Bob Johnson's Blog on Higher Education Marketing

Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter... June 2013

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Best wishes for a weather-friendly June and continued marketing success to everyone. I'm just back from Boston and the third year of our 2-day conference on Writing Right for the Web. Expect blog notes over the next few weeks. To read highlights from the view of the participants visitbit.ly/1320MMr

Summer is conference time and I hope we will have soon a chance to meet at one or more events.

The early bird registration discount for eduWeb2013 in Boston ends June 19. Sign up atbit.ly/14pJCrD and add my Online Advertising pre-conference workshop.

The ACT Enrollment Planners Conference starts July 11 in Chicago. Come to my session on email marketing for student recruitment where I will share results from secret shopping projects. Registration is open now at bit.ly/tnvnhR 

If you have a special interest in recruiting adult students, attend my June 25 webinar as we review top examples of effective websites that help achieve enrollment success. Register at bit.ly/YRHRC0 

And now here are your marketing news and notes for June.
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Internet Trends for 2013 and Beyond

Although 5 months have passed in 2013, this presentation by Mary Meeker and Liang Wu will take you far into the future. If you joined Saturday Night Live to laugh at Google glasses, remember that a computer company CEO said in 1977 "There is no reason a person would want a computer in their home." And in 1997, the cover of Forbes magazine featured "Amazon.bomb."

Download a copy and dig into the 117 slides to explore the future at slidesha.re/16vjHFR 
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600 Higher Ed Inquiry Forms: Do We Care About Online Marketing ROI?

Jens Larson at Eastern Washington University has visited more than 600 inquiry forms on higher education websites. His work confirms a sad reality: most forms that colleges and universities use appear designed to decrease the number of inquiries received. 

Larson shows examples from Harvard and Michigan State to illustrate his conclusions. If you are not Harvard or MSU and would like to create simpler forms to generate more online inquiries, check his article at bit.ly/14xkqC5 and get marketing and admissions people on your campus to read it.

Direct marketers have always known a simple truth: the longer you make a form, the fewer people will complete it. Do not let a tyrannical data base determine the length of your inquiry form.
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2013 Webby Awards for Schools and Universities: University of Chicago on Top

University of Chicago took first place in the 2013 Webby Awards in the Schools and University category. 

Visit the UChicago website and the sites for other finalists from the Webby website at bit.ly/11e348L
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Mobile Marketing and the Need for Speed

If your web pages take longer than 5 seconds to download, 19 percent of your visitors will leave before waiting for that to happen. That scary news comes in a report by KISSmetrics atbit.ly/14V7m92 

Does your home page take longer than 5 seconds on a smartphone? Get the answer from the Mobitest free performance tool at bit.ly/18JEenE 
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Less Communication Creates More Attention

Give great credit to Monroe Community College in Rochester for doing a communications audit to understand why enrolled students were not paying attention to messages received from various student service offices. The answer: far too many messages being sent, often at times that did not make a great deal of sense. Nothing seemed especially important and students stopped responding.

Changes in message format and timing, including an increase in postcards, have produced successes that include a 30 percent lift in early class registration. Read when less truly is more atbit.ly/Ze0seH 
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Gerry McGovern: When Content Kills Marketing Success

Marketers, writes Gerry McGovern, are trained to produce content. Huge amounts of content. And that will kill marketing success in the online world. 

Read more about the penalty you can expect by letting too much "ill-advised" marketing content get in the way of what people want to do online at bit.ly/11RNA0b 
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Website Magazine: 8 New Google Changes to Web Ranking Results

Google, of course, is always making changes to how it ranks websites. Website Magazine reviews the latest Penguin changes in "Working in a Post-Penguin Web 2.0 World."

Start with increased weight for the "authority" of your site and end with "crawlability" when you read the article at bit.ly/1avYjg9 
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Teens and Social Media: New Pew Research

A new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project charts how much more willing teens were in 2012 than in 2006 to share things about themselves on Facebook and other sites. At the same time, 60 percent of teens keep their profiles private and are confident that access controls work.

The report confirms other findings that teens are less enthusiastic about Facebook today but the lack of enthusiasm is not yet causing a serious drop in participation. More teens are using Twitter now, but that rise is from 16 percent in 2011 to 24 percent in 2012.

More on teens and social media from Pew at bit.ly/13NsT4M 
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US News Rankings: 2 More Schools Admit to False Data Reports

York College of Pennsylvania and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor are the latest schools to report bad data sent to US News. That the miscreant total to 8: Dominican University of California, Tulane School of Business, Bucknell, George Washington and Emory universities, and Claremont McKenna College.

York was excluding about 20 percent of the freshmen class for 10 years or so, inflating average SAT scores. Mary Hardin-Baylor reported a 27 percent acceptance rate for 2011 rather than the actual 89 percent rate.

The Chronicle of Higher Education story is at bit.ly/11hdipQ
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Responsive Design for Email: 24 Tips to Check

Email is still an important part of most online marketing programs, but the increasing use of smart phones raises the priority to make email respond to the device being used to view it.

Linda Bustos lays out 24 points to check as you modify email for the mobile world. You can scan them quickly to find a few for priority attention. Two of my favorites are old standards that we cannot forget now: number 5, use high contrast text and number 23, link to mobile-friendly landing pages.

Create better email for a mobile world after you visit bit.ly/12q3HDK 
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Most Popular Topic Last Month: 8 Data Myths That Get Marketing People Fired

Job preservation might have been the reason for the most popular item in the May newsletter: "Eight Silly Data Myths Marketing People Believe That Get Them Fired."

Protect yourself against firing. Read Avinash Kaushik at bit.ly/ZJOjPa 
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Conferences and Webinars in 2013

June 25, Webinar: "Improving Your Website to Increase Adult Student Enrollment," Academic Impressions. Description and registration are online now at bit.ly/YRHRC0 

July 4-5, Bonn, Germany: "Digital Marketing Strategy in Higher Education: How to Survive the Mobile Revolution," German Academic Exchange Service Marketing Congress at bit.ly/11njDn2 

July 10-12, Chicago: "Advertising Online for Student Recruitment" pre-conference workshop and "Increasing Conversion: The Best (and Not So Best) Email Marketing Plans," ACT Enrollment Planners Conference. Workshop details are at bit.ly/10tlgMR 

July 29-31, Boston: "Advertising Online" workshop and, with David Marshall, "An Admissions First Mobile Site," eduWeb 2013. See all the sessions at bit.ly/XCPFer 

November 10-13, Boston: "Digital Marketing Strategy: Building Brand Strength and Enrollment" tutorial at AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education at bit.ly/12yWzSt 

Plan a custom presentation on your campus. Host a workshop on any of my conference presentation topics. Contact me at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com or call me at 248.766.6425.
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Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. (bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com) 
President
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
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Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

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