!

Great Britain won a total of 29 gold medals, 17 silver medals and 19 bronze.


7. The iconic telephone box

The red telephone box has become an iconic British symbol, becoming increasingly rare and popular since the launch of mobile phones. It was introduced in 1920 and was labelled the K1 (Kiosk No. 1) and was followed shortly afterwards by K2, K3, K4, K5 and K6 as the model developed.

For those who don't know, Student CRM is easily accessible by desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. Unfortunately it's not available via the traditional phone box.


8. London red bus

Much like the red telephone box, the London red bus has become an iconic British symbol for transport. And why the colour red? Before 1907 buses were painted different colours to signify their route. Due to fierce competition it was decided that red was the brightest colour to attract attention. (We disagree, we think lime green is the brightest, hence why everything we own is now lime green!)


9. Wimbledon

Every year we look forward to Wimbledon (along with the Pimm's, strawberries and cream of course). There's nothing quite like the smell of freshly cut grass and a warm Summer's day.

It's known as one of the most expensive sporting events around the world.


10. Marmite

Love it or hate it, the popular spreadable yeast extract is a wholly British product sold worldwide. It was developed in Staffordshire in the 1920s and has been hugely popular ever since.


Student CRM is another great British icon which is homegrown in the UK. Click here to apply for your free demo.

* Just to clarify, Student CRM are fans of all of the above products, places and people, but are not endorsed by them.

Why are we the UK's favourite?


Here's a short video outlining why we're the UK's most loved student recruitment solution for universities across the UK.

So relax, sit back with a cuppa and read about how we can be your new best friend - encouraging more students to choose YOU, analysing your recruitment activities in each app, increasing your conversion rate and improving your marketing to students.

If you like what you see then we can send one of our team to meet your key stakeholders and show you our Student CRM in action. Just click here to request your free appointment.

11 questions about Student CRM

So you think you'd like a CRM?

You've got the questions, we've got the answers. Learn all about the benefits of implementing Student CRM in your university to increase your conversion rate and improve the student journey. We can make YOU look GREAT!

Here's a series of FAQs that we're sometimes asked.

Q. Who is it for?

Student CRM is for universities - more specifically recruitment, admissions and marketing teams within a HE or FE establishment in the UK.

Q. What does it do?

Student CRM helps with managing your online open day bookings, managing online enquiries, capturing student data, online prospectus requests and everything else in between. It tracks the activity and engagement with students (both international and domestic) pre-enrolment. It helps you to market your university to prospective students with email, post and SMS texts, recording the activity at each stage of the recruitment cycle.


Q. Where did Student CRM come from?

It's our very own solution and was built right here in Poole, Dorset. We have been in this industry since 2000 and have many happy clients around the UK. It's the UK's most loved student recruitment solution and we pride ourselves on our super Customer Support. Our satisfaction rating varies from 97% to 100% each month (the industry average is only 86%).

Q. Does your CRM integrate with our existing internal systems?

The short answer is YES.

Q. What's an app?

An app deals with one area of student recruitment activity. We have 21 apps in total for you to pick and mix.


These apps run in the CRM in a web browser on your PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone. We do also have a true native App - Mobile Event Capture - which runs on iOS devices (iPads).

Q. What if our university doesn't need all 21 apps?

You just buy the apps which you need. You can always add more apps later if you want.

Q. What about set up? I've heard with some CRMs we buy the product, then it's over to us to set it up and make it work.

We do all the set up for you and get you up and running, taking you through each stage of a Student CRM implementation in plain English, with us doing all the hard work for you.

Q. How quickly can we start using it?

That all depends on the speed of getting your requirements to us, the speed of decision making from your key stakeholders, and sometimes it's even down to who in your team is overseas at the time! A straightforward Student CRM can usually be set up in between 6 and 10 weeks, but some take longer.

Q. Do we get any training?

Yes, we'll train you face to face. Either we'll come to you or you can come to us (everyone loves a visit to sunny Poole, particularly in the summer). And we'll show your Super Users exactly how to use the CRM like a professional. We can even train you remotely by screen sharing if you like.

Q. Will Student CRM generate a good ROI?

Yes. Read about UCB's streamlined recruitment and ROI.

