Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… March 2013

As I finish this newsletter we are having a rare sunny day in Michigan. Bright
enough to make me realize spring is indeed almost upon us. May you all be having
equally fine weather as you read this.

The latest update to my secret
shopping reports on email response to an online inquiry takes a close look at
the 31 Fast-Forward Application emails sent from one college between September
and February. Read the subject lines and count the deadline changes at

The Call for Papers for
eduWeb2013 is open until March 8. Details at

My first conference
presentations this year are at the J.Boye Web and Intranet Conference in
Philadelphia in May: a tutorial on building web management consensus and
sessions on responsive design and top task website design. More on the tutorial
and the entire conference at

My 2-day conference on
Writing Write for the Web moves to Boston, May 30-31. Details for 2013 and video
from the 2012 event are online now at

And now here are your
higher education marketing news and notes for
Start with a Laugh: Visit
Monsters University Website

What do you get when you assemble every
cliché about a higher education website in a single parody?

University website at

Do not miss the intro to
Academics with an opening video “Message from the Dean for Prospective Students”
but also be sure to include the entry pages for About and Admissions on your
Where Have the Full Pay
Students Gone since 2005?

For insight into the changes since 2008 in
the percent of new freshmen who pay full tuition and the average size of
institutional scholarships and grants awarded to freshmen, visit

Group schools by public or
private not-for-profit and by state or region. Or you can create a custom group
of your competitors. Comparison years, from IPEDS, are 2005 and
Email for Mobile Marketing in

Mike Hotz offers insight into key changes you need to make for
effective email marketing in 2013.

My favorite was the need to apply
responsive design to your email and not just your website. Make sure you read,
or try to read, your email on your smartphone. If you cannot do that without
finger flicking to enlarge the text, your email marketing will suffer in

More on email marketing and mobile apps from Mike at

Selective Colleges and
Universities: An Ongoing Lack of Socioeconomic Diversity

socioeconomic diversity a more important goal in the future than ethnic

That is the question Richard Kahlenberg asks in a recent
Chronicle of Higher Education column after being “dumbstruck” by an open
discussion of that topic at a talk he was giving at Middlebury College sponsored
by a new student group called Money at Midd.

The result is a fine
overview of economic vs. ethnic diversity in admission goals that prompted at
least 60 comments in response at
for Creating Responsive Design Websites

Are you planning to jump on
the responsive design bandwagon this year? Be sure to read Jared Spool on
strategy points to consider as you start the process. Two of my favorite points:
you will need to reduce content and pay special attention to images.

website that is not marketing strong before responsive design will not be
marketing strong after it. Check more good advice in “Devising a Strategy for
Responsive Design” at

The High Cost of Brand Position: 60+
Percent Tuition Discounting

Imagine you worked at Top 25 National
Liberal Arts College with an endowment of about $1.4 billion and had to discount
more than 60 cents of every tuition dollar to enroll a freshmen class. Would
that be a sustainable financial model at your school?

More about the high
cost of maintaining brand position and how one board of trustees hopes to change
the financial model in my blog post at

Social Media

Social media marketing is important, but depending on
your goals not all social media sites are equally important. If you want to
reach men, for instance, Pinterest will not have a large role to play. Only 5
percent of men online use Pinterest compare to 25 percent of women.

folks at the Pew Internet project bring us that information and more on 5
popular social media sites in their February research report at
Student Enrollment: Advertising on LinkedIn

If ambitious young
professionals looking for career advancement are a recruitment target for your
master’s degree programs, LinkedIn is expanding online advertising opportunities
with special attention to smartphones.

Read more about what is planned
for 2013 at

The Marketing Power of “You” in

In my Writing Right for the Web sessions I always try to
include an example of a page that uses “you” to speak to the people who are
reading the page. Pages like that are not easy to find.

Perhaps more
people will start making their websites visitor-friendly by adopting a “you”
approach after reading Tim Riesterer on “Nine Common Phrases Made Great by Using
‘You’ Instead of ‘We'” at

Reducing the amount of
organization-centric writing is one way you can start improving the marketing
strength of your website
Blessedly Brief Online
Inquiry Forms: 3 New Honor Roll Members in February

The Honor Roll
started in October with an original 6 members and more have surfaced since then.

Three more were added in February: a music school, a continuing studies
program, and an undergraduate admissions site. See the new and the earlier
winners at

If you have one similar to
these, send me the link.
Popular Topic Last Month: City University of New York Landing

CUNY creates great landing pages that repeat and reinforce
advertising messages. See the landing page and the original ad for “At CUNY, the
Legacy Continues” at

Conferences and Webinars in

Look for presentation details in the February

May 7-9, Philadelphia: “5 Top Web Management Principles:
Achieving Consensus within Your Organization” and “Winning Friends at Your
Website: Use Top Task Design for a Great Experience,” J.Boye Web and Intranet
conference. Program and registration starts at

May 30-31,
Boston: “Writing Right for the Web: Improving Your Institution’s Web Content,”
Academic Impressions Conference. Details are online at

June 25, Webinar:
“Improving Your Website to Increase Adult Student Enrollment,” Academic
Impressions. Description and registration are online now at

Also plan to attend one or
more of my favorites… ACT Enrollment Planners Conference in July, and/or eduWeb
Conference also in July.

Expand the marketing skills of people on your
campus. Host a campus workshop on any of my conference presentation topics or
“Writing Right for The Web.” Scan the presentation topics at

Contact me at or call me at 248.766.6425.
All for Now

Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Johnson, Ph.D. (
Bob Johnson
Consulting, LLC

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