As we look to the future of the lead generation environment, we need to take into consideration both economic and regulatory drivers. To what extent will these factors, along with new technology, influence lead volume, lead cost and lead quality in the months and years to come?
We recently gathered 10 of our top lead vendors during our Fall Forum Media Days. It was an insightful meeting that produced the following key findings that I’d like to share:
- The Education Marketing Council (EMC) Guidelines have been implemented as the compliance standard by all major Education Portals, who are treating these guidelines as minimum requirements for compliance with a “one strike and you are out” mentality.
- Education Portal partners are willing to verify that leads are compliant, but it is in the best interest of the lead buyer to perform routine compliance checks as well.
- Lead volume decreases are likely as non-compliant sources are ferreted out and eliminated.
- Cost per lead (CPL) is likely to increase as Education Portals retool to replace lead volume from non-compliant sources.
- The 90/10 funding ratio and Gainful Employment issues could drive demand of Bachelor, Masters, and Doctorate degrees, thus impacting historical CPL levels with increases especially likely for graduate leads.
- As the industry migrates toward a more robust mix of Bachelor and Advanced degrees, there may be a greater availability of Certificate and Associate degree leads at favorable CPL levels.
- As Education Portals search for alternate ways to generate leads, many partners will engage in the following tactics to supplement lost volume:
- Ramp up Call Center qualification techniques, including Hot Transfer of leads
- Improve lead verification processes
- Shorten the duration of online college test drive courses
- Enhance content on sites to drive SEO capabilities and response levels
- Migrate to social sites including Facebook and LinkedIn