Q. I like what I see, is there a way to get more information?

Yes - you can either book a free demo for your stakeholders. Or you can sign up to receive our regular newsletter, jam packed with good news from our clients.

The power of Student CRM

"How will Student CRM benefit our university?" we hear you ask. Well, it's been built from the ground up for the sole purpose of student recruitment for UK higher education, right here in Poole. Our product is constantly evolving with new features and improvements being launched every month.


What sets us apart?

Along with increased student conversion rates, reduced admin costs and improving the overall student experience, Student CRM also:

  • Provides a central unified point to store all prospect information for all departments.
  • Every student interaction and every communication with the student is stored and logged.
  • A modular system that expands with you as your requirements change.
  • Domestic and international students are siloed preventing accidental communication with the wrong group of students.
  • Full integration with the Royal Mail’s PAF for accurate address population.
  • Automated fulfilment data delivery for rapid prospectus delivery.
  • Advanced duplication prevention system to identify known students.
  • An easy-to-use document library allows you to instantly upload and publish marketing documents.
  • Provides fully dynamic forms so levels of study, course lists and entry points are always up-to-date.
  • Course lists are dynamically displayed based on year of entry.
  • Comprehensive workflow and touchpoint system allowing instant and triggered communications via email, sms, letter or post (printed labels).
  • Rapidly respond to student enquiries using a self learning bank of responses.
  • Provide offline student information capture at international and domestic recruitment events.
  • Highly configurable, comprehensive events offerings allowing simple or complex events for both prospects and applicants.
  • Increases event prebookings and attendance rates (clients are quoting over 80% attendance rates).
  • Increases your capacity whilst reducing the burden on your recruitment team.
  • Constantly evolving system with new features and improvements being launched every month.
  • Full user management with multiple permission levels.
  • Provides comprehensive reporting facilities.
  • Full support team based in the UK, working UK office hours.

So our super system, combined with our super UK-based support is a winning combination for universities across the UK. That's what our clients tell us.

Streamlined recruitment and a welcome ROI for UCB

Amin Pradhan, Pro Vice-Chancellor of University College Birmingham, talks about how Student CRM streamlined UCB's student recruitment process and demonstrated a welcome ROI.

Data Harvesting has worked with University College Birmingham for the past six years, assisting with their student recruitment processes, including open days, prospectus requests and enquiries for both domestic and international student recruitment.


Amin commented;

"Over the past six years, we have transformed our student recruitment processes thanks to Data Harvesting’s Student CRM. We’ve seen a welcome return on investment since starting to use it. Our resulting streamlined recruitment activities have helped us to improve results across the board.

As an institution UCB has embraced the latest student recruitment technologies available within Student CRM. These online technologies allow us to engage with our students far more effectively than the old paper systems could. The Student CRM has been particularly useful not only for our home students but for our international students applying from overseas and our overseas agents where we can respond to them more effectively, efficiently and in a timely manner to maximise recruitment.

Data Harvesting’s support is excellent. UCB staff can pick up the phone and always speak to someone who knows how to help us. Their Customer Services team really understand our business processes and workflow and are able to respond with a solution to our problem when required.

We now have the very best recruitment system in place which we can access and manage centrally, keeping students and team members engaged and informed.

It is without a doubt the very best student recruitment solution for our needs and responds to ever growing complexity."

We LOVE a great success story! It's a pleasure working with UCB and their recruitment team.

Life before :( and after :) Student CRM


"What's so good about Student CRM?" we hear you ask.

Reduced admin time

With Student CRM, communications can be automated and personalised (hands-free!) which frees up time for key staff to concentrate on other areas of recruitment and marketing.

Increased student engagement

Targeted, consistent, personalised and automated communications keeps students engaged, interested and more likely to choose YOU.

Happier teams

Departments are more motivated and productive as all inbound and outbound student activity is stored centrally, allowing your team to communicate with students effortlessly, in less time and with all KPIs logged and monitored.

Enhanced tracking

All student activity is recorded and analysed in handy reports for each activity, allowing recruitment teams to dip into Student CRM to see the progress of applications, bookings and enquiries in real-time.

