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Increasing (or Decreasing!) Inquiry Conversion: Best and Not-so-Best Email Marketing Examples
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Increasing (or Decreasing!) Inquiry Conversion: Best and Not-so-Best Email Marketing Examples

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  • 1. INCREASING (OR DECREASING!) INQUIRY CONVERSION: BEST AND NOT-SO-BEST E-MAIL MARKETING EXAMPLES ©ROBERTE.JOHNSON,PH.D.2013 Bob Johnson, Ph.D. ACT Enrollment Planners Conference July 10-12, 2013 Chicago, IL Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 1
  • 2. Who is Bob Johnson? • Website marketing reviews and recommendations • “Top Task” partner w/Gerry McGovern at Customer Carewords, Ltd, Dublin, Ireland • “Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter”… 3,600+ subscribers • @highedmarketing… 6,300+ Twitter followers • “Higher Education Marketing” blog • Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education… chair, 1994 to 2003 • Ph.D. UMass Amherst… political science Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 2
  • 3. NO, EMAIL IS NOT DEAD… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 3
  • 4. Email use continues to grow… http://bit.ly/Q2Lm3B Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 4
  • 5. Why is email important in recruitment? http://bit.ly/OEvHKw Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 5
  • 6. Other notes from E-expectations… • Almost all students will give an email address if asked. • 95% will give their personal email address. • 80%+ use email at least weekly. • “Looking at academic performance, 86 percent of A- students and 82 percent of B-students answered yes to this question, compared to 68 percent of C-students.” Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 6
  • 7. THE RESEARCH BACKGROUND… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 7
  • 8. Two “secret shopper” projects… June 2012 – February 2012 • 5 private & 1 public schools in New York and New England • Out-of-state student • High end of freshmen academic profile • 2013 graduate • Female January 2013 - Present • 5 public and 1 private schools in mid-west • Out-of-state students • High end of freshmen academic profile • 2014 graduate • Female & male students Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 8
  • 9. BEST INQUIRY FORMS… Are short inquiry forms… Ask only for info to respond Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 9
  • 10. My favorite undergrad inquiry form… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 10
  • 11. A “blessedly brief” online inquiry form… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 11
  • 12. FREQUENCY & TIMING… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 12
  • 13. 3 best practice tips… • First response within one day of inquiry • At least every two weeks after that • Once a week is not too often Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 13
  • 14. First response variations… • Siena College… June 21 • Fairfield University… June 21 • SUNY Geneseo… July 13 • Stonehill… July 16 • Colgate… July 17 • Providence… August 10 Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 14
  • 15. Most extended contact gap… June 26, Campus Visit Oct 26, Early App deadline Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 15
  • 16. Variation in campaign frequency… • Late June 2012 to February 2013… • Siena College was the leader.... 42 emails • Stonehill College was next at 16 emails • Providence College sent 11 emails • Colgate University followed with 10 emails • Fairfield University sent 3 emails • SUNY-Geneseo sent 2 emails Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 16
  • 17. “Apply knowing we are a great investment”… Oct 15 • #2 for salary potential among liberal arts schools • Meet 100% of demonstrated financial need • Average financial aid award… $40,943 Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 17
  • 18. September 11… 2 on the same day Open house invite… Fast-forward app begins… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 18
  • 19. 30 Fast-forward emails to Feb 16… • Subject line samples to the finish line… • Important reminder: deadline tonight! Dec 1 • Great news Rachel! Dec 2 • Rachel, I’m still eager to hear from you Dec 14 • A New Year’s gift for you: Apply now! Jan 4 • I’m waiting to hear from you Rachel! Jan 9 • Rachel, only two days left Jan 13 • Siena app due when clock strikes midnight… Jan 15 • I was able to get you an extension Jan 16 • Siena wants more apps from students like you Jan 22… • Rachel, today’s your last day Feb 15 • Need another day, Rachel? Feb 16 Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 19
  • 20. LEGIBILITY COUNTS… What gets attention in a <5 second scan? Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 20
  • 21. Take care with text that runs wide… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 21
  • 22. Can’t scan dense text… 3 paragraphs here Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 22
  • 23. CONSISTENT DESIGN… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 23
  • 24. Personal favorite for best design… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 24
  • 25. But not consistently used… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 25
  • 26. First design style… about 25% Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 26
  • 27. Second design style… about 5% Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 27
  • 28. Third design style… about 70% Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 28
  • 29. MEET LINK EXPECTATIONS IMMEDIATELY… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 29
  • 30. Open house registration invite… 3 links to same registration landing page Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 30
  • 31. Link to high visibility registration point… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 31
  • 32. OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVANTAGE… • Academic program of interest • Finances • Parents Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 32
  • 33. Only one 1st response w/ academics… • Every online inquiry form asks for an academic area of interest • In both secret shopper projects, only one 1st response email mentioned the academic area provided • In most cases, no email ever addressed the academic interest area • One email direct from academic department in 2 weeks • Competitive advantage to schools that add this content early in the email response sequence… preferably right at the start. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 33
  • 34. Link to preferred academic major and a professor in that area… UW-Green Bay Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 34
  • 35. Biology at Lawrence U in 2 weeks… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 35
  • 36. Health Careers Advisory Committee… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 36
  • 37. Net price calculator… not often found • Students (49%) say “web page” is best place to get cost and financial aid info. • Early email can link direct to page with net price calculator. • No school shopped did this. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 37
  • 38. Parents… • Involved from start to end of college selection cycle. • 70% of 4-year privates and 47% of 4-year publics say they “collect” parent email address. • No school in either project asked for parent email on inquiry form or in early email responses. • First email for parents (to student address) came 4 months after the first email. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 38
  • 39. SUMMARY POINTS… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 39
  • 40. Crafting an email response series… • Swift first response… next day after receipt • Be personal… a name at start & finish • Consistent design… reinforces the brand • Attention to academic program interest • And Parents and Cost • Once a week is OK… at least twice a month • Limited number of links in each email • Match link with landing page Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 40
  • 41. THANKS FOR BEING HERE IN CHICAGO! Bob Johnson, Ph.D. (248.766.6425) bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com www.bobjohnsonconsulting.com Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 41