DOs & DON’Ts for Websites, Email and Phone Trees in a Mobile World

Dos & Donts shutterstock_199660514.jpgIt's official: We live in the era of smartphones. And in this new wired world, the stakes are high for higher education marketers. Consumers want everything now – information, service, value – and it’s incumbent upon marketers to deliver it.

The best higher education brands are taking the mobile campus experience up a notch and making their mobile strategies more meaningful, memorable and effective at driving conversion. They’re using apps, mobile websites and even such mundane tools as phone trees more effectively, too.

Case in point: Indiana State University. The top-ranked Midwest school took the grand prize at the 2016 Kurogo Higher Ed Mobile Conference “Appademy Awards,” which honors “leading edge university mobile apps.”* The judges said “ISU Mobile makes the admissions process a breeze for future students.”

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Here’s why: The app features a robust admissions module that lets users explore everything from application instructions to a slick online view book. The same app treats accepted students to an equally engaging experience that includes a new student orientation modu

The homepage of the ISU app offers something else worth noting: an 800 number. According to the phone call analytics and optimization experts at DialogTech, mobile marketing now drives over 100 billion calls to US businesses annually.**

Here are nine DOs and DON’Ts DialogTech recommends for click-to-call marketing.

  1. DO use call extensions in your paid search ads.
  2. DO target paid search ads that feature call extensions.
  3. DO tie call-only ads to your remarketing lists.
  4. DON’T run call-only ads outside regular business hours.
  5. DO make sure there’s a phone number on every page of your website.
  6. DO make phone numbers clickable.
  7. DO ensure your website loads quickly.18% of mobile users click off websites if they take more than 5 seconds to load.
  8. DO use CALL NOW links in your social media ads.
  9. DON’T get disappointed if the phone doesn’t ring – focus on your click rate.

Five Email Best Practices

Students’ inboxes are constantly under siege, so it’s no surprise they start to treat email from universities like spam. All the same, email is and will continue to be a vital communication tool for university marketers.

Case in point: Michigan State University was over-communicating to the tune of 400 emails per student from 12 different campus divisions every academic year.†† They solved the problem by compiling, archiving and analyzing a year’s worth of messages, then rolled out new email marketing guidelines.

Five best practices to incorporate into your email marketing:

  1. DO keep subject lines to less than 30 words.
  2. DO write subject lines that are catchy, direct, urgent or that pose a question.
  3. DO keep the body of your emails student-centered and jargon-free.
  4. DO include clear and urgent calls to action.
  5. DON’T over communicate.

Five Phone Tree Best Practices

Automated phone menus can be useful tools, if used responsibly. Here are five tips on what to do and what not to do in the land of phone trees.§

  1. DO keep automated menus short and sweet. List only critical options like Schedule a Campus Visit or Speak with an Advisor.
  2. DO consider using a phone tree only during peak periods, like the start of each term or semester when call volume is higher.
  3. DO make it easy for callers to connect to a representative.
  4. DO make it professional. Be friendly, stay on brand and cut out background noise.
  5. DO analyze caller behavior and adjust accordingly.

To learn more about digital communications, read our eBook, “Moving Toward E-Communication”:

 eCommunications on campus





Tuition Management Systems (TMS) is the sponsor of this post. The sources who contributed ideas to this post do not endorse or recommend any commercial products or services, including those of TMS.  All information and opinions of the contributors are provided for informational purposes only.  As with any other service you seek, the recipient of the information is responsible for conducting appropriate research and making relevant decisions.  

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