Posts

Job Security Through a Culture of Testing

This article was originally published in Career Education Review on February 13, 2019.


We gave a talk at a conference recently. We began by asking a question to the audience:

Imagine you are running a marketing department (most in the room were) and you’re only allowed to be excellent at one skill set – and mediocre at the rest – to help you meet your objectives. Which of the following would you choose, and why?

  • Extraordinary design skills
  • Tremendous copywriting or persuasive communication skills
  • Permission to split test ideas without fear of failure
  • Excellent brand-building social media campaigns
  • Effective media buying and the ability to find pools of interest

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How 1% Improvements Can Translate Into Millions Of Dollars

Enrollment Resources illustrates how little effort it actually takes to be more successful than your competition

Original Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

I have a story about ‘1%’ and how it can be the difference between mediocrity and excellence for a school.

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What risk mitigation questions are you asking?

We were having a beer together lately, reflecting on our relationships with our clients. We landed on the insight that in addition to schools buying services based on benefits, they also buy on risk mitigation. Let’s say a marketing company promises a school a big benefit. If promises are not kept, a nightmare could unravel before your eyes: your school is financially compromised due to some crazy-assed idea a vendor brings you that was poorly thought through and/or implemented. Many purchasing our services are senior staff. School leaders don’t need their well-developed careers partially ruined by having a vendor not come through on a promise or do something unethical. Read more

Embrace Disruption

Seventy percent of companies within the Fortune 1000 did not exist 10 years ago. The disruption and consumption of 100-year-old enterprises are now commonplace. EDU is like the Telecomm industry 15 years ago. The natural lifeforce of Western Commerce is many companies looking to take advantage of inefficiencies (ie: Uber, Craigslist, Udacity).

Tip:

Embrace this disruption by doing an do an ‘amazing’ job of filling needs. There are many ways to do this: competency-based learning, blended learning, flipping classrooms, day 1 externships, employer-funded training, etc. Put safety nets in place, then attack with aggressive split-testing.

[Podcast] Which Test Won – 8 Surprising Marketing Split Tests

In this webinar recording, Shane & Gregg share the results from eight actual client marketing split tests and discuss the critical role of conversion rate optimization in marketing.

Check out our Podcast #29: “Which Test Won – 8 Surprising Marketing Split Tests” to learn helpful education marketing strategies. With 1 click you’ll have access to over 30 podcasts featuring industry insiders espousing their wisdom to you – for free!

Listen to the Podcast Now!

Release: Virtual Admissions Advisor received Patent Pending Status

Enrollment Resources (ER) has a patent pending application for an online Lead Qualification Software called the Virtual Admissions Advisor.

Dec. 9, 2014VICTORIA, BC, Canada Enrollment Resources (ER), an Education Marketing company based in Victoria B.C., has a patent pending for an online Lead Qualification Software product, which increases student enrollment for post-secondary schools, called the Virtual Admissions Advisor (VAA).

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[Video] Testing Your Way to the Truth

In this short (4:25 minute) video, Shane Sparks explains how schools can break away from third party lead generators and the long-term benefits of split-testing.

Recorded at the 11th Annual Pacific Institute’s Best Practices and Business Conference in April 2014.

Shane discusses how fundamental your product offering is and the consequences of giving marketing to 3rd parties. Marketing is about “testing your way to the truth”, Shane shows some neat examples of split testing, including a 20% improvement conversion rate just by changing the color of a button on a call-to-action form.

Transcript

My opinion is we’re at the end of about a 10 or 15 year marketing experiment that has failed for the crucibles, and what we’ve done is we had really taken away responsibility. We had to market our own businesses and given that to third party people in the form of lead generation, and the result of it, the consequence for our sector is we’ve commoditized our businesses, we’ve commoditized our schools. As a result, the result of that is that we’ve had a product erosion, which sucks.

The good news is that the path to prosperity and the path to improving our station in our marketing starts with product. It’s the systems, the people, it’s the experience we deliver, it’s fulfilling the promise of creating a transformational experience for the students that attended our schools.

Fundamentally the question we all have to ask ourselves about our businesses is, fundamentally, do we have something worth buying? Is it worth it for somebody to invest their time and their money in our enterprise and do we deliver on the promises that we make in our marketing? Fundamentally this is about product. Can we deliver on what we promise in our marketing or is it just lip service? Is it just words that somebody wrote in a board room or an ad agency wrote on a whiteboard somewhere?

That’s the challenge we have, product, and product extends from how you first engage prospects, that lead generation stage, and that extends all the way through the admissions process, the delivery of our programs, the job placements, externships, the career services part through graduation and continuing education with our graduates. When we nail it, when we hit product right, when we do it right what happens is that an abundance of new opportunities come to us because we succeed on social media, we increase our referrals, we establish our brands as a premier place that people want to go. It’s an attraction strategy. What’s awesome about it is that it comes from fundamentally doing the right thing so your people can get behind having an exceptional organization.

Marketing doesn’t have to be that hard. It’s basically psychology and math. It’s responding to the unique wiring that we have as human beings. I’ll give you an example of that. We have a client where we’re testing an advertising campaign. It’s landing pages, and we’ve been testing three different photos–they’re all very similar–that advertise the program. What we found is that one photo in particular of these three resulted in a 50% higher conversion rate, so people were 50% more likely to take action, and all that changed in the ad was this one little photo. So the math and the lesson on that is that when we find the thing that is psychologically resonant with somebody, when we find that, and assuming that we’re measuring it so that we can actually know that this is an improvement, we create a permanent result. We’ve permanently created an innovation that we can use for years to come. So fundamentally marketing is just about testing your way to the truth.

Another example would be on, most businesses have some kind of sign-up form, so there’s something that is “fill this form out and click a button.” After a number of tests we found that having a button that was red vs. Blue created a 20%, it was actually a 19.65% lift in conversion rates. We created almost a 20% improvement and all we changed was the color of the button and so when you do the ROI on that, it costs, well, nothing really or maybe a $100 to get somebody to make a red button, but the return on that is permanent. That’s a permanent 20% improvement in conversion rate, and the only way you find it is through testing.

Events

Webinar: 7 Easy Ways To Achieve Impressive Conversion Breakthroughs In Your Enrollment Management Process Through Testing

Gregg Meiklejohn, Shane Sparks and Tom King will explore how you can easily achieve impressive conversion breakthroughs in your enrollment management process through testing.

You’ll learn:

  • How executing simple split tests at your school can achieve impressive conversion breakthroughs
  • Why the 1% improvements created by split testing are big wins for your school
  • Why you should claim your place as your school’s Chief Testing Professional (CTP)
  • Seven more easy split tests to add to your portfolio!***

There are 200+ potential engagement points within your enrollment management process: your website, phone messaging, sales letters, admission procedures, and student retention communication, to name a few.

Each one can be tested and improved through a process known as split testing. At Enrollment Resources, we believe split testing is the only tactic a school can use to increase revenues and protect operating budgets consistently.

Register today to learn how to capture the benefits of split testing for your school!

*** Read the companion article to this webinar, Job Security Through a Culture of Testing, to learn eight split tests you can implement immediately at your school to optimize revenues and profits, and in turn create conversion rate breakthroughs.