By Kristen Pulver | Director, New Verticals
Editor’s note: In her last post, Kristen Pulver, MediaWhiz’s director of new verticals, covered what makes for a good call center. Today, she reflects on the type of call centers to be wary of, and how to avoid working with bad call centers.
Many call centers play by the rules, most of the time. The reality is that an emailer, site owner or any other partner can bend the rules in order to get a better conversion rate.
“The Bad” of working with education call centers stems primarily from non-call center partners, brokering allocation to call centers. Yes, the calls may be compliant and some people may even enroll, but when you’re being sold one thing and getting another, we can all agree it’s frustrating and it’s the cause of a lot of distrust in the industry.
So, you may be asking yourself, How do I know what makes for a good education call center?
RELATED: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Education Call Centers: Part 1
By Kristen Pulver | Director, New Verticals
Editor’s note: This is a part one of a series on the good and the bad of working with education call centers. In part one below, Kristen Pulver, our expert in the education vertical, covers what makes a good call center.
The wonderful world of education lead gen is focused on quality, volume and matching users to schools who pay for qualified leads. So, in an environment committed to such quality, one would think call centers are a driver of great education leads, right? Well you are right, in most cases.
After testing around 75 education call centers in my career, I have come to realize that many call centers are fantastic to work with, but as with all things, some are subpar. Many schools restrict call center leads, but why? With the internet littered with questionable advertising partners, it’s the responsibility of your agency to ensure the partners they’re working with are compliant, quality traffic drivers and above all, abiding by your advertising guidelines. If you’re thinking “what advertising guidelines?” then make sure you’re partnering with an agency that has education advertising guidelines that they follow and enforce to all of their partners.
So, let’s get to it…
By Kyle Hanzas | Director, Business Development
Over the past three years online education inquiry generation has undergone a major shift in responsibility. Previously, it was about a 50/50 partnership between schools and marketers. Marketers used creative messaging and various online advertising channels to attract prospective students while the schools utilized strong recruitment and CRM practices to gain new enrollment.
As new legal and regulatory guidelines emerged around marketing messaging and recruitment practices, the responsibility of enrolling a quality student has shifted more toward the marketer. The quality and intent of the prospect needs to be well defined before she is passed to an admissions counselor. A university’s ability to develop the prospect’s enrollment intent is more limited than ever.
Schools are left to consolidate efforts to their highest-quality partners and online channels. The aggregate traffic model and an inquiry driven to multiple schools are no longer of great value; rather they are considered more of a “volume filler.” Admissions counselors can’t get into a sales competition for inquiries who express interest in multiple colleges. An admission representative should not be a salesperson, but rather a guide that aids in the process and helps the prospect make an informed decision about attending their college of choice. (more…)
By Shon Greenblatt | Senior Director, Account Management
Editor’s note: This is the fourth post in a series focusing on best practices for lead generation in the online education industry.
Online performance marketing remains the most cost effective form of marketing and advertising. As society becomes more digitally focused, and consumers increasingly user their smartphones and tablets to run and organize their lives, advertisers will recognize additional opportunities to reach out to them directly to share the benefit of their perspective goods and services. Colleges and universities are no different.
In the 10 years I have worked in online marketing, I have worked with many of the nation’s top educators and administrators. In that time I have been a witness to the incredible growing demand of online education. The reach of the Web is endless. Educational opportunities that were once unavailable to many people are now available to almost anyone, anywhere and at any time, throughout the world. (more…)
By Frances Gutierrez | Education Project Strategist
Editor’s note: This is the third post in a series focusing on best practices for lead generation in the online education industry.
The tide is changing in higher education. A more diverse student population can be found at most college campuses throughout America. The opportunities — and challenges — for universities to find, enroll and retain students have never been greater.
Two recent reports underscore this emerging reality.
A press release from the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) reported that a surprising 92% of current students meet one or more standards of a non-traditional student. A glut of undereducated employees in the workforce — 90 million of them, according to APSCU — has helped widened the gap in the labor market. With an expected 85% of new jobs requiring a postsecondary education, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for higher-learning institutions to close the gap.
Institutions are facing challenges with student recruitment, retention, employer advocacy and more while striving to gain a competitive advantage.
