Archive for the ‘CUnet’ Category
As our home office shivers under the steady patter of sleet and freezing rain, some lucky CUnet employees are partying it up at booth 433 at this year’s Leadscon, beginning today at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Leadscon is always a blast, but this year looks to be even more exciting than usual. In line with our focus on strengthening campaigns and helping affiliates achieve better performance, visitors to booth 433 can enter a raffle to win a fitness gift bag.
Beyond just swag and marketing, though, CUnet is entering this year’s Leadscon hot on the heels of winning best-in-class awards for both our compliance offerings and Sparkroom, our award-winning lead management platform from LeadsCouncil. Continuing our tradition of providing best-in-class thought leadership and solutions, CUnet’s very own Dale Leatherwood, Managing Director of Sales & Marketing, is sitting on the panel for “I See What You See: Removing Risk & Adding Trust Into the Lead Generation Transaction,” Wednesday at 9:20 a.m.
Also? We have ORANGE SHOES!
Have you seen them? Oh, who are we kidding? You could see these babies from space! You’ve probably seen these bright, fluorescent orange kicks gallivanting, prancing, tip-toeing and confidently striding across the convention floor and thought to yourself, “OH NO! PEOPLE HERE WALK SO MUCH THAT THEIR FEET BURST INTO FLAME! Oh, wait. It’s just a pair of spiffy orange shoes. Where do I get a pair like that?”
In a previous post, we discussed the initial intentions of Executive Order 13607. The Order was signed on April 27, 2012 and called for accountability from educational institutions and vendors concerning recruitment and enrollment of veterans, military personnel, and their families. The Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, and Department of Education have taken steps since April to ensure schools are fair and honest when communicating with veterans and their families about education. Below is a timeline of the events that have transpired since the Order was signed.
Guidelines (called the Principles of Excellence) were established for schools who receive Federal funding
Schools that participate in the Principles of Excellence program are encouraged to:
- Provide students personalized information regarding the total cost of the program
- Provide educational plans for all military and veteran education beneficiaries
- End fraudulent and aggressive recruiting techniques and misrepresentation
- Accommodate service members and reservists absent due to service requirements
- Designate a point of contact for academic and financial advising
- Ensure accreditation of all new programs prior to enrolling students
- Align institutional refund policies with those under Title IV
The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet was created
This sheet is to be available to all students prior to enrollment, and will list disclosure fees and financial eligibility. While it is not yet mandatory, it is strongly encouraged for each school wishing to participate in military recruitment and enrollment. The Secretary of Defense will require a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) from any educational institution participating in the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance programs once the regulations have been finalized. The shopping sheet will then be a requirement of the MOU.
The term “GI Bill” was registered as a trademark
In taking this action, the government ensured all potential students were directed towards the correct information concerning GI Bills and benefits. They hope to lessen the confusion surrounding what the GI Bill is and who can apply. Schools and vendors can no longer use it simply as a marketing practice. To stay in accordance with this new provision, when using the term it must now have a “TM” or the encircled “R” on the first use of the term, then capitalized throughout the entirety of the copy.
The remainder of the implementation is scheduled to roll out over the next several months. The Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, and Department of Education would like to develop tools to compare education institutions, discover veteran outcome measures, develop reviews to assess compliance with the eight principles of excellence, and develop a centralized complaint system. The centralized complaint system is scheduled to début in the spring of 2013. This would allow students to post concerns about recruitment from schools and vendors, as well as house a history of all complaints and questions concerning Veterans’ struggles with obtaining information about college. With this history, the trending data for each school and vendor can be analyzed and investigated if needed.
To learn more about the progression of Executive Order 13607 and the compliance landscape for educational institutions, check out the recording of our latest webinar, “The Complex World of Compliance”.
The total cost of education has been growing faster than the rate of inflation for decades, and 2012 seemed to be the year when the effects of this trend finally entered the public consciousness. Not a week goes by without another article appearing in my news feed on the sky-rocketing cost of tuition, or massive student debt. Everyone was talking about it, from the 2012 Presidential campaign trail, to the Occupy Wall Street protests, to the education blogosphere. On a recent trip to Denver, I spotted a billboard that read, “Kiss Student Loans Goodbye”. Upon further inspection I realized that it was part of a Denver transit system marketing campaign to encourage transit usage. I was amazed to see that the concept of student debt has become such a part of everyday life.
So when I started thinking about what 2013 might hold for higher education, I couldn’t shake the thought that this year must bring with it action. Action on the part of politicians, who are feeling pressure from their constituents to do something to curb the cost of education. Action on the part of colleges and universities, which will be forced to examine their traditional way of doing business. And action on the part of consumers, who will begin to make more conscious choices around their post-secondary education.
