October 17, 2021

ForProfitEDU.com Lead Generation Survey Shows Marketing Budgets on the Rise in Education

2010 Benchmarking Report provides key statistics and insights for marketers in the education sector

survey-graphCloster, New Jersey, and Toronto, Canada, February 4, 2010 – Despite continuing challenges to the overall economic environment, marketing budgets in the education sector – specifically for lead generation – are on the rise, according to results from the 2010 Lead Generation Benchmarking survey by ForProfitEDU.com and sponsored by Sparkroom. According to the survey, schools are overwhelmingly keeping their resources focused on lead generation activities for 2010. Virtually all respondents indicated that they are planning to increase or maintain their spending on lead generation next year (69% and 17% respectively). Just 7% plan to decrease spending.

“Marketing, recruitment and admissions departments have faced a number of challenges over the past few years as the market has undergone a series of rapid changes, many as a direct result of online marketing and lead gen technologies,” said Tom Ferrara, CEO of ForProfitEDU.com. “This report offers a quick and concise way for them to gage their performance against other peer schools and to better understand where they should be making changes.”

The survey of 102 professionals directly involved with marketing in the education sector was conducted by iTracks Research on behalf of ForProfitEDU.com between December 1 and December 16, 2009. It aimed to establish some benchmarks and identify current trends and best practices in the highly competitive for-profit education sector.

“There’s more and more pressure on higher education marketers to do more with less as the market becomes increasingly competitive,” said Jamie McDonald, President and CEO of Sparkroom. “This report confirmed what we’ve been seeing – just a small percentage of schools are optimizing their lead management when measured by CPE. The majority need to find ways to improve their enrollment marketing automation in order to compete with the leading marketers in the space.”

Among other findings from the survey:

  • There is a strong correlation between 3rd party call center use and short lead response times with, 82% of schools using a third-party call centers reporting lead response time under ten minutes, compared to just 40% using an internal call center, and 45% of those who rely on admissions reps to call.
  • The vast majority (90%) of respondents from large schools (those with a total enrolment over 20,000 students) reported that they are using in-house lead management solutions, rather than relying on an agency.
  • The effectiveness of social media for lead generation remains unproven, with just 35% of respondents reporting that it is an effective tool for lead gen. By comparison, over 93% of respondents reported that search advertising is very effective.
  • When asked about the most significant concerns affecting their organization, the large majority of schools (89%) noted that poor lead quality ranks as a concern, while the majority (58%) also identified the high cost of agency fees as a concern for their organization.

The survey also attracted lead provider respondents who were invited to answer a secondary questionnaire to track trends among lead aggregators, including the number of leads being generated in the education sector, bounceback rates and revenue per lead. These reports have been compiled in a separate report, titled 2010 Lead Generation Benchmarking for Vendors.

For a more detailed interpretation or additional information on either survey, please email info@forprofitedu.com or visit www.ForProfitEDU.com. To request a copy of the 2010 Lead Generation Benchmarking Report, visit www.sparkroom.com/surveyreport.

About ForProfitEDU.com

ForProfitEDU.com is a leading website resource for all those who work within, around or are interested in the For-Profit EDU industry. The site offers research, consulting, networking, news updates and commentary from members of the For-Profit EDU community. Contributors include those from the school side, as well as those that work at related services firms including the investment community (investors, analysts, venture firms & PE firms), marketing & advertising professionals, educators & curriculum development, career services & other related service providers. ForProfitEDU also provides research and consulting services to schools & other service firms within the industry. Areas of expertise include Advertising, Lead generation, Marketing Strategy & Execution, Admissions, M&A, Raising capital, Market research and Partnering to create & grow online schools.

About Sparkroom

Sparkroom delivers innovative solutions to direct marketers, including its comprehensive Lead Performance Management software and services. Sparkroom Lead Deliver, Lead IQ, and Lead Market Analytics deliver a hosted business intelligence platform to give direct response marketers the tools and expertise needed to measure, manage, and optimize their lead acquisition spending across every direct response channel. Sparkroom’s software, which it hosts and delivers to its customers on demand, enables customers to capture, store, and analyze information generated by their lead buying activities and to gain critical business insights into the performance and efficiency of marketing and sales initiatives and other business processes. For more information, visit www.sparkroom.com.

CUnet/Nelnet acquires Sparkroom.

PARAMUS, N.J., and TORONTO, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ — CUnet, a subsidiary of Nelnet Inc. (NYSE: NNI), announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Sparkroom, a leading provider of enrollment marketing automation and lead performance management solutions. The parties anticipate closing the transaction on February 1, 2010.

Sparkroom provides business intelligence and lead delivery software that helps organizations immediately improve marketing efficiency and increase profitability by managing, measuring, and optimizing lead performance across all direct response marketing channels. Sparkroom's Lead Performance Management product suite, which includes LeadDeliver, LeadIQ, and Lead Market Analytics, enables direct marketers in higher education to:

   -- Understand the performance of every lead, regardless of the channel 

   -- Proactively manage lead vendors 

   -- Align marketing with sales or enrollment targets 

   -- Immediately improve the performance of marketing spend

“We are excited by the opportunities created by bringing CUnet and Sparkroom together,” said Matt McLaughlin, President of CUnet. “Sparkroom's technology products will complement CUnet's interactive media and marketing services to provide a powerful solution for colleges to drive the most value from their marketing spend. It's a great fit that will benefit marketers in the higher education sector.”

