Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… June 2022

June…And 2022 enrollment efforts for many colleges and universities continue while 2023 activities are well underway. Success to everyone.

Notable Twitter Quote: “One nice thing about being a test blind institution we can give back thousands of hours to students, staff, and high schools to do and care about work that actually means something.” Jens Larson, associate VP for enrollment management, Eastern Washington University.

The eduWeb Summit conference (July 26-28, Philadelphia) has named Nick DeNardis, senior director of digital communications at Wayne State University, as a Visiting Professor. Nick will speak on “Outside-In Strategies for Your Website: It’s All About the User.” Registration details are here.

Janus Boye is holding a new Higher Education Connect conference in Manchester, U.K. this September 27-28. Janus creates the best organized, friendliest conferences I’ve had the pleasure of attending. “Sign up to receive one single email when the draft program is ready.”

Two enrollment Q&A interviews in May, from first website impressions to summer melt:

Increase your website recruitment strength. Keep potential students smiling after their first visit with rapid completion of the tasks that brought them to your site. Gerry McGovern’s Top Task webinar series continues on June 28. Register for “Top Tasks Overview.”

Join 892 higher education professionals on the members-only Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group at LinkedIn. Check that latest post: “Top Task Research: Notes & Adaptations from a Researcher.” Join us at

Follow along with 7,200+ people for my daily marketing updates on Twitter.

Forward this newsletter to a friend. Only email required here to subscribe for a personal copy.

And now, your June marketing news and notes.
Cartoon of the Month: “Brand Building” vs. “Performance Marketing”

People too often see these two activities as at odds with one another. And that’s a serious mistake that results in less overall marketing impact.

Laugh and learn about the need to combine two activity sets at “false choice between brand and performance.”
Tuition Discounting: The 2022 NACUBO Report

No surprise this year from the National Association of College and University Business Officers: the tuition discount rates for both “first-time undergraduates” and “all undergraduates” continues to rise.

  • The new average rate for first-time students was 54.5 percent; for all undergraduates, 49.0 percent.
  • More selective schools have lower discount rates (44.8 percent) than less selective schools (58.0%).
  • Net revenue for first-time students fell 3.6 percent. Ney revenue for all undergrads rose .6 percent.

Download the detailed NACUBO single page fact sheet at “NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study.”
College Pricing: “A Problem of Fit”

Natalie Schwartz, an editor at Higher Ed Dive, interviews Phillip Levine, an economics professor at Wellesley College, about his new book on the impact of college pricing practices, “A Problem of Fit: How the Complexity of College Pricing Hurts Students—and Universities.”

The basic premise is clear: “College websites advertise a sticker price, but uncovering the actual price—the one after incorporating financial aid—can be difficult for students and families.”

Levine is creator of the 7- step “MyinTution” college cost estimator. Motivation to write the book came as his children approached college age “I wanted to know whether I was eligible for financial aid, and I realized that essentially that was an impossible question to answer.”

Summer reading for your president?

More from Levine on the impact of website sticker prices and available financial aid information at “Can college pricing be fixed?
Email Marketing: 5 “Solid Tactics” to Boost Results

Ashley Budd, director of marketing operations at Cornell University, shared thoughts and tips on how she has increased results in Cornell’s email communications in an online discussion with Janus Boye. The emphasis is on fund-raising. The advice applies to all email contacts.

Included are her 5 “solid tactic,” starting with “high frequency” and several successful email examples.

Help boost your email marketing results at “How To Create Emails That People Want.”
Advertising Online: 9 Facebook Mistakes

Advertising on Facebook should still be part of both lead generation and enrollment conversion plans. Fine tune your present activities after a review of 9 possible mistakes from Anna Sonnenberg at Social Media Examiner.

My favorite mistake was #6, “Adding Multiple Calls to Action.” That’s been a direct marketing admonition since prehistoric times.

Much of the list applies to any online advertising. Pick your favorites at “9 Common Facebook Ad Mistakes and How to Fix Them.”
Future Focus: Metaversities?

In-person education. Hybrid education. Now a 3rd model might be emerging: virtual reality featuring a 3-D campus, VR headsets, and funding from Facebook, aka, Meta Immersive Learning.

This will remind a few people of an earlier “Second Live” experiment. Creators here are quick to say this will be much more advanced.

Curiously, an article introducing the new venture says 10 schools are participating but names only two: South Dakota State University and Southwestern Oregon Community College.

Read about what’s happening and visit initial VR “digital twin” campus creations for SOCC and Morehouse College (a first effort; it isn’t clear that Morehouse is one of the 10 Meta schools) when you visit “With Money From Facebook, 10 Colleges Turn Their Campuses into ‘Metaversities.’”
Key Marketing Reality: “The Dangers of Differentiation”

Are you trying too hard to differentiate your school in a crowded market place?

The key question Seth Odell, founder of Kanahoma consulting, asks: “When there are 4,000 colleges and universities in the country, how different can you actually be?” What Seth recommends: try to be “better” in your marketing activities rather than, or as well as, “different.”

An example from my experience: be one of the rare schools that asks for academic program of interest on an initial inquiry form and then includes content about that program in an early email response. Almost no school makes that “better” marketing move that also differentiate you in a way that matters to potential students.

More on how to be “better” from Seth at “The Dangers of Differentiation: Why Different Isn’t Always Better, But Better Always Is.”
Technology Transfer: Ranking the top 25 universities

Which research universities do the best job of transferring technology discoveries to the outside world and to their own students?

University Business introduces a detailed 68-page report from Heartland Forward and also gives us an easy-to-scan list of the top 25 universities, starting with Carnegie Mellon University and closing with University of California, Berkeley.

See the other top 25 schools, read a summary of the report, and download a copy when you visit “Tech Transfer: Ranking the top 25 research universities in the U.S.”
Most Popular in May Newsletter: 7 website design trends for 2022

Thinking of new home page designs this year? Visit the TerminalFour collection of 7 website home pages featuring sites described as built around “Playfulness, bold fonts, and retro appreciation.”

Two examples are from university sites. Any can be adapted for higher education. Most are guaranteed to differentiate your home page from others in higher education. See “7 Website Design Trends for 2022.”

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