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/

HEG Is One of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces in America

Best Workplaces

 

TEMPE, Ariz. (June 13, 2017) – Higher Ed Growth (HEG), a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education, has been named one of Inc. magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2017.

Its second annual Best Workplaces award, Inc. received nearly 2,000 applicants and selected just over 200 companies with winning workplaces. HEG was one of five companies in Arizona and one of three companies in the Education sector to be featured.

 

“We’re honored to be recognized by Inc. as one of the best places to work in America,” said Frank Healy, HEG President and CEO. “We have the best minds in the business behind every great idea and every new innovation. Our goal is to support their greatness, their ideas, their personal goals.”

With an emphasis on employee health and happiness, the company provides best-in-class healthcare, LGBT partner benefits, and generous maternity and paternity leave. It supports employee financial goals with profit-sharing and 401k company match plans. Healthy snacks and beverages in the break room and subsidized gym memberships are part of its health and wellness initiatives. Other perks include flexible schedules – especially for volunteerism – generous vacation time and a casual dress code. Pets are also always welcome at the office.

This is the third time HEG has made a Best Place to Work list. They were honored by Phoenix Business Journal in 2015 and 2016. The company was also named to the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015 and 2016. As one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, the higher education marketing firm and technology provider grew 111 percent over a three-year period.

“Our employees will always be our most valuable asset,” added Healy. “Inc. Best Workplaces is a truly meaningful accomplishment for us.”

The 2017 Inc. Best Workplaces Awards assessed applicants on the basis of benefits offered and employees’ responses to a unique, 30-question survey fielded by each of the applying companies. Responses were evaluated by the research team at Quantum Workplace. For its results to qualify, each company had to achieve a statistically significant response rate based on employee count. Survey scores account for employer size to level the playing field between small and large businesses. All companies had to have a minimum of 10 employees and to be U.S.-based, privately held, and independent – that is, not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies.

About Higher Ed Growth 
Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education. HEG uses proprietary technology to deliver targeted enrollment leads to for-profit and nonprofit education clients. In addition to lead generation, HEG offers services such as white label software solutions, inquiry management, enrollment analytics, and paid search management – with the ultimate goal of boosting enrollment and retention numbers for clients. HEG was named one of the Best Places to Work in 2015 and 2016 by Phoenix Business Journal. The company was also featured in Inc. Magazine’s list of 5,000 fastest growing companies in the US in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Visit http://www.higheredgrowth.com or stay connected with us on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

HEG Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary & Decade of Innovation

HEG Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary TEMPE, Ariz. (June 2, 2017) – Higher Ed Growth (HEG), a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education, is proud to announce its 10-year anniversary as a leading provider of higher education marketing services and innovative IT solutions. 

“When my founding peers and I started HEG in June 2007, we knew it had endless potential, and we couldn’t be prouder of where the company is today – 10 years later,” said Frank Healy, President and CEO of HEG. “Ten years is a testament to our steadfast commitment to innovation, to working with the best marketing partners in the industry, and to having an incredibly forward-thinking team always pushing us to new heights.”

A DECADE OF GROWTH & LEADERSHIP

Over the past 10 years, HEG has built a reputation as an industry leader. The company is regularly recognized by pillars of the industry. In March, it received a LEADER Award from LeadsCouncil, an independent association dedicated to compliance in lead generation,for being one of higher education’s top marketing agencies.

The company is also a leader in industry technology, developing first-of-its-kind proprietary tools like EduMaximizer, an all-in-one SaaS platform that streamlines the inquiry generation process for EDU contact centers and higher education institutions. Such tools have driven growth for the company. In 2016, the company saw its client list and EduMaximizer integrations more than double. There was over 350 percent growth in the volume throughout the system.

As further evidence of HEG’s growth, the agency was named to the Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, three years in a row.

A STRONG FOUNDATION: ITS TEAM

The company says building a strong team is key to its lasting success. It works hard to go above and beyond traditional workplace benefits and show employee appreciation. HEG employees stay at the company longer than average: 69 percent of its team has been with the company for 5 years or more, which is well above the average tenure for those in the private sector. The company has also won three Best Place to Work awards in three years: Inc. magazine in 2017 and Phoenix Business Journal in 2016 and 2015.

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

HEG recently moved to a larger headquarters to allow for expansion and in preparation for future market-defining technology, products and services, like its new Master Vendor Division. The company plans to continue its steadfast focus on streamlining the inquiry lifecycle, simplifying compliance and driving high-quality leads for its higher education partners.

“The next 10 years promise to drive even more growth for our partners and be full of new ideas and disruptive technologies. At HEG, we’re excited for tomorrow,” said Healy.

HEG will be celebrating its 10 years throughout the month of June. Stay tuned to its channels to join in.

About Higher Ed Growth
Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education. HEG uses proprietary technology to deliver targeted enrollment leads to for-profit and nonprofit education clients. In addition to lead generation, HEG offers services such as white label software solutions, inquiry management and enrollment analytics – with the ultimate goal of boosting enrollment and retention numbers for clients. HEG was named one of the Best Places to Work in 2015 and 2016 by Phoenix Business Journal. The company was also featured in Inc. Magazine’s list of 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the US in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Visit www.higheredgrowth.com or stay connected with us on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter.

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/

Higher Ed Growth Wins 2016 LeadsCouncil LEADER Award

2016 LeadsCouncil LEADER AwardTempe, Ariz. (March 8, 2017) – Higher Ed Growth (HEG), a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education, announced today it won the Bronze 2016 LeadsCouncil LEADER Award for Best Marketing Agency in the Education category.

LEADER Award winners are selected by LeadsCouncil members, which include some of the industry’s most prominent lead generators, aggregators and lead technology companies. HEG was voted one of the top higher education marketing companies in the nation by industry peers, recognizing the company’s dedication to the industry and reaching its clients’ lead generation goals in 2016.

“We’re honored to be recognized by our peers, partners and clients as one of the higher education industry’s top marketing agencies,” said Frank Healy, CEO of HEG. “The LEADER Award reinforces all we’ve done this past year to advance our technologies and develop new marketing services focused on delivering best-in-class lead quality.”

In 2016, Higher Ed Growth captured market share for EduMaximizer, its proprietary all-in-one SaaS technology for the EDU contact center. The company doubled its client integrations, and lead volume throughout the system grew more than 350 percent.

The tool’s adoption and company growth placed Higher Ed Growth on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the nation for a third consecutive year in 2016. The company reached a three-year growth rate of 111 percent.

About LeadsCouncil
LeadsCouncil is an independent association, whose members are companies in the online lead generation space from buyers to sellers, technology solution providers and investment professionals. All members are united in a common goal of promoting best practices and fostering trust regardless of vertical. LeadsCouncil was created by the industry experts and evangelists whose ongoing mission both through LeadsCon and LeadsCouncil is to increase the size of the market and number of companies who leverage lead generation online.

About Higher Ed Growth
Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education. HEG uses proprietary technology to deliver targeted enrollment leads to for-profit and nonprofit education clients. In addition to Master Vendor services and lead generation, HEG’s offerings include white label software solutions, inquiry management and enrollment analytics — with the ultimate goal of boosting enrollment and retention numbers for clients. HEG was named one of the Best Places to Work in 2015 and 2016 by Phoenix Business Journal. The company was also featured in Inc. Magazine’s list of 5,000 fastest growing companies in the US in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Visit www.higheredgrowth.com or stay connected with us on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter.

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 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. […]