2012 ended this week, and while many people are making resolutions for the new year ahead, we thought we would take a moment and look back at the last year. The CUnet blog was a popular spot this year, with our readership growing by over 95 percent since December 2011, and while we think all of our blog posts are pretty great (shameless self promotion… check!), there were a few topics that seemed to be of particular interest to our readers. So, we’ve run the numbers and sliced the data to compile the top five most popular topics on the CUnet blog for 2012. Without further ado, here’s how it all shook out:
Search Engine Optimization
In one of our very first posts of 2012, (SEO in 2012: The Top 11 Things You Need to Know), we predicted some big changes to SEO, with the biggest change being that mobile surfing could overtake desktop surfing in the near future. And as the year progressed, we definitely saw things move in that direction. For the first time in years, desktop web search declined, according to the Macquarie Group in September, and the increase in mobile search seems to be the biggest reason for this decline. Our SEO post also included hot topics such as more localization to search inquiries, search engines become smarter at determining your intent when making a query (we saw Google actually update their algorithms late in 2012), and an increase in rich snippets (which help with your search rankings).
Mobile campaigns became a big part of CUnet’s marketing offerings for its clients in 2012, and they are proving to be a highly successful marketing channel. As we noted in our mobile case study results post, inquiries from our mobile campaigns have resulted in a cost-per-enrollment (CPE) of up to 30 percent lower than those from other inquiry generation channels. Early in the year we posted our 2012 mobile marketing trends where we predicted that 50 percent of all cell phone users in the U.S. would own a smart phone (in March 2012, that statistic was confirmed), and that sales of tablets would increase as competition grew and prices decreased. With more and more people accessing the Internet on mobile devices rather than their PCs, it soon became clear that building mobile-friendly sites would offer a better user experience for our clients’ potential students. However, as we noted in the post Decloaking the Google WAP Mobile Universe many mobile users still own feature phones, so not all of a school’s mobile marketing efforts should be targeted to smart phone users. Targeting both smart phone users and feature phone users is important in making sure you are making the most of your mobile campaigns.
You may still be groaning over Facebook’s transition to Timeline, but we hope CUnet’s Social Media Strategist Jeff Berg’s handy guides – Five Things You Must Know About The New Facebook Brand Timelines and OH NOES! A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Your Page Ready for Facebook’s Timelines! – helped ease you into the new profile layouts. But Jeff’s expertise doesn’t end with making your Facebook pages look pretty. In the post Measuring Success in Social Media Campaigns, he also provides valuable insight into how you can (and why you should) track the ROI and overall success of your social media campaigns.
Did you know that CUnet has an entire team called the Marketing Operations Quality Control (MOQC) team that is dedicated to monitoring affiliate websites for non-compliance, branding violations, and adherence to the Program Integrity regulations?
Did you also know that the MOQC team monitors third party call centers for compliance needs?
While many higher education marketers are familiar with our web monitoring compliance services, we thought we’d take some time to talk about our call center compliance monitoring, as it is an important part of the compliance service that we offer to clients.
When it comes to call centers, we don’t simply examine compliance according to Gainful Employment (GE) regulations; we also consider compliance through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations. In 2012 alone, the MOQC team reviewed 1,585 calls for compliance and consistency–that is over 327 hours!
When I attended the CCST conference in October as a speaker, I received a number of questions from schools around SMS, or text messaging. Specifically, schools were interested in the compliance requirements for using text messaging to reach out to current or prospective students.
While we have not been using text messaging as tool in CUnet’s mobile marketing efforts for a while, I’ve realized that there are a lot of schools out there who are looking for some guidance around compliance and text messaging. So, I’ve provided a summary of these requirements below.
There are two main guidelines to follow when conducting a text messaging program of any sort. The first is what’s legally required by federal law and the FCC, and the second is what’s required by the wireless carriers.
- Must have the end user “Express Prior Consent” to be texted, and the ability to produce the record of consent when asked
- The user needs to know they are being charged for receiving text messages – hence the language “Standard message & data rates apply” is important to be shown clearly wherever the user is opting in, including on advertisements, websites and other places where the opt-in is happening
- The user needs to be able opt-out using the same way they opted in allowing no more than 10 days for the advertiser to stop messages
- If there will be an opt-out confirmation message (which is a chargeable text message), the user needs to know that upfront as well
- Because of the nature of the a text message, the FCC can and may consider a text message something that meets both the TCPA definition of a “call” and the CAN-SPAM act definition of an “e-mail” hence compliance with both is required
2. From a Wireless Carrier perspective and based on the Mobile Marketing Association Guidelines:
- The user needs to know what is the program they are being opted into (title/description)
- The user needs to know that “Standard Carrier Message & Data Rates Apply”
- The user needs to know how to opt-out (i.e. “text Stop to #”)
- The user needs to have an expectation for the frequency of messages he will receive
- The advertiser needs to maintain a log with timestamp for opt-ins and opt-outs to prove user subscription
- If the user opted in from the web, there needs to be a double opt-in process to verify handset ownership (user texts back “ok” to confirm)
- Help command information should be provided. This gives information about the specific SMS campaign when texted back to the originating short code; i.e. “for Help, text Help to (Short Code)”
- A URL or location where full terms and conditions can be accessed must be provided
- Customer support contact information must be provided
Do you have any feedback or suggestions? Please contact me or leave us a comment below.