CUnet provides clients with a wide range of performance marketing services including vendor lead management, call center management, search marketing, display advertising, social media management, mobile marketing, and school operations consulting. Sparkroom's Lead Performance Management product suite provides comprehensive technology tools to education marketers, allowing them to make faster, data-driven decisions that drive marketing efficiency and business profitability. The companies will offer an industry-leading mix of marketing services and technology solutions for educational institutions from a single provider.

“Sparkroom's mission is to enable our customers to optimize their investments in interactive direct response marketing,” said Jamie McDonald, CEO of Sparkroom. “By teaming up with CUnet, we will accelerate our ability to deliver on that mission and bring new ground-breaking products to the market, which will continue to improve marketing efficiency for higher education marketers.”

Sparkroom co-founders McDonald and Jamie Shulman, Vice President of Operations, will continue to lead Sparkroom and its associates from Toronto.

While the purchase price is not material to Nelnet, the acquisition adds strategic value to the company by broadening its lead generation products and services business and further strengthens its lead generation technology.

About CUnet

CUnet is the premier provider of online performance media and interactive marketing services driving qualified student inquiries and enrollments for the higher education industry. Founded in 2003, the company has grown rapidly to oversee the promotional campaigns of over 1 000 colleges, universities, and career schools throughout the United States and Canada. CUnet is dedicated to creating cost-effective marketing programs using a mix of online media strategies and formats to find prospective students, generate qualified responses, and maximize enrollments and starts. CUnet is a subsidiary of Nelnet, a leader in education planning and financing for more than 30 years. CUnet is based in Paramus, NJ. For more information, visit www.cunet.com.

About Sparkroom

Sparkroom delivers innovative solutions to direct marketers, including its comprehensive Lead Performance Management software and services. Sparkroom Lead Deliver, Lead IQ, and Lead Market Analytics deliver a hosted business intelligence platform to give direct response marketers the tools and expertise needed to measure, manage, and optimize their lead acquisition spending across every direct response channel. Sparkroom's software, which it hosts and delivers to its customers on demand, enables customers to capture, store, and analyze information generated by their lead buying activities and to gain critical business insights into the performance and efficiency of marketing and sales initiatives and other business processes. Founded in 2007, Sparkroom is privately held. For more information, visit www.sparkroom.com.

Information contained in this press release, other than historical information, may be considered forward-looking in nature and is subject to various risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated, or expected. Among the key factors that may have a direct bearing on Nelnet's operating results, performance, or financial condition expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements are the uncertain nature of the expected benefits from the acquisition and the ability to successfully integrate operations, changes in terms of student loans and the educational credit marketplace changes in the demand for educational financing or in financing preferences of educational institutions, students and their families, or changes in the general interest rate environment and in the securitization markets for education loans.

(code #: nnig)

SOURCE Nelnet Inc.

/CONTACT: Media, Ben Kiser, +1-402-458-3024; Investors, Phil Morgan, +1-402-458-3038; both of Nelnet Inc.

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Sparkroom Hires Dave Datars to Lead Sales Organization

Former Omniture executive brings extensive online marketing experience to Lead Performance Management firm

October 15, 2009 – Toronto, ON – Sparkroom, an innovative provider of Lead Performance Management™ software solutions for direct marketers, today announced the appointment of Dave Datars as the Vice President of Sales. With his extensive experience selling SaaS-based solutions to senior executives and marketers, Dave will lead the continued growth of Sparkroom’s sales activities in the higher education sector, while helping the company to expand and penetrate additional verticals.

“We are thrilled to have a sales leader of Dave’s caliber joining our team to help us continue growing our revenue and meet our rising sales targets,” said Jamie McDonald, Sparkroom’s Chief Executive Officer. “He is a great addition to our executive team, bringing extensive experience in revenue generation and business development, paired with a deep understanding of the online marketing space.”

Dave brings over 10 years of sales and management experience with world-class technology companies to the Sparkroom team. Previously, Dave was the Director of Business Development at Omniture Inc., a leading provider of on-demand software for online marketers. Prior to Omniture, Dave held sales management roles at DoubleClick (now Google) and Delano Technology. Dave also previously founded three businesses in the retail and commercial services sectors. He holds a bachelors degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.

About Sparkroom
Sparkroom delivers innovative solutions to direct marketers, including its comprehensive Lead Performance Management software and services. Sparkroom Lead Deliver and Lead IQ deliver a hosted business intelligence platform to give direct response marketers the tools and expertise needed to measure, manage and optimize their lead acquisition spending across every direct response channel. Sparkroom’s software, which it hosts and delivers to its customers on-demand, enables customers to capture, store and analyze information generated by their lead buying activities and to gain critical business insights into the performance and efficiency of marketing and sales initiatives and other business processes. Founded in early 2007, Sparkroom is privately-held, with funding from private investors and Matrix Partners. For more information, visit www.sparkroom.com.

Press release submitted via forprofitedu.com press release submitter: http://www.forprofitedu.com/press-release-submit/