The Forever GI Bill: What Lead Buyers Need to Know

By Joe Laskowski

Forever GI BillA new bi-partisan bill has passed the House and Senate with flying colors. And they just so happen to be red, white and blue.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is changing. It will soon be known as the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017 — or the “Forever GI Bill.” Most notably, it eliminates the 15-year time limit on the use of education benefits for new recruits. The bill has been deemed a sweeping success: There were only nine days from the time it was introduced in the House to when it passed. And the vote? Not a single one in opposition at 405-0. There was a brief floor debate – where there wasn’t any actual debate since everyone was in favor. From there it went to the Senate and was unanimously approved prior to summer recess.

In addition to bipartisan support, the Forever GI Bill has strong support of key Veterans associations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Student Veterans of America and the American Legion.


About the Forever GI Bill for New Recruits

Like the current Post-9/11 GI Bill, it will benefit veterans seeking higher education after three years of active duty service. However, only veterans enlisting after January 2018 will be eligible for the Forever GI Bill. The use-it-or-lose-it limits for those enlisted prior to this date will still be in place.

In all, there are 28 changes to the original bill. In addition to the lifetime education benefit, here are other notable changes.

  • Recipients of the Purple Heart will no longer need three years of active-duty. This could impact hundreds of troops each year.
  • National Guard members, reservists, survivors, and dependents will enjoy looser GI Bill eligibility requirements.
  • Under the Fry Scholarship, survivors of those lost in active duty will be able to use the GI Bill benefit to qualify for the Yellow Ribbon program. This helps cover the tuition costs and more of private institutions.
  • GI Bill recipients enrolling in STEM-based degree programs will receive additional funds. Should technology training not be offered by a school, a new “High Technology Pilot Program” would cover external program costs.

The GI Bill expansion is expected to increase associated costs by $3 billion within a decade.

The For-Profit School Impact

Many veterans were impacted by recent for-profit school closures. And unlike those who utilized Pell Grants, GI Bill students lost the benefits used toward their degree when the doors closed. The expanded bill takes this into account, retroactively restoring benefits for any credits that did not transfer to another postsecondary school.


Forever GI Bill Concerns

There are still some big unknowns right now: Does the agency have the technology and resources to support the upgrades? What will the roll-out look like? For one thing, it will take a major overhaul to the Department of Veterans Affairs IT systems. There are 28 changes to the bill and each will require the proper technology to effectively administer them. VA officials have expressed concerns.

Supporting Veterans Throughout a Lifetime

The Forever GI Bill is now headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law. It’s expected to be finalized between late summer and early fall, and is sure to continue to draw widespread support. Increasing accessibility and student outcomes for U.S. veterans are just two of the many benefits. In turn, it will be a bright spot for higher education in the U.S.

 

LeadsCon Article Link: http://www.leadscon.com/the-forever-gi-bill-what-military-lead-buyers-need-to-know/ 

 

CallMiner: Ways to Boost Contact Center Efficiency

By Robert Stanley, Sr. Manager, Marketing Operations for CallMiner

Most call centers struggle with efficiency at one time or another. And because efficiency is directly tied to minimizing overhead costs in the call center, it’s a prominent challenge. Coping with unanticipated upticks in demand, staff turnover, and other common challenges only further complicate matters for call center managers working to create an efficient, productive, and effective team.

To gain some insights into the strategies and tactics call centers can use to boost efficiency and arm you with effective strategies you can put to use, we reached out to a panel of contact center managers and leaders and asked them to answer this question:

“What is the most effective way to increase contact center efficiency?”

Kolin Porter, Vice President – Product Innovation at Higher Ed Growth, was one of the featured Call Center Leaders.

Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education. HEG uses proprietary technology, like EduMaximizer, to deliver targeted enrollment leads to for-profit and nonprofit education clients.

“One of the biggest strains on contact center efficiency? Too many portals. Many agents end up with multiple tabs open on their screens, flipping between them to complete the inquiry generation process. This juggling act severely impacts lead quality and quantity. Average handling times (AHT) increase. Errors happen. Compliance missteps occur. Customer service diminishes. So much of contact center efficiency hinges on using the right technology. It’s crucial that contact centers implement a tool that pulls in all of the necessary portals and processes into one simplified platform.”

Read all of the contact center efficiency tips on CallMiner.com: https://callminer.com/blog/25-call-center-leaders-share-effective-ways-boost-contact-center-efficiency/

LeadsCouncil News: Support for FTC Lead Generation Ruling

Higher Ed Growth has a steadfast commitment to marketing compliance. In addition to providing total transparency to our partners and more, we believe it’s important to share the latest news and best practices for navigating the changing regulatory environment.

Last week’s Federal Trade Commission decision in a performance marketing case was yet another benchmark ruling. Here’s what happened.

