By Claire West

The NUS (National Union of Students) has launched a new digital marketing campaign to support its NUS Extra card, the official UK student card offering exclusive discounts, offers and competitions. The NUS has also launched a new Graduate Extra card, which is being promoted online and through digital marketing, and has created a Facebook Application giving away prizes to students.

The NUS Extra campaign — created by digital marketing agency Code Computerlove — includes email marketing, banner advertising and social media activity. It is encouraging students to purchase the £11 card online at or via students’ unions nationwide. Last year more than 350,000 cards were sold, mainly online, and the organisation is hoping to increase sales to more than half a million this year.

Code Computerlove has also made a number of enhancements to the card’s e-commerce function to speed up the administration process and improve efficiencies, and has updated the NUS website for the start of the 2010 academic year. The site provides clearer links to the card’s 70+ discount partners that include brands such as apple, New Look, amazon, orange and Virgin and boasts features like a value calculator to show savings that can be made by purchasing the card.

Nikki Copeman of the NUS said: “We are aiming to raise awareness of our popular student card among new and returning students with a mix of digital marketing techniques, including social media which is a vital way for us to reach students.

“We are focusing on key cities including Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow with a Facebook advertising campaign and have been running a number of initiatives to build up our email database, including a Facebook competition. Our campaign drives people to the NUS website where they can buy the card, sign up for an Ezine or find out more about the major brands offering discounts and offers.”

Code has created a Facebook application for a “SU-per Giveaway” prize draw, which is offering students to win prizes for themselves as well as their student mates by simply registering their details. The Students’ Union with the most number of entries will win the prizes. Entrants will also be registered to the database for future marketing opportunities.

An NUS Extra card refer-a-friend scheme is also being launched in October.

The new Graduate Extra card, which lasts for two years, has offers and discounts tailored to graduate requirements as well as career support services.

Code Computerlove has been the NUS’ digital marketing partner for more than six years. Two years ago Code created a new site for the organisation to provide a single destination where students can learn everything they need to know about being a student — from how to find a place to live to getting more involved in campaigning or saving money with the NUS Extra card.