Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… August 2014

The August newsletter comes to you from the eduWeb2014 Conference in Baltimore, where I have just done a pre-conference workshop “Advertising Online: Strategy and Tactics for Recruitment Success,” Check the presentation and download a copy from SlideShare 

Follow comments and insights from the Tuesday and Wednesday eduWeb sessions on Twitter at 

If you are attending the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in November, plan to include my Monday afternoon Digital Marketing Strategy tutorial. See the events at 

More than 110 people attended my ACT Enrollment Planners Conference session on “Affordability vs. Financial Aid: Crafting a New Student Recruitment Message.” See what American University, Strayer University, and Wellesley College have in common 

And now here are your marketing news and notes for August.
Best Colleges for Your Money: New Money Magazine Ratings

Using what it says are “unique measures of educational quality, affordability, and career outcomes,” Money Magazine is out with new rankings that place Babson College as best in the nation.

Info for each school includes “net price” of the degree and earnings five years after graduation.

Check the Money rankings at 
Words Marketers Must Know: 189 Words that Make People Take Action

Here’s a great article that will remind you of many favorites old and new and likely introduce a few new ones as well.

Kevan Lee has visited old and new sources to build his list of 189 words and phrases that will motivate, reassure, and excite people to take the actions you want them to take. Great that he includes David Ogilvy but there is much more as well.

Revitalize your marketing copy after you visit 
More from Moody’s: Financial Future of Higher Education

Moody’s is back with another review of the financial state of higher education. Not all is gloom and doom, but the future is especially not rosy for the 10 percent of schools that fall into an “acute financial distress” category in both the public and private sectors.

On the bright side are expectations for 20 percent growth in master’s degrees and 9 percent growth in associate’s degrees. Read more at 
Trust in Advertising: How 19 Information Sources are Trusted

Nothing comes close to “Recommendations from people I know” at 84 percent, but 69 percent of people believe what they find at “Branded websites” while only 37 percent trust “Text ads on mobile phones.”

See everything that falls in between in the Nielsen report at 
Email Marketing: 4 Steps to More Responsive Emails Efforts

Email marketing is far from dead unless you are killing yours with old style efforts. 

In “4 How-tos for Responsive Email,” Matthew Caldwell reviews four steps to take to make sure your email makes an impact. 

My favorite is Tailor Content to the Consumer. In my secret shopping efforts I find that very few colleges and universities actually use the information collected via online inquiry forms in the emails sent out to cultivate and convert the inquiry. Almost always missing is anything about the academic program of interest.

See three other steps for better email at 
Mobile Marketing: Is your website really ready?

Getting your website ready for the mobile world is more involved than adopting a “responsive” solution. Website Magazine offers useful check points, including the differences between responsive and adaptive design, in “5 Steps to Tell if Your Website is Mobile Ready.”

The first step does not get the attention it deserves: “How fast does your homepage download on a weak cellular network?”

Find more on the importance of speed along with four other points at 
Icons on Your Website: Help or Hindrance?

Jakob Nielsen is out with a new report on the advantages and the perils of using icons on a website, with special notice of the relative few that are internationally recognized. One lesson: what works well on mobile will not always translate well to a desktop.

Check the details when you visit “Icon Usability” at 
Career Paths in Admissions: New NACAC Survey

What can young admissions professionals expect if they are thinking about make “admissions” a career choice?

NACAC is out with a new survey on “Career Paths for Admissions Officers: at 
Best Universities in the World: Where are they?

Which countries have the best universities in the world? Read “Americans Think We Have the Best Colleges. We Don’t” for a different perspective.

On math skills of university graduates for instance, the U.S. ranks 16th, just behind Korea and just above Australia. Results were based on research done in 2011 and 2014 on math and literacy skills of people age 16 to 29 with a bachelor’s degree. More details are in the report at 
Most Popular Topic in July Newsletter: 5 Top Email Marketing Universities

From his secret shopping efforts, Jens Larson picks five emails marketing campaigns that can serve as models for everyone else, starting with Arizona State University and ending with Wellesley College. Find the other three and links to each to secret shop for yourself 
Conference Presentation in November

November 10-13, Austin, TX: AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, Monday workshop on “Digital Marketing Strategy.” See the program at 

Plan a custom presentation on your campus. Host a workshop on any of my conference topics. Review the 2013 and 2014 topics at and contact me at or 248.766.6425.
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

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

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