The FTC alleged that a lead generator operated a number of websites promising to match applicants with a lender and loan terms to best meet their needs. However, the FTC charged that the defendants:

  • sold very few of the loan applications to lenders;
  • did not match applications based on loan rates or terms; and
  • sold the loan applications to the first buyer willing to pay for them
  • had little regard for how the information would be used or whether it would remain secure

The operators of the lead generation business have agreed to settle charges brought by the FTC.

It’s a noteworthy ruling. One that helps our industry move in a more positive, transparent direction. It’s also a noteworthy reason for the industry to continue a strong, united effort in not only improving the lead generation ecosystem, but shining a light on the many lead generators going above and beyond in marketing compliance.

This is where independent trade associations like LeadsCouncil play an important role. LeadsCouncil pushes for more standardization and the establishment of ethics guidelines in performance marketing. In fact, HEG CMO and Managing Partner Joe Laskowski has been an active LeadsCon board member since 2015 and works to help give the industry a voice in Washington.

Here was LeadsCouncil’s response to the performance marketing company settlement.

FTC Lead Generation

Washington, DC, July 06, 2017 — Today, LeadsCouncil expressed support for an action by the Federal Trade Commission to protect sensitive data from marketers who blatantly exploited the consumer for profit. The official Federal Trade Commission Press Release can be found here.

This “bait-and-switch” style of marketing tactic is not the standard by which LeadsCouncil members adhere.

LeadsCouncil Chairman of the Board Gregory Gragg said, “LeadsCouncil’s goal is to establish the benchmarks for what are acceptable and appropriate practices, as they pertain to the performance marketing industry. Transparency is paramount when it comes to how a consumer’s information will be treated and managed, as they move through the online inquiry process. Any marketer who establishes a façade business while selling data out the back door should face the consequences of engaging in such behavior.”

The organization takes such violations very seriously and has demonstrated their commitment to better serving consumers through the release of their 2017 Lead Generation Standards Guide. In addition to prohibiting unlawful and deceptive marketing practices, the Standards hold LeadsCouncil members accountable to a higher standard, as they encounter consumers in the marketplace.

The full LeadsCouncil press release can be found here.

 

CallMiner: Getting Started with Customer Journey Mapping

By Robert Stanley, Sr. Manager, Marketing Operations for CallMiner

Customer journey mapping is an important step in gaining an understanding of how your prospects and customers interact with your company from the initial contact to engagement, purchase, and beyond. But in the age of digital media, there are myriad channels through which a prospect can be introduced to a new business, various points through which they can engage and interact with companies, and even multiple means for purchasing products or services in some cases. That makes customer journey mapping all the more important, because the path to purchase is no longer a simple, straight road.

But what should you know if you’re embarking on customer journey mapping for the first time? If you’re not an experienced pro at mapping the customer journey, the process can become overwhelming, and you might end up with a customer journey map that falls short of painting the full picture.

To help you become a mapping master, we reached out to a panel of marketing professionals and customer experience experts and asked them to lend their expertise by weighing in on this question:

“What do businesses need to take into consideration when getting started with customer journey mapping?”

Mark Paetz, Director of Quality Assurance at Higher Ed Growth, was one of the featured Marketing and Customer Experience Experts.

“Everything comes back to the customer experience, and a positive experience starts with engagement along crucial points in the buyer’s journey. One of the best ways for businesses to do this? Make sure to have the right technology in place. It’s important to have tools that will monitor the many channels that customers choose to use, capture user behavior and provide in-depth analysis, allowing the company to continually improve the experience — like reducing call handle times. It’s a sure way to identify and address the common pain points for your specific audience. In addition, with select functions now automated, these tools often shift and redefine traditional team member roles and require departments to collaborate differently. So, proper on-boarding with clearly defined expectations is a must.”

Read all of the top tips on CallMiner.com:  https://callminer.com/blog/46-marketing-pros-customer-experience-experts-reveal-important-considerations-businesses-getting-started-customer-journey-mapping/

IPv6 and Lead Generation: Why You Could be Missing Leads

There’s an important link between IPv6 and lead generation – one that’s often missed in the industry. IPv6 is the new Internet Protocol that everyone should know. It is taking over for IPv4 since the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) ran out of available addresses in 2015. The new protocol has gained significant adoption – most websites post 2015 are utilizing IPv6 – but it is often forgotten in lead funnels.

Why does this matter? If an organization isn’t accepting both IPv4 and IPv6, it can have a major impact on whether all available leads are being captured. It means many leads are being missed.

Learn why this is especially important in the Higher Education space, why marketers need to act now and much, much more in the infographic below.

