City and Guilds

Using triggered messaging to deliver tailored experiences and drive ROI

Customers / Higher Education / City and Guilds


open rate for triggered messaging


return on investment

City & Guilds is a global leader in skills development. Over one million people earn a City & Guilds qualification every year, providing them with the skills they need to thrive in the workplace. Established in 1878, today, the London-based educational organization works with governments, employers, and educators in over 50 countries, across five continents.

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Changes to the education industry saw a greater focus was being placed on cost-efficacy, improving pass rates, providing real work experience, and real employment opportunities.

In the smaller but highly competitive Awarding Organization (AO) space, City & Guilds found themselves fighting to remain prominent. Alongside major players such as EdExcel and OCR, it was now contending with niche providers focused on specific industries. All the while, it was also growing awareness and take-up of its wider services, supporting centres with their broader challenges.

To continue to provide this vast range of services, City & Guilds realized it needed to improve the quality of its customer communications. This would ensure that it would be the AO colleges, schools, businesses, and centres continued to turn to provide qualifications.

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Realizing the need to tailor its marketing communications, City & Guilds decided to put in place a four-year program to automate its marketing and management of customer feedback. Its goal was to ensure all customers receive relevant communications in the most cost-effective way.

In order to do this, it needed to understand customer behavior across different touchpoints, and offer relevant content at each one. As a result, it needed to build a fully integrated infrastructure which would could provide a 360-degree customer view. This was possible by integrating Engagement Cloud with its CRM and web application. By syncing these systems it’s able to track web behavior and purchase history to deliver relevant and timely content.

Thanks to this, it’s been able to set up a wide range of highly refined triggered programs. Once an existing customer logs onto the site, it will immediately know who they are, what their job title is, and which qualifications they’re interested in. Triggered messages are set up to send to visitors when they visit pages related to their field of interest. For instance, if a Head of Hairdressing visited a page on beauty qualifications, they’d receive an automated follow-up offering them a download, or discussion with a support team member.

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When compared to single email follow-ups, the success of automating triggered messaging was evident. It’s now able to deliver specific, personalized content at scale. As a result, its achieved open rates of 51%, and boosted the number of opportunities from this campaign by 32%. It also delivered a return of investment of 15:1.

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