Archive for July, 2011
At CUnet, our Sparkroom Enrollment Marketing Automation Platform is the most-deployed solution of its kind, processing millions of inquiries each year. This provides us with a rich set of marketing and enrollment data to analyze – and some key insights into overall trends in the industry at large.
With that in mind, and as part of our overall commitment to sharing best practices and industry insights, today we launched the first issue of CUnet Market Insights. This report highlights key trends and statistics in higher education marketing based on actual, aggregate campaign data from our platform.
The inaugural issue focuses on the issue of bad inquiries, examining how and why scrub rates seem to be on the rise. The result includes some fascinating statistics – I’ve highlighted a few of the more interesting numbers below:
- Scrub rates for schools with high inquiry volumes went up over 6% between July 2010 and June 2011
- 99.5% increase in inquiries scrubbed by qualify & transfer call centers at schools with high volumes (>15,000/month).
- 85% increase in inquiries scrubbed by automated validation in schools with low volumes (<15,000/month).
- Scoring & Verification increased by 75% in schools with high volumes.
- Schools with lower volume saw call center scrub rates drop by 39%, while validation rates increased by 85%.
To read the rest of the report, or to sign up to receive future Market Insights Reports, you can register for our newsletter distribution here.
In light of the new industry regulations about gainful employment and increased requirements for disclosure and transparency in the for profit career colleges sector, many schools are taking or have taken positive steps towards establishing new compliance marketing guidelines, but is SMS, or text message, marketing being overlooked?
In an effort to help create an effective and compliant mobile marketing ecosystem for higher education, CUnet has created a Quick Guide for SMS Advertising and Compliance based on the Mobile Marketing Association’s best practices, specifically designed for colleges and universities.
Many schools are already using SMS campaigns to communicate with prospective and current students in a variety of ways, including following up with information inquiries via text and text alerts sent directly to mobile phones. Conducting any text messaging campaign without following the required U.S. wireless carriers requirements and The Mobile Marketing Association(MMA) Best Practices Guidelines can put both the schools and owners of a short code at considerable legal and financial risk. Additionally, not following the guidelines can result in ineffective marketing campaigns that may result in frustrated prospects or students.
In a recent talk at IgniteNYC, entrepreneur Michael Karnjanaprakorn challenges the notion that paying for a traditional four-year college degree is necessary for knowledge attainment and career success. He’s certainly not the only one to recently voice doubt about the state of higher learning in the United States. Numerous editorial voices have weighed in during recent months on the evidence presented by the Pew Research Center’s 2011 study done in conjunction with the Chronicle of Higher Education citing steep tuition costs and fewer job opportunities for all Americans due to current economic conditions. Karnkanaprakorn’s main argument is that higher education today fails to provide sufficient opportunities for students to “learn” and instead is a model where costs increasingly outweigh the benefits. But is his counter-suggestion really that much better for students?
The model proposed by Karnjanaprakorn and deployed via his start-up SkillShare relies on community-based, special interest courses that hone in on specific skill sets, including courses in “How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You,” “Malaysian Cooking,” and “How to Get a Job at a Start-Up.” Definitely good life skills to have, but outside of filling your lonely days and nights or getting a job at Next Big Internet Thing, LLC (or at least catering their IPO celebration), this “learning-focused” system still lacks the specialized skill focus that careers in healthcare, IT, and the modern service industry require. Recruiting the qualified instructors to teach how to attain career-specific skills, providing equipment and materials to allow realistic settings in which to practice and learn, and gaining state or corporate licensure to even instruct students on how to gain the qualifications to practice certain trades is not free. According to Nate Johnson’s 2009 study of how much education costs for a school, this is just the beginning – operational costs, the cost of student attrition, and dozens of other factors make it clear that offering a place to learn is more complex than Karnjanaprakorn’s analysis conveys.
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