IPv6 and lead generation

 

New Strategies for Reaching Enrollment Goals and Student Outcomes

student outcomesNew degree pathways have proven successful for schools and students alike. For schools, newly developed programs help institutions reach different student populations, foster continued engagement throughout college careers and generate more positive student outcomes. On the other hand, students can take advantage of new degree programs that meet their unique needs and often offer more for their Higher Ed dollar.

What recruitment tools are schools using? How can personalized learning programs help? And why do articulation agreements matter? Learn all of the answers and more in our latest piece on LeadsCon.

LeadsCon Article Link: http://www.leadscon.com/new-strategies-for-reaching-enrollment-and-student-outcome-goals/

Court Cases & Rulings that Changed Compliance in 2016

complianceLike other legislative areas, compliance regulations surrounding the higher education industry are undergoing a period of change. What’s to come is still unknown; however, there’s much inquiry generators can learn from 2016 decisions. In fact, there are a few key cases and rulings that every EDU marketer should review in an effort to stay ahead. In one recent case, for example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) strongly emphasized the need to provide “solid evidence” behind marketing claims, especially those targeting prospective students. While this has always been important, this case in particular has a lasting impact on advertising and data use.

Learn more about the rulings influencing affiliate marketing, online privacy, penalties for FTC Act violations, and more. Our latest piece on LeadsCon tackles the cases, where regulations might be going and how to enhance transparency.

LeadsCon Article Link: http://www.leadscon.com/court-cases-rulings-that-changed-regulations-in-2016/

The Basics of Remaining Compliant in the World of Lead Generation

lead generation

 

From new revenue opportunities to bolstered credibility, business partnerships can open up a world of advantages to those in lead generation. However, such partnerships can also open a business up to risk. It’s important to perform due diligence.

There are many ways to navigate this territory and ensure that a partnership will meet business needs – and compliance. The first step usually involves some basic research, including: How long has the prospective partner been operating? Who are their current partners? Any recent announcements? Information from third parties, like the press, can also provide a different perspective and reveal how the public views the partner in question. And lastly, but most importantly, has the partner ever had any compliance violations? Any changes to regulations that would make the lead generation partner a risky choice?

Learn where to find the answers to these questions and how to best assess risk before entering into a new partnership agreement in our latest piece on LeadsCouncil.

LeadsCouncil Article Link: http://www.leadscouncil.com/the-basics-of-remaining-compliant-in-the-world-of-lead-generation/

Listen 2016: Customer Engagement Building Momentum

CallMiner Listen 2016

The Higher Ed Growth team joined other customer engagement leaders earlier this month for CallMiner Listen 2016.

This was HEG’s third year at the event, and this year’s conference nearly doubled in size. Much of this growth can be attributed to the growing demand for deep engagement analytics and a better understanding of end-user behavior.

 

 

 

According to Listen 2016, it can also be attributed to the concept of “building.” A common thread throughout the event, learn what it means to build the right engagement team and build proper scores. And why it’s important to build relationships with other industry leaders.

Read the full article and all of our takeaways on CallMiner’s Engagement Optimization: https://www.engagementoptimization.com/community/industry-news-and-best-practices/blog/2016/11/29/listen-2016-customer-engagement-building-momentum

6 Ways Consumer Intent Data Impacts Conversions

consumer intent data

 

Consumer intent data is often discussed when it comes to meeting compliance. However, this data is also highly useful to marketers, as well. The more a business is able to track the lead life cycle, the more it can learn about a prospective customer’s behavior and potential next steps.

 

 

In other words, it’s not only important to capture and understand consumer intent data for compliance reasons, it can also help increase conversions. Learn how intent relates to lead quality, call handle times, resource allocation, customer experience, and more.

LeadsCon Article Link: http://www.leadscon.com/6-ways-consumer-intent-data-impacts-conversions/

The Forever GI Bill: What Lead Buyers Need to Know

By Joe Laskowski A new bi-partisan bill has passed the House and Senate with flying colors. And they just so happen to be red, white and blue. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is changing. It will soon be known as the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017 — or the “Forever GI Bill.” […]

CallMiner: Ways to Boost Contact Center Efficiency

By Robert Stanley, Sr. Manager, Marketing Operations for CallMiner Most call centers struggle with efficiency at one time or another. And because efficiency is directly tied to minimizing overhead costs in the call center, it’s a prominent challenge. Coping with unanticipated upticks in demand, staff turnover, and other common challenges only further complicate matters for […]

LeadsCouncil News: Support for FTC Lead Generation Ruling

Higher Ed Growth has a steadfast commitment to marketing compliance. In addition to providing total transparency to our partners and more, we believe it’s important to share the latest news and best practices for navigating the changing regulatory environment. Last week’s Federal Trade Commission decision in a performance marketing case was yet another benchmark ruling. […]