Increased ROI

Our customers see a good Return On Investment as a direct result of reduced admin time, automated communications, instant reporting and more engaged students. This improves student satisfaction and leads to increased conversion rates too.

Top notch security

Storing all student data within one central database keeps your data safe and secure for all departments, complying with the Data Protection Act and improving the student experience. Everyone's a winner!

This is how a Student Recruitment solution should be. We're on YOUR side!

Manage online applications efficiently

Our Applications app is one of our 21 pick and mix apps that make up the Student CRM. It replaces your paper applications with an online application form that increases your conversion rate whilst reducing your workload.

Our online Applications app gets a lot of attention because it is the only truly integrated online applications service of its kind available to HE and FE institutions in the UK. It makes life a whole lot easier for your Admissions teams in:

  • FE applications (Domestic and International)
  • HE Postgraduate applications (Domestic and International)
  • HE Graduate applications (Domestic and International)

In common with all our Student CRM apps, this keeps your CRM's Student Database updated with all new applications submitted by students, whether via UCAS or directly via your own branded online Application Form (that we create and host for you).

See and manage your applications in the Student CRM's Applications app

As each application has its status updated (even the applications going through UCAS) the CRM can send out personalised automatic touchpoints (email, SMS, letter, etc) to support your conversion activities every day.

Your direct applicants stay updated by the CRM as they make their way through each stage of the application cycle. It has built in tools that help you to support the student as you progress their application, for example all you click is click one button to perform tasks like:

  • Make changes to the offer before sending it to the applicant
  • Send Offer Letter
  • Send an email to the applicant with the link to their Offer Letter
  • Refer the application for a second opinion
  • Send an email to the applicant to chase outstanding conditions
  • Upload a document into the repository for this application
  • Satisfy a condition on this application
  • Reject application
  • Mark deposit for this application as paid
  • Withdraw this application

Your Admissions teams can manage every application in a clear interface, generating minute-by-minute status reports on just how many applicants you are processing.

Why do universities choose Student CRM?


Being the UK's most loved student recruitment solution makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. No, really it does.

So in case you need convincing, just watch our short video to see how we'll make you look like the hero in your department - enhancing your conversion rates and reducing admin time by increasing your student engagement.

Don't just take our word for it... here's what our lovely clients had to say about Student CRM...

We can be your new best friend. Just give us a call or request a free demo so we can showcase our apps and make you even more of a student recruitment genius than you already are.

Student CRM doubles open day bookings for IOE

The world’s leading centre for education, the Institute of Education (IOE), doubled their online open day bookings with Student CRM as a major contributing factor for its success.

The CRM recorded 1,171 registrations leading up to the open day which is almost double last year's figures. With approximately 800 attendees arriving on the day this was an attendance rate of almost 70%.

A key member of the marketing team commented: [quote]The success of our most recent open day is attributed to several factors; the timing of the event, our recent outstanding Ofsted inspection, our number 1 QS World University Ranking for Education and of course the Student CRM. The ease of booking online meant we were able to capture more data online and communicate more effectively with students leading up to the event.[/quote]

Another member of the team stated; [quote]The CRM seems to have worked! Managing our open day bookings within Student CRM meant that not only did we double last year’s figures, but we had to rethink our registration process as many more people arrived than originally anticipated which is a great feat for all involved.[/quote]

To cope with the influx of students at the next open day event, the IOE are considering scanning barcodes. The IOE team can each use a tiny barcode scanner, worn on a lanyard and not much bigger than a USB stick, to welcome students by scanning their personalised schedule generated online by the Student CRM when registering.

After the success of the open day, touchpoints were scheduled to broadcast personalised communications to attendees and non-attendees to offer them more information about studying at IOE. Attendees were also sent a link to a post-event survey, created in the Student CRM, so their feedback could be used to help plan the next open day.


Student CRM visits UCAS in Wales


Our events team have been busy in Wales taking the UK's most loved student recruitment solution to Newport for the UCAS Annual Admissions Conference 2014.

This year it included meeting recruitment and admissions enthusiasts, dragons, a quiz, singing in a choir, selfies and showcasing the unforgettable lime green brand.