Good afternoon, faithful blog readers! Just a quick post today to let you know that our December newsletter has published!
What’s in this issue?
Well, we all know that social media is an effective way to market to potential students, but how else do schools use the tool? This month’s Featured Article spotlights some excellent examples of schools using social media during the recent hurricane that devastated the East coast. Meanwhile, our Market Insights article discusses another crucial issue: the importance of incorporating good data collection practices into schools’ marketing and admissions processes. And, guess what? Sparkroom was recently named a Top Product by University Business readers! Plus, if you didn’t get the chance to tune into our last compliance webinar, you’re in luck…we’re offering it again!
Click here to read the full newsletter.
If you’re a CUnet client or someone familiar with our services, you are likely aware of our industry-leading enrollment marketing automation platform, Sparkroom. It’s the power that drives so many of our services here at CUnet, allowing us to efficiently process and distribute inquiries across internal systems, measure and analyze marketing campaigns, nurture and convert inquiries, and optimize campaign performance. In fact, it is the most widely-deployed software available for enrollment marketing automation, processing over ONE MILLION inquiries every month.
Today, we’re excited to announce that Sparkroom has been named a University Business (UB) Readers’ Choice Top Product for 2012!
The first annual UB Readers’ Choice Top Products award recognizes leaders in the higher education industry and provides university leaders and administrators with the unique opportunity to learn what products their colleagues around the country are using, and how these products contribute to the success of their schools.
So why did UB readers choose Sparkroom? Here are just some of the many reasons!
-It allows schools to make better, data-driven decisions about how to allocate media budget.
-It ensures that all inbound inquiries are captured, scrubbed, and routed 24 x 7, regardless of volume.
-Sparkroom saves time and effort when managing a large portfolio of inquiry providers.
-It quickly and easily integrates with the widest set of scoring, validation, and call center solutions.
-Simple. Sparkroom is the most widely deployed software trusted by top career colleges & universities!
Are you a Sparkroom user? Why do YOU use Sparkroom? We’d love to hear from you! Comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org today!
This spring, we conducted the 3rd Annual Higher Education Benchmarking Survey among over 300 college and university enrollment marketing professionals. The ensuing report unveiled some pretty interesting statistics, and garnered quite a bit of attention from enrollment managers, admissions professionals, and marketing staff working at colleges and universities across the country. Our first webinar based on this report was so popular, that we have decided to offer it again…this time as a co-presentation with our sister company Peterson’s!
Register now for this live webinar, listen in as we unveil the survey results, and find out how your school’s enrollment marketing strategies compare to hundreds of other colleges and universities. Joining us will be Marcus Hanscom, Associate Director of Graduate Recruitment and Outreach at the University of New Haven, to provide some commentary around these statistics and discuss how these trends have impacted his school, and other schools that he has worked with.
Don’t miss out. Sign up today!
It’s Thanksgiving Day, and in addition to the pumpkin pie eating, football watching, and turkey comas, most of us will also be taking a moment today to give thanks for the things and people in our lives that mean the most to us. Here at CUnet, we’re thankful for a lot: amazing customers that we get to work with every day, a team dedicated staff, and the opportunity to help connect students to a lifetime of learning through higher education.
Today, we thought we’d take a look at some of the interesting ways that schools have chosen to celebrate Thanksgiving online. Have you seen any interesting examples of schools sending Thanksgiving messages out? Let us know; we’d love to include them!
Have a wonderful day everyone!
U of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame came up with a unique way for their students to express their gratitude. Over 1000 students wrote messages on a giant thank you sign constructed on the campus lawn. And they captured it all on video, then created a site devoted entirely to the project. What an awesome idea!
Grand Canyon U
Some other schools have taken their messages of thanks to Facebook, like Grand Canyon University who has changed their cover photo and timeline image to reflect Thanksgiving and to send a message to their 46,000+ Facebook followers.
U of Wisconsin- Madison
Meanwhile, the University of Wisconsin- Madison has headed to Twitter to share the Thanksgiving love. They created a Thanksgiving hashtag (#ThanksUW) and have asked everyone to share their Thanksgiving photos and wishes via Instagram or Twitter.
Send us your examples of schools celebrating Thanksgiving online! Just comment below or Tweet @cunetco!
You are currently browsing the archives for the CUnet category.