The University of Essex Digital Prospectus: A Successful Transition to Digital

The University of Essex is a leading UK-based institution known for its innovative teaching and research. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses across three campuses and has a diverse student population from over 130 countries. In line with its commitment to innovation, the university decided to launch a digital prospectus alongside its printed version.

In the digital age, higher education institutions have an increasing number of marketing channels to engage with prospective students. The University of Essex recognised the importance of embracing digital marketing whilst also offering students the choice of traditional printed materials. With the help of Prospectus Plus, the university successfully launched their digital prospectus alongside their printed prospectus, resulting in a more balanced and effective marketing strategy.

The Challenge

Solution – The University of Essex Digital Prospectus

The University of Essex partnered with Prospectus Plus, to launch a new digital prospectus. The digital prospectus offered a personalised experience to prospective students, showing only the information that was relevant to them. It also enabled the university to make updates to course information in real-time, ensuring that prospective students were always viewing the most up-to-date information.

Like others that have already partnered with Prospectus Plus, the university was able to offer prospective students the choice of how they engage with the university through their digital and printed prospectus. This allowed the university to reduce their reliance on print materials whilst still offering students the option to receive a printed prospectus. Additionally, the digital prospectus offered a range of benefits including faster production times, lower costs, personalised content, and the ability to update course information automatically. This allowed the university to provide a more tailored and relevant experience for prospective students whilst also reducing their environmental footprint.

Content is personalised based on the courses that they shortlist. Prospective students will see only the information that is relevant to their needs. This allows prospects to research more efficiently and find all of the information that they need in one place.


  1. Increased Engagement: The digital prospectus can generate leads and track engagement accurately.
  2. Cost Reduction: The digital prospectus has reduced the production costs associated with the traditional printed prospectus.
  3. Quicker Production: The digital prospectus is quicker to produce than the traditional printed prospectus. This has allowed the university to get its message out to prospective students faster.
  4. Easy Maintenance: The digital prospectus is easier to maintain than the traditional printed prospectus. It is also more environmentally friendly as it eliminates the need for paper. According to a report by the Environmental Paper Network, the paper industry is responsible for 4% of the world’s total energy use and is the fourth largest industrial emitter of greenhouse gases.
  5. Higher Conversion Rates: The personalised experience offered by the digital prospectus has resulted in a higher conversion rate for the university. Prospective students are more likely to apply for courses as they are presented with the information that is most relevant to them. According to a study by Epsilon, a marketing services company, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experiences.
  6. International Recruitment: The University of Essex is an internationally recruiting university, and the digital prospectus has provided many benefits in this regard. According to a report by the British Council, the digitalisation of higher education marketing has facilitated international student recruitment by providing potential students with an easily accessible and engaging platform.


The University of Essex Digital Prospectus and their successful transition to a digital with Prospectus Plus highlights the importance of balancing digital and print marketing channels for higher education institutions. By offering students the choice of how they engage with the university and reducing their reliance on print materials, the university has been able to increase engagement, reduce costs, and lower their environmental impact. As the higher education sector continues to embrace digital marketing, it is essential that institutions offer a balanced approach to cater to the needs and preferences of prospective students.

By offering students more choice in how they engage with the university, the University of Essex has demonstrated its commitment to innovation and excellence. Furthermore, the digital prospectus allows institutions to reduce their print run with confidence, as they will always have a digital alternative to provide.

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