Digital transformation at AIESEC University

3000% ROI from paid channels
Reliable attribution of revenue from ATL campaign
Automated lead generation saved one man-month of previously manual work

AIESEC

AIESEC is international student organisation of 40 000 members, running multiple projects for young people to gather experience. One of those projects is University - language workshops for local students carried out by young native speakers volunteering from their countries and getting their first teaching experience.

I was leading a team of four responsible for AIESEC University lead generation. We were targeting students from local universities interested in learning foreign languages.

Previous editions were pretty chaotic. Nobody ever knew if workshops get full attendance, signing up was based on e-mails without any guidelines and team was being crushed by amount of always out of date spreadsheets. I realised that by focusing just on lead generation is not enough without proper system to manage it all. Apart from that, team was non-technical, so I had to push them through kind of digital transformation.

First of all, we got rid of spreadsheets

We were in need of proper CRM with track record of changes, automated as much as possible and error-proof. Podio became our system of choice. It's customizable, supports database-like relations between objects and is very user friendly.

We've set up simple logic on how everything should work:

  • one language has many workshops
  • workshop has one language
  • workshop has one teacher
  • workshop has many seats
  • workshop has many students
  • teacher has many workshops
  • student can attend many workshops

No exceptions were allowed. You couldn't assign two teachers to the same workshop. You couldn't assign students to workshops above their capacity. No student was allowed to be left without workshop attendance, etc. This structure alone mitigated lot of pain and saved many hours of managing schedules and students.

Streamlining signups

Previously, students interested in attending would send an e-mail asking for information about specific language, on which person responsible for signups would reply with details. One signup needed several e-mails to agree on schedule, price and all necessary details. Process was simple and repetitive - we decided to move everything to self-service as signup form on website.

Website was dynamically generated in real-time, pulling data with Podio API. Visitors could see all options and if workshop is already full (it was then blocked form further signups). Our team could change class schedule and it was instantly reflected on website - everything worked in perfect sync.

After signing up, student was sent automated email with payment details and autogenerated payment ID tied to new student entry in CRM. Payment ID made finance team very happy - they could easily assign incoming payments to particular person and mark it inside CRM. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we didn't manage to fully automate payments as it required lengthy legal process on our side.

Lead generation

Targeting was simple - as we were students, we basically targeted ourselves. We utilised three channels: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and banners on bus stops around the city.

Thanks to well defined target audience and A/B testing we reached 3000% ROI from paid channels. We were able to measure it properly thanks to custom coded UTM tracking integration with Podio API.

Tracking ATL campaign (banners on bus stops) was a different beast. We generated separate URL for banners only, which redirected visitors to website with UTM parameters attached (/uni -> /university?utm_source=offline&utm_medium=poster). People would not signup while waiting for the bus, but we've noticed that they usually saved advertised link and visited our website while at home - still using tracked URL, so we were able to keep attribution.

Results

Workshops ended up being big success and funded lots of other student projects.

While paid channels were very successful, our metrics proved that banners were not profitable and we didn't use them in following editions.

New CRM and automations significantly improved experience both for students and our team. What previously took 4 people one month, now was completed by 2 within two weeks, saving one man-month of work.