What opportunities are you missing for them to work together?

Businesses have the opportunity to gather and analyze data at an increasing rate.  Whether it is customer conversion data, compliance or call center functions, these databases are typically housed in separate locations and the data is rarely integrated.  How do businesses tie this information together to find actionable intelligence and make sound business decisions?  Let’s take a look at some opportunities you may be missing if you are experiencing the gap left between conversion and compliance data.

Years ago when leads were flowing in and volume was king, compliance wasn’t much of an issue—or at least one we spent much time on.  Sales were up, reps could cherry pick, and most marketers didn’t have a real understanding of third party lead generation.  They liked getting thousands of cheap leads.  Skip to today, regulatory scrutiny, politicizing industries and public outcry have brought significant changes to how we market to and sell our products.  Lead flow is down in many industries, conversion from third-party marketing has dropped and compliance expenses are up.

So how do we pivot away from this storyline?  I spent nearly 10 years talking to businesses about how to improve lead volume and quality to increase sales.  Many times the first response was “just shut it off”.  As an owner or employee committed to doing what is best for the business, it’s easy to lean heavy on the compliance side, or toward what’s best for conversion.  It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Whichever way you lean, no one wants to continue a path toward extinction—so change we must.  Change the way we think about, and act on, the data we have.

  1. Put compliance first to confidently work all leads you get your hands on. Check your audit process to see if it includes all aspects that would make a lead contactable and compliant upon receipt.  IntegriShield found that 9% of an advertiser’s infractions are from missing, or non-compliant, consumer consent and disclosure language.

Waiting to see if a lead is compliant until after you get doesn’t really help you.  Examine all the lead pages you own and are affiliated with to ensure they have compliant Opt-In language. Otherwise, you end up returning the leads or eating the costs.  It could also result in a good traffic source being shut off for something easily fixed.  If a lead slips by and you do work it, the fines and potential civil penalties could put you out of business.

  1. Collect all the lead data you can. Some of the basics include:
    • Lead Type
    • Vendor
    • Affiliate Codes
    • Referral URL
    • Campaign
    • Date
    • Form or Call In
    • Customer Data
    • Status
    • Price
    • Consumer Consent Authorization
    • Lead Integrity Data

You’ll need objective data to make good marketing decisions. If you don’t have all of your data aggregated, this will take more time, but it can still be done.  Better yet, ask your service providers if they can integrate with other systems.

  1. Scrub and remediate instead of wasting a lead or a source. By this point you’ve been proactive and tried to ensure all your vendor pages are compliant.  You may find many leads come from pages you had no idea exist.  It’s not uncommon nor is it something that has to be shut down.  You will likely never know all the affiliate, publisher, and traffic channels your lead generators enlist at any given moment in time.  Audit the URLs the leads are coming from and if they are not compliant, make them compliant.

Keep your lead channels open if at all possible.  If the site is misleading or you see any bait and switch tactics, that’s when you shut it down.  Don’t mess around with bad actors.  There is too much risk in the current regulatory environment.  We have found that 28% of total advertiser infractions are due to misleading content on URLs and 6% contained banned terminology.

Beyond marketing content, it’s also important to maintain customer files.  Scrub customer data to ensure contact compliance.  Don’t just remove it.  About a month before a lead would be scrubbed out, send a notice to see if he or she would like to stay opted in and if so, restart the clock on them.  Even if only a small percentage opts back in, sales will know who is still engaged and you maintain as many leads active as possible.

  1. Make integrated marketing decisions. Direct Marketing is not a magic button.  It’s a series of decisions based on metrics using good data and then repeating each day, week, month, and year.  Combine the data to look at all channels and their outcomes—both conversions and compliance risk.

Tie conversion metrics to integrity and compliance scores to determine beginning allocations each month.  And remember, you can control your risk. Keep the lead pipeline open by being specific and eliminating offending publishers, but keeping the vendor “live” for all the quality sources they use.  If a vendor is not delivering, partner with them to adjust messaging to fit the types of channels they use to drive your traffic.  One set of posting instructions is easy, but it’s not always effective.

Businesses depend on lead volume and quality to drive sales.  The current trend of fear-based decision making needs to become strategic, educated decision making.  Implement compliance processes, follow them, and seek solutions before eliminating potential sales.  The tools, data, and ability to regulate your marketing exist.  With increased vulnerability has come increased control if you don’t shy away from integrating strategies.

Gayla Huber

President, IntegriShield

Professionals in the education industry gathered earlier this June for the annual APSCU Convention. Hopefully you were in attendance and took advantage of the unique opportunity to collaborate with the sector’s leaders and executives. Whether you attended our breakout session or received a free compliance audit at our booth, we thank you for taking time to meet with the compliance experts at IntegriShield.

Did you catch our posts on social media about the golf ball cannon? We had the privilege of sponsoring a hole in the pre-conference golf tournament, hosted by the Imagine America Foundation (IAF). We are thrilled to announce our efforts helped to raise over $3k in student scholarship funds for IAF.

During the conference, a dialogue was ignited within our session on “A New Look at Big Data in EDU.” Presenting with Pinnacle Career Institute, we talked to a packed room about new technology that can make us better and faster with our operations in the classroom and from an administrative perspective. Attendees also learned how schools are becoming equipped to better track hundreds of graduates from enrollment through employment verification.

As a vendor we are constantly developing new products for schools to better serve students. What can you do to defend the EDU industry and advocate for the sector? Don’t wait until the 2016 conference to start these discussions. Message us and we’ll share new ideas to overcome challenges and help you understand what your institution’s growing role is in compliance and education. You can also request a free electronic copy of our APSCU presentation slides.

We look forward to speaking with you again soon!

…and it’s one that we need to listen to.

To the extent that you can understand and connect with students and prospective students, you will see engagement and enrollment go up.

The proprietary EDU industry is getting ever more competitive and in the end, the brands that learn to listen, respond, track and report student data in an efficient, meaningful way will come out on top. So what does it look like to listen, respond, track and report on your students?

Listen.
Students are voting with their feet and with their money all the time. domain names The best way to get more votes is to know demographic information as it relates to enrollment.

Respond.
Going beyond just knowing demographic information, it takes a savvy school to draw out analysis and application from that information. Your programs may need to change. Your facility may need to change. Your voicing may need to change. How will you know if you don’t have a firm grasp on the pulse of student information?

Track.
Tracking the status of your students in an efficient manner is an operational necessity. Regulations surrounding gainful employment make it ever more imperative that your system meets the Big Data needs of your student information.

Report.
Having a centralized Student Information System gives you the security of knowing you are prepared for accrediting body visits. This kind of system simplifies your workflow and gives you and your staff your time back.

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"The quality service that IntegriShield provides gives me peace of mind regarding compliance. They work as an extension of my department to identify and resolve any misrepresentation found and serve as a resource to me regarding specific compliance questions. I highly recommend them for institutions who need a partner not a vendor." - Mary Wetzel, Central Penn College

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