INCREASING (OR DECREASING!)
INQUIRY CONVERSION: BEST
AND NOT-SO-BEST E-MAIL
MARKETING EXAMPLES
©ROBERTE.JOHNSON,PH.D.2013
...
Who is Bob Johnson?
• Website marketing reviews and recommendations
• “Top Task” partner w/Gerry McGovern at
Customer Care...
NO, EMAIL IS NOT DEAD…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 3
Email use continues to grow…
http://bit.ly/Q2Lm3B
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 4
Why is email important in recruitment?
http://bit.ly/OEvHKw
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 5
Other notes from E-expectations…
• Almost all students will give an email address if
asked.
• 95% will give their personal...
THE RESEARCH
BACKGROUND…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 7
Two “secret shopper” projects…
June 2012 – February 2012
• 5 private & 1 public
schools in New York and
New England
• Out-...
BEST INQUIRY FORMS…
Are short inquiry forms…
Ask only for info to respond
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 9
My favorite undergrad inquiry form…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 10
A “blessedly brief” online inquiry form…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 11
FREQUENCY & TIMING…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 12
3 best practice tips…
• First response within one day of inquiry
• At least every two weeks after that
• Once a week is no...
First response variations…
• Siena College… June 21
• Fairfield University… June 21
• SUNY Geneseo… July 13
• Stonehill… J...
Most extended contact gap…
June 26, Campus Visit Oct 26, Early App deadline
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 15
Variation in campaign frequency…
• Late June 2012 to February 2013…
• Siena College was the leader.... 42 emails
• Stonehi...
“Apply knowing we are a great
investment”… Oct 15
• #2 for salary potential
among liberal arts
schools
• Meet 100% of
demo...
September 11… 2 on the same day
Open house invite… Fast-forward app begins…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 18
30 Fast-forward emails to Feb 16…
• Subject line samples to the finish line…
• Important reminder: deadline tonight! Dec 1...
LEGIBILITY COUNTS…
What gets attention in a <5 second
scan?
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 20
Take care with text that runs wide…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 21
Can’t scan dense text… 3 paragraphs here
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 22
CONSISTENT DESIGN…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 23
Personal favorite for best design…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 24
But not consistently used…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 25
First design style… about 25%
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 26
Second design style… about 5%
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 27
Third design style… about 70%
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 28
MEET LINK EXPECTATIONS
IMMEDIATELY…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 29
Open house registration invite…
3 links to same registration landing page
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 30
Link to high visibility registration point…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 31
OPPORTUNITIES FOR
ADVANTAGE…
• Academic program of interest
• Finances
• Parents
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 32
Only one 1st response w/ academics…
• Every online inquiry form asks for an academic area of
interest
• In both secret sho...
Link to preferred academic major and a
professor in that area… UW-Green Bay
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 34
Biology at Lawrence U in 2 weeks…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 35
Health Careers Advisory Committee…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 36
Net price calculator… not often found
• Students (49%) say
“web page” is best
place to get cost and
financial aid info.
• ...
Parents…
• Involved from start to end of college selection
cycle.
• 70% of 4-year privates and 47% of 4-year publics
say t...
SUMMARY POINTS…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 39
Crafting an email response series…
• Swift first response… next day after receipt
• Be personal… a name at start & finish
...
THANKS FOR BEING
HERE IN CHICAGO!
Bob Johnson, Ph.D. (248.766.6425)
bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com
www.bobjohnsonconsulting....
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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

  1. 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. 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. 3. NO, EMAIL IS NOT DEAD… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 3
  4. 4. Email use continues to grow… http://bit.ly/Q2Lm3B Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 4
  5. 5. Why is email important in recruitment? http://bit.ly/OEvHKw Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 5
  6. 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. 7. THE RESEARCH BACKGROUND… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 7
  8. 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. 9. BEST INQUIRY FORMS… Are short inquiry forms… Ask only for info to respond Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 9
  10. 10. My favorite undergrad inquiry form… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 10
  11. 11. A “blessedly brief” online inquiry form… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 11
  12. 12. FREQUENCY & TIMING… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 12
  13. 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. 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. 15. Most extended contact gap… June 26, Campus Visit Oct 26, Early App deadline Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 15
  16. 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. 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. 18. September 11… 2 on the same day Open house invite… Fast-forward app begins… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 18
  19. 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. 20. LEGIBILITY COUNTS… What gets attention in a <5 second scan? Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 20
  21. 21. Take care with text that runs wide… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 21
  22. 22. Can’t scan dense text… 3 paragraphs here Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 22
  23. 23. CONSISTENT DESIGN… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 23
  24. 24. Personal favorite for best design… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 24
  25. 25. But not consistently used… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 25
  26. 26. First design style… about 25% Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 26
  27. 27. Second design style… about 5% Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 27
  28. 28. Third design style… about 70% Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 28
  29. 29. MEET LINK EXPECTATIONS IMMEDIATELY… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 29
  30. 30. Open house registration invite… 3 links to same registration landing page Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 30
  31. 31. Link to high visibility registration point… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 31
  32. 32. OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVANTAGE… • Academic program of interest • Finances • Parents Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 32
  33. 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. 34. Link to preferred academic major and a professor in that area… UW-Green Bay Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 34
  35. 35. Biology at Lawrence U in 2 weeks… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 35
  36. 36. Health Careers Advisory Committee… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 36
  37. 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. 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. 39. SUMMARY POINTS… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 39
  40. 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. 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

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