Spotted: Employment Opportunities

The odds are finally looking up for grads: In a recent Job Outlook 2011 Fall Preview study, conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers have predicted a 13.5% increase in hires for graduates in 2011.

With hype about the alleged unimportance of college degrees heightening, these results couldn’t have come at a better time. Other than the obvious need to complete their college coursework, 2011 grads should be doing all that they can to reserve their spot in the 13.5%.

Spicing up resumes, preparing for interviews and applying for jobs at the right time are a few things students can do to increase their marketability. Marilyn Mackes, Executive Director of NACE, claims “this year, employers expect to conduct nearly two-thirds of their recruiting in the fall, and about one-third in the spring.”

Career services counselors, and all university staff for that matter, should take this opportunity to sit down with their graduates and prepare them for employment competition. With a gleam of hope back in the job market, colleges should not surpass this opportunity to reach out to current, and future, students.

10 Branding Requirements

Beyond the basics – choosing a color scheme, designing a logo, brainstorming a tagline – there are a few key factors that are important when developing a brand [and maintaining one]. Here are the top 10, according to Branding Strategy Insider:

  1. Stand for something.
  2. Strive to be unique in ways relevant to the consumer.
  3. Make promises and deliver upon those promises.
  4. Interact with customers, rather than simply sell to them.
  5. Constantly innovate based on customer needs.
  6. Evolve with customers.
  7. Create a unique purchase/usage experience.
  8. Find ways to become more and more important to customers.
  9. Maintain a consistent identity.
  10. Build awareness.

For a more in-depth explanation of these top 10 branding mandates, check out Brad VanAuken’s blog post.

Appealing Envelopes

The University of Dayton is up in applications, up in visits and up in arrivals – up 300 students on campus to be exact.

How?

“We’re sending a message that you are important” with the envelopes, Sundar Kumarasamy (Vice President for Enrollment Management) said. “We are saying that you are not going to be like bulk mail to us.”

Dayton is licensing the right to use DHL and UPS envelopes to deliver viewbooks and other materials, but delivering via the U.S. Postal Service. Apparently, admission materials just having the “priority mail” look is having a positive effect on their turnout.

In addition to good turnout for on-campus visits, Kumarasamy shared that the landing pages promoted through their admission materials (viewbooks, etc.) have seen an increase in traffic, too.

Previous to the new priority envelopes, the site received about 2,000 visitors per week after viewbooks were mailed. Double that volume and you have what the site is currently seeing on analytics reports.

Read the rest of the story on the University of Dayton’s clever disguise for direct mail.

Creating “Rock-Star” Email Marketing

Are you an email marketing rock star? Jeanniey Mullen asked the same question to an SES Conference panel last week and defined what makes and breaks email marketing campaigns.

Do’s:

  • Know why your consumer should sign up for your emails
  • Use intrigue versus incentive
  • Build up “reverse preferences” (track what people do and don’t do)
  • Run subject line tests
  • Use social media to drive up open rates
  • Test
  • Analyze
  • Use Web designers
  • Use a clear call-to-action
  • Keep important content/messages above the fold
  • Respect image blocking and the preview pane
  • Render tests
  • Create an iron-clad email process with tasks, individuals, and days of the week associated with each milestone
  • Run a test with every send and (this is key) share your results with your stakeholders for short-term viability; archive them for long-term learnings

Also, prior to sending any campaign, you should ask yourself three questions:

  1. What is this email about?
  2. Why do my subscribers care?
  3. [If they care,] what can they do about it?

Mullen’s suggestions are a definite wake-up call to businesses in an email marketing “funk”.

If you’re not constantly on your toes when it comes to innovative email campaigns, odds are your clients are following suit.

Does your email marketing deserve a-list status? If not, consider a different approach for your email marketing.