Through years of admissions management experience I have gained an in-depth understanding of the ever-changing realm and unique marketing challenges of private higher-education.
What’s the silver bullet to achieving online marketing success in higher education? While it may seem rudimentary, the quick answer is clear: put the student first. Develop and maintain a student-centric approach. This requires higher education marketers to make all decisions with the student experience as the main priority.
By Kristen Pulver | Director, New Verticals
Editor’s note: This is the second post in a series focusing on best practices for lead generation in the online education industry.
When looking for a distribution method for your marketing budget, where do you start? There are relationships with aggregators, vendors and others but with the ever-changing nature of the education industry and the goals related to school success, how do you know who to partner with? Who will give you what you’re asking for? Most importantly, who will deliver to you — the end buyer — what they’re promising?
This is a conundrum that many schools and education marketers deal with. Some providers haven’t survived the changing landscape. Whether it’s falling behind with compliance requirements, or struggling to maintain enough traffic to stay afloat, many online education marketers and agencies leave the business and move on to other, less-quality driven industries.
But what is important to a college or university should be of the greatest importance to the school’s marketing sources. We all know that high-quality, compliant leads are necessary for success with any higher education marketing campaign, but a partnership with the right aggregator needs to be more than just that; and a school’s expectations should be nothing less.
Compliance, quality and an understanding of a successful admission life-cycle from the first point of contact with potential students to enrollment is what most satisfies a client.
The Trust Factor
The focus of each school’s lead buyer should be the following: Do I trust this lead provider? Do they know what they’re talking about? And, do they know what I’m talking about when discussing goals, metrics and quality requirements?
The answer is probably. Your marketing partner probably knows what you’re looking to achieve, but is the entire marketing team on the same-page with you and your goals? Does their network know what you’re looking for? Does their SEM strategist understand your end goals? Does their creative team understand what will get you the most bang for your buck?
Fortunately, MediaWhiz has those tools and a team of Education Specialists to enhance the quality of all work, media and marketing going out the door.
By putting together targeted campaigns with the right marketing channels, partnerships and creative, the goals of each individual school are identified, defined and deployed with the school’s direction and insight, along with MediaWhiz’s direct-marketing expertise behind it.
So, think about your last marketing buy and think about your goals. When doing this, ask yourself this question: Do you have your goals identified?
Partnering with a marketing agency, such as MediaWhiz, that has the ability to spend time on your campaign, tackling it from all angles and using tools like compliance monitoring, sophisticated user engagement projections and true A/B testing will give you, the client, results you should expect.
The right direct marketing tools are crucial to a campaign’s long-term success. Yes, compelling copy is great, but if you have a company spending your marketing dollars you want to make sure the cost they’re incurring for quality users to “click” will actually convert on your landing page.
By using direct marketing tools and best practices, MediaWhiz helps clients increase the results needed from their marketing pieces. This gives your admissions team a better opportunity to engage the potential students you’re spending advertising dollars to target.
Don’t settle for poorly targeted marketing campaigns. Call us today at +1 646.264.0144 and learn how MediaWhiz can help you target the students you want to reach.
By Caroline Ramos | Director, Client Services
Editor’s note: This is the first post in a series focusing on best practices for lead generation in the online education industry.
Year after year universities struggle with enrollment rates. At the same time marketers are testing new advertising channels, shifting budgets, designing new creative assets and everything in between to reach that seemingly elusive enrollment goal.
But why is nothing changing? Why are enrollment rates dropping after all that investment in time, money and effort?
It’s simple, really: The ﬁrst point of contact is your ﬁrst impression and it can make or break the success of a prospect’s enrollment. The best advertising campaign in the world is frustratingly useless if the admissions process deters prospective students.
Many universities with large marketing budgets fail to focus on what’s happening right under their nose, and in most cases, right down the hallway. I have seen everything from a first point of contact being a direct-mail piece to callbacks that occur two weeks after an online information request is submitted.
A successful online marketing campaign for a college or university isn’t just measured by a conversion rate. Performance marketing in education requires three critical components to be successful:
- High-quality traffic sources: You need to have traffic (students) who are interested in learning more about a particular school.
- Optimized creative: A high-quality landing page, great email design and banner ads that really catch the eye of prospective students.
- Structured workflow: A cohesive admissions process that is ready to work a lead. (more…)