Marketing Online Programs… 10 notes after the conference

Marketing Online Programs: Top of Mind notes from Washington, D.C.

What stands out most from last week’s Education Dynamics first “boot camp” conference with Carol Aslanian and friends in D.C.? Here are 10 points still floating on the top of my brain, in no special order:

  • Mixed acceptance of social media was not surprising. Still people/institutions reluctant to expose themselves to possible public criticism of their educational programs. Ball State University, on the other hand, has a Facebook site just for online and distance learning. University of Phoenix has an active Facebook site where they allow critical discussions that extend to faculty quality, financial aid service, and value of a UPhoenix degree.
  • Great tweeting of the sessions extended the impact of the program. Thanks to @spicymeatball and @cwech and @ann_tschirhrt. Review their tweets and more at #aslanian for lots of data on the growing popularity of online degree programs.
  • Panel participant from Bethel College reported turning around a FAFSA in 24 to 48 hours after completion. Rather fine customer service. Hodges University is also rapid.
  • Northeastern University’s website for online learning is especially impressive. Unusual elements include pages on faculty quality control and competitive tution prices. And don’t miss the quite short online inquiry form. Remember, the longer the form, the fewer the people who will complete it.
  • Overall, the online program site with highest marketing impact is at Walden University. Almost every page passes the 5-second scan rule for quick engagement and easier task completion.
  • Google Ad Words: good recommendation from Canisius College to allow about 8 months to evaluation results. Same applies to other online adversising well. Nobody at this meeting had used Facebook or LinkedIn ads but both are worth a try. A budget of $20K might be a good starting investment. If you’re new to this, check the Beginner’s Guide.
  • 62 percent of leads prefer email follow-up, 34 percent prefer phone.
  • Graduate students will pay more to graduate faster. Cost is not always the primary factor in picking a program. Regis University includes time to degree in online MBA Tuition Cost Comparision tables.
  • In the not-for-profit sector, 75 percent of students are part-time and prefer 8 week courses. Deadly marketing element: 16 week courses.
  • Most popular online graduate degrees: business (33 percent), health professions (22 percent) and education (20 percent.) Some report stagnation in business enrollment; some attibute this to increased programs available.

My Boot Camp Presentations are Online

Visit SlideShare to review my first presentation on best website marketing features for online degree programs and my second, an overview of social media and mobile marketing.

That’s all for now 

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