Dom, Andrea and Peter spent 3 days in Wales giving away over 12kg of pick and mix sweets to delegates to keep sugar levels high. Our student recruitment experts chatted to various admissions teams about how to increase their student conversion and retention rates and made some new friends.

student crm team

Our recruitment experts were able to talk to recruitment and admissions teams to tackle hot topics such as how to market to prospective students, how to increase your engagement with students and how to manage relationships and support your departments more effectively to increase your ROI.

Managing Director Dom Yeadon said: "thanks to Kathryn Honeywill and her team for managing this conference again at the wonderful Celtic Manor Resort. We saw so many clients and had strong interest from many, many FE and HE institutions again. Everybody seems to already know us by our lime green corporate colour. Andrea was even asked if her black and lime dress was designed specially for her! A real pleasure to meet friends old and new, especially our fellow choristers in the 2014 Only Admissions Aloud Choir!"

Singing in the Only Admissions Aloud Choir


Our very own Dom and Andrea starred in the Only Admissions Aloud Choir lead by Craig Yates for the second year running formed with delegates and performing live on stage to a crowded conference room, just check out the video below and see if you can spot Andrea (hint: she's wearing lime).  Next year we hope to make it our hat-trick!


Student CRM - (not) born in the USA

Not only is our Student CRM homegrown in the UK, it's homegrown right here in our office in sunny Poole, by our team of expert developers.


Our student recruitment software is a UK cloud-based SaaS that users can't help falling in love with. Being UK-based we offer the kind of immediate customer support you can rely on. During your UK working hours too. No state-side dependencies.

Being in the UK is a big thing. Turning up to our offices here in Poole on the South Coast is a lovely way to start each day at the office. Being available on the phone for your team is so convenient for you.

As the Student CRM is our very own solution, we're constantly innovating, evolving and developing our solution to stay ahead of the game within the student recruitment industry. This means regularly reviewing our current apps and maintaining our roadmap of exciting new apps for the future.


Our UK-based support team is also here in Poole (they sit right next to our Developers) and help to set it up and make it work for your recruitment team. We host a initial face to face training session either on campus or 'down South' in our offices (so you can explore the beautiful coastline and enjoy a delicious lunch on us).

This also means anyone from our Customer Service team is available to speak with you during the UK working day, so if you've got any questions just pick up the phone. We are here.

Just contact us if you'd like a non-committal demo, and one of our team can show you how you could be recruiting your students.

58% increase in Applicant Open Day bookings for SOAS


SOAS, University of London, the world's leading institution in the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, experienced a 58% increase in the number of student bookings for their latest Applicant Open Day on 17th March thanks to their new Student CRM from Data Harvesting.

SOAS welcome team took less than 35 minutes to personally welcome over 400 attendees. By using a tiny barcode scanner, staff were able to reduce bottlenecks and ensure all visitors had a warm welcome.

Due to the ease of the online booking and the automated communications to the students, SOAS had a significant increase in the attendance rate as well.

The Applicant Open Day app worked in unison with the recruitment team and effortlessly managed the bookings to liaise with each attendee efficiently pre and post event to ensure they were informed of dates, times and locations making it an overwhelming success.

Data Harvesting's Student CRM team helped the recruitment team at SOAS to plan their Open Day. A member of the recruitment team said:

[quote]SOAS offers students a very flexible study programme which means every open day needs to be carefully planned. Luckily, the Student CRM Open Day app is flexible enough for us to offer a wide range of activities to students coming to our Open Day.[/quote]

A member of the recruitment team commented:

[quote]It was a phenomenal success from start to finish; from the automated booking process to the personalised automated email communications prospective students received leading up to the day. Time spent administering the open day has been reduced and all KPIs have been documented and recorded in the Student CRM for us to measure subsequent open days against.[/quote]

A team member stated:


"Our allocated spaces filled up within no time due to the ease of booking online. Using the barcode scanner was also an excellent way to personally greet attendees and filter them through to the university to start their day. It was great to know that once the data had been uploaded into the CRM, they'd all receive a 'thank you' email, something else that the recruitment team wouldn't have to manually remember to do."