Posts Tagged ‘Higher education marketing’
For the fourth year in a row, CUnet and LeadsCouncil are conducting the Higher Education Marketing Benchmarking Survey to help our industry better understand how recent changes in higher education are impacting marketers and to identify current trends and best practices.
Last year, with input from higher education marketing professionals like you, we were able to create an insightful snapshot of marketing trends in higher education. The 2012 report helped to foster a better understanding of what is happening in our industry, and it provided useful statistics to higher education marketing departments across the country.
Results from this year’s survey will be analyzed against results from the past three years to develop the 2013 Higher Education Marketing Benchmarking Report. In return for your participation, you will receive a complimentary full copy of this report.
To participate in this year’s survey and sign up to receive your complimentary report, click on one of the following links:
- Can Grand Canyon Lead For-Profit Out of The Abyss (
Investor’s Business Daily) The Future: Los De Abajo ( Counterpunch.org) For-Profit Fiasco: California Public Colleges Turn to Web Courses ( The Nation) MOOCs, Sensors, Apps and Games: The Revolution in Education Innovation ( The Washington Post) Big Data and the Big Opportunity to Reform Education ( Business2Community) The Minerva Moment? ( Inside Higher Ed) "Not about Doing Education on the Cheap" ( Bacon’s Rebellion) Stanford to help build edX MOOC platform ( The Washington Post) Utah surpasses all others in digital education, new study finds ( The Salt Lake Tribune) College Grads Earn Nearly Three Times More Than High School Dropouts ( The Wall Street Journal)
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.
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.
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!
A recent article revealed that the University of Phoenix was the top spender on Google AdWords over the last quarter, spending nearly $200,000 a day. With five billion daily ad impressions on Google worldwide, it’s no surprise that the university and other top players are investing large sums of money to advertise on this growing network. Advertising through Google AdWords allows businesses to reach a targeted audience at the time they are seeking information, to generate quality inquiries at an effective ROI.
Almost a year ago, we published some of our paid search predictions for 2012, which included the prediction that schools would be increasing their paid search budgets in 2012 due to concerns surrounding compliance with affiliate inquiry generation and the need for more transparency. We have definitely seen that happen over the past few months across multiple paid search clients, and expect that trend to continue into 2013.
Our recent Benchmarking Report further supports this trend of increased investments in digital marketing, with paid search being one of those core channels. We found that just 44% of our clients’ inquiries were generated by third party affiliates, which was down 33% from last year. The recent concerns over inquiry quality, regulatory compliance, and increasing costs per enrollment, have led more and more clients to cut spending on third-party inquiry sources and instead shift that budget to channels like pay-per-click (PPC).
Transparency, compliance, and quality issues aside, it seems that there is one powerful reason why schools are spending more money in PPC advertising: it works!
We have seen the investment in PPC pay off firsthand for some of our own clients. Earlier this year, we examined how one particular client was gradually increasing PPC spend, and grew their inquiry volume as a result. Months later, those inquiries are continuing to convert to starts, at comparable start rates, which keeps their total cost-per-start within goal. This client plans to continue to increase spend throughout the fourth quarter and into next year.
Similarly, another core client has also been gradually shifting more budget to PPC throughout recent months in efforts to improve the quality of their inquiry flow, which should in turn improve their cost-per-start. PPC spending for this client in Q3 2012 has grown 12% from Q3 2011. During 2013 budget planning meetings, this client conveyed that they would like to continue to shift more budget to PPC wherever possible. They understand that shifting this budget out of affiliate networks will cut down on the quantity of inquiries generated, but are hopeful that the improvement in quality will ensure their enrollment goals are still met, at more efficient costs.
With players like University of Phoenix dominating the market, schools will be forced to continue to increase keyword bids and spending if they want to attempt to compete in this game. Those who do invest in PPC should continue to see the payoff in quality inquiry volume that converts very well to enrollments and starts.
Yesterday, we presented our latest Monthly Insights webinar. This time, we talked all about Navigating the Complex World of Compliance. It has been 16 months since the Program Integrity regulations went into effect, and we wanted to take a look at what, if anything, has changed in the world of compliance. We reviewed the policy updates and legislative changes that have taken place over the last year, and discussed what legislative bodies schools should keep an eye on in the near future. We also checked in with our customers and the higher education marketing sector at large to find out if their attitudes toward compliance have changed at all, and what best practices they have put into place as a result of the regulations. And finally, we talked about what CUnet is doing to address the compliance concerns of our clients and partners. Our Director of Compliance Jeff Herz also offered up a FREE compliance review for any school interested in our compliance services!
Did you miss the webinar? Don’t worry! You can watch a recorded version of it here. And, we’re extending our FREE COMPLIANCE REVIEW offer to our loyal blog readers as well! If you’re interested in learning more about the review or any compliance services, please contact Jeff Herz at email@example.com.
This week, a significant portion of the Eastern US was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. That included our CUnet head office in Paramus, NJ (which is still without power) and many CUnet staff and customers. Power is slowly being restored to affected areas, repairs are being made, and people are doing the best they can to return to normal life. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the storm; we wish you the very best in this difficult time.
While most of the news was focused on this week’s storm, we did collect a few stories from the world of higher education that we thought we’d share.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and be safe!
- Higher education: Heading for upheaval? (Washington Post)
- Saving Higher Education (Huffington Post
- Equal Pay For Equal Work: Not Even College Helps Women (NPR)
- Colleges Rethink Need Blind Admissions in Favor of Meeting Need (Inside Higher Ed)
- The LMS Instructure Enters the MOOC Fray (Hack Education)
- Obama’s ‘Pay as You Earn’ Plan for Student Borrowers Becomes Official (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
What: Navigating the Complex World of Compliance: How Schools Have Responded to the Compliance Challenge
When: Tuesday, October 30, 2pm Eastern
Our October Market Insights Webinar is coming up next week, and this one’s all about compliance. We’ll have Shawn Traudt, Manager of Policy Services for Nelnet who will talk about the legal and policy changes and challenges that have occurred over the last 15 months. And we’ll learn how schools have responded to those challenges from Jeff Herz, our Director of Compliance and Internal Operations.
If you’re a school concerned with compliance, or you’d like an update on what has happened in the legal world since the Program Integrity regulations took effect last year, then you should sign up. And better yet, it’s free! What are you waiting for?
In this session you will learn:
- Legal and policy changes since July 2011
- How schools have responded to the regulations over the last 15 months
- Compliance best practices from schools just like yours
- Strategies and tools to keep you ahead of the compliance curve