Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… September 2010

A September greeting to old and new subscribers as the new academic year begins. Many of you have already welcomed your new residential students. Best wishes for a final relaxing Labor Day weekend before the trek to Thanksgiving.

I am looking forward to visiting Dublin soon for our annual Customer Carewords partners meeting. We have a special focus on website task management this year. Already recorded is a webinar on mobile marketing strategy in higher education that will broadcast on September 22 as I fly back. Register (and send questions for response after I land) at

The fall conference season begins right after Dublin with a visit to St. Louis for the TargetX iThink panel on September 30, as the NACAC conference gets underway.

After iThink comes the Carol Aslanian conference on marketing online program, a mobile marketing workshop at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education and new Writing Right for the Web webinars with Academic Impressions. Dates and details are at the end of this newsletter.

Special for people in the Albany, N.Y. area: join me September 9 for the AMA Capital Region chapter lunch. Advance registration at

And now here are your marketing news and notes for September.
Explore the Megalog: Viewbooks in the Electronic World

What will happen to the viewbook in student recruitment? The old viewbook designed for a first-time introduction to a college or university is dead. Your website is doing that for you now. But that does not mean that print has no place in a student recruitment communication plan.

What is a megalog? That is marketing-speak for an adaptation of the product catalog long mailed to home addresses, but no longer relevant in the same format in the online era. Today, the megalog includes basic product information but adds a heavy-dose of magazine-format story telling and aims for an emotional connection with the reader.

Create an updated plan for print after you read “Six Reasons Print Belongs in Your Media Mix” at

The “new” viewbook: photo album plus personal stories and minimal “product” content.
Great Infographic: College in America

If you love important stats in an easy-to-read format, get right along to

The infographic includes data on retention rates by selectivity categories, most popular bachelor’s and doctor’s degrees, loan default rates, top universities in the world, and more.
Boston Globe: Higher Ed Tuition Increase Rates are Not Patriotic

The Globe continues long-standing media attacks against tuition increases that far outstrip the inflation rate by “unpatriotic” schools that have “no conscience.”

The paper has no sympathy for either private or public sector institutions.

Read another negative influence on the public standing of higher education at
New “College Only” Social Media Site Debuts

Remember the ancient days when Facebook was only for college students?

“College Only” founders hope to recreate that magic with a new site dedicated to “Connecting Student Bodies.” Visit the home page from a link in the Mashable report at
Oxford English Dictionary: No Longer in Print?

The folks who publish this venerable pillar of civilization are preparing us now: after comparing online visits to the dictionary website with sales of the current print edition, it is unlikely that there will be a print version of the next edition.

Details are at
College 2.0 in Asia

Plan now to follow a series of ongoing Chronicle reports on the state of high tech higher education in selected Asian countries, starting in Singapore and including India, China, and South Korea.

Start following increased global competition in the higher education marketplace when you read the introductory article at
Best Practices in Mobile Website Design

Whether you build mobile websites or just need to understand the challenges of those who do, be sure to read about 6 “notable differences” between mobile design and design for traditional websites.

My favorite: the emphasis on simplicity, or single-column design so that you do not force people into the ugly situation of having to scroll sideways to read your content.

To better communicate with web developers in the mobile world, visit
Writing Right for the Web: The Perils of Dense Copy and Small Fonts

Web visitors who complete our higher education CCI surveys are eager to answer this question: “If you could change one thing about our website, what would you change and why?”

Do you let people on your website change the font size on your pages?

Read quotes from survey takers about dense text and tiny font sizes when you visit
Quiz to Create Stronger Landing Pages

If you do not yet subscribe to “Which Page Won” do that soon and start creating landing pages with stronger conversion strength.

You get to vote on which of two landing pages had the highest conversion rates, followed by comments from marketers about why they cast the vote they did. And, of course, the results from real tests are provided after you vote.

A recent result: do not worry about scrolling below the fold or putting the call to action low on the page. The more important point is initial engagement. Sign up at
Change in the For-Profit Sector?

For-profit sector schools have been under intense scrutiny in Congress, fueled by concerns about the debt load of graduates. Recent “secret shopping” by the Department of Education also found recruitment practices that were not as truthful as expected.

One response from the University of Phoenix: people who were once called “recruiters” are now “admissions counselors” and their evaluation for compensation increases will change as well.

The Inside Higher Ed report details changes at other for-profit schools, including in some cases ending “ability to benefit” as a criterion for admission without a GED or high school diploma. The details are at
Jakob Nielsen on Mobile Marketing

What web content is best suited for mobile and what is best left for regular websites?

That key question is answered by usability expert Jakob Nielsen in a video interview at

A major point here is that mobile sites are not good environments for in-depth web work. You really do need to keep “mobile” as simple as possible and assume that over the course of a recruitment cycle people will move back and forth between mobile and regular access, depending on the task at hand.
Web Strategy Manager Position in Denver

My friends at Academic Impressions who bring us on-site and on-line conferences and webinars for higher education have an opening now for a Web Strategy Manager.

Check the details when you visit
My Upcoming Conferences and Webinars in 2010

Attend an upcoming conference to share questions and answers with people like you who are building a competitive edge in higher education marketing. Join me at these events.

September 22, webinar: American Marketing Association: “Mobile Marketing: Strategy Challenges for Advancement and Enrollment.” Register for this no-cost event at

September 30, TargetX: iThink student recruitment panel discussion. More info at

October 28-29, Education Dynamics – Carol Aslanian Marketing Online Programs Conference: “Integrating Social Media and Online Marketing” and “Best Practice Websites for Online Programs.” Conference program and registration at

November 7-10, American Marketing Association, Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education: Pre-conference tutorial, “Mobile in the Marketing Mix: Crafting a New Recruitment Communication Strategy.” Follow the program at

November 18, webinar: Academic Impressions, “Writing Right for the Web.” Details are coming soon.

December 9, webinar: Academic Impressions, Advanced “Writing Right for the Web” with special focus on creating and editing content for social media and mobile sites.

Increase ROI from your online marketing. Expand the writing, editing, and search marketing skills of people on your campus. Host a campus workshop on online marketing.

Contact me at
That’s All for Now

Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. (
President and Senior Consultant
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your online marketing success with these 6 services.
• Customer Carewords Research with Gerry McGovern
• Writing Right for the Web On-Campus Workshops
• Marketing Communications Website Review
• Competitive Website Reviews
• Content Copywriting Services
• Usability Analysis

Start now at

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