When you do things well, sooner or later reporters and bloggers start to notice. That explains why in the last week alone, StraighterLine has been attracting a lot of attention and making news. If you want to take online college classes check out these stories:

“Money Talks: College for $1,000 a Year,” a post on the MoneyTalks News on November 5, further praises StraighterLine’s unique approach for offering credit-worthy college courses at low prices: “Straighterline represents a new type of learning: one that offers college courses online, often with the same materials and books that you’ll find on campus, and for a whole lot less.”

“Startup Offers Inexpensive Online College Courses,” a post on the BrainTrack blog, noted on November 3 that: “The company offers online courses a la carte, including in mathematics, English, biology and business. Besides the low prices, it offers students flexibility . . . StraighterLine has already signed up 2000 students.”

“Is A College Class For $138 Too Good To Be True?,” a post on the Huffington Post on November 2, profiles StraighterLine and calls attention to the unique value that we offer to America’s students: “Students who choose to take a class through StraighterLine commit to self-directed, self-paced study, with the help of online tutors and course advisors. Those who enroll in StraighterLine courses can transfer credits to the 22 partnered institutions, or can petition a different university to accept StraighterLine class credits.”

“StraighterLine’s challenge to the rising cost of college,” an article in The Baltimore Sun on October 31, tells the story of Elizabeth Smith, a woman who completed the course requirements for her bachelor’s degree by taking just one course at StraighterLine for $138: “After putting off finishing her college degree for more than two decades, Elizabeth Smith this year needed just one more class — an algebra course — to earn her bachelor’s degree in theater arts.”

All the media attention is happening because of StraighterLine’s value, and because of the unique role they play in American higher education. Stay tuned to see what the reporters and bloggers say next.

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20 Plus Direct Marketing Dos and Don’ts

In a previous post I gave you five direct mail tips to improve your direct marketing efforts.  Here is a list of direct marketing dos and don’ts that should help you improve your marketing results:


  • Focus on your target audience as well as who you don’t want to mail to
  • Personalize your messages
  • Use direct mail to acquire, retain and win back customers
  • Make it easy for me to respond (include 800#s, URLs, mail response and
    today, mobile text messaging and social media)
  • Think through your strategy and make sure everything is in order before
    the mailing (sales, fulfillment etc)
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Provide an offer or incentive for me to respond
  • Get creative and think about what is going to make me take notice of your mailing
  • Test everything (lists, offers, formats, messages, etc)
  • Make your mailings interactive to get the reader involved
  • Use active and directional words in the copy
  • Set goals and read results
  • Use direct mail to sell your products or generate leads
  • Hire a specialist if you never worked with direct mail – you won’t be


  • Focus exclusively on the creative or offer – the list is the most important part of the mailing
  • Mail dated material to close to the due date
  • Copy your competition – how do you know their mailing works?
  • Try to wow me with fancy creative and forget about the benefits (what’s in it for me)
  • Forget a call to action – you would be surprised how many mailings miss this one
  • Try direct mail once and give up – it takes time to build a great program
  • Rely on one media channel
  • Get complacent with your mailings or results – you can always test and do better
  • Assume since you like something your audience will too
  • Use direct mail as a branding tool and expect sales results
  • Refer to direct mail as junk mail

OK that is more then 20 and I am sure there are more.  If you have additional points you want to make please share them in the comments section.

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5 Direct Mail Tips

September 19, 2010

5 Direct Mail Tips To Improve Your Marketing Results Here are a few direct mail tips to improve your marketing results. Direct Mail has been beaten up over the years by the press for being junk (a term I really hate) for  creating large amounts of waste and in general is considered less glamorous then […]

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Let Your Customers Sell For You

August 24, 2010

I am a big fan of word of mouth marketing. I always gather (or give when requested) referrals from friends and family when I need a service or a product. So it occurred to me why not let our client’s customers do the talking for them. Last week we put together this video with one […]

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Student Marketing In Higher Education

May 7, 2010

As mentioned in our last post on Lead Generation In Higher Education we are now the co-host of a blog talk radio show focused on education marketing .  This week we had a great conversation on Why Education Marketing Sucks and What to Do About It. Many schools rely heavily on paying lead generation companies […]

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Lead Generation in Higher Education: The Buyer’s Dilemma – Live on BlogTalkRadio

March 12, 2010

One of our main areas of focus is Education Marketing.  So we naturally accepted the invitation to join the founder of the LinkedIN group .eduMarketer with this new radio show.  The show will cover many topics related to marketing educational products, services and programs. Please join us live on Blog Talk Radio for the first […]

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Social Media Lab – Twitter and Blogging

February 12, 2010

We ran a number of social media marketing labs to explore in a hands-on approach and show entrepreneurs how to use social media marketing to grow their business.  This web lab series was a follow up to our popular Grow Your Business With Social Media Marketing Webinar. This week we covered  Twitter and Blogging.  Here […]

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Grow Your Business With Social Media Marketing

January 10, 2010

In the last few weeks we have been asked to explain social media marketing to entrepreneurs and business owners.  They asked: How can I use social media to grow my business? How can I get my business started in social media marketing? What do I need to do to market my business online? To answer […]

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Educational Lead Generation – Webinar Archive

December 1, 2009

In case you missed our webinar  5 Tactics To Create Student Leads That Convert you can now access the archive here: Listen and learn how you can run effective lead generation efforts. Lead generation should be part of your education marketing campaigns.  It is a  cost effective way to identify people interested in specific educational […]

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Using Postcards To Market Your Business

November 28, 2009

The postcard has many uses in marketing.  Over the last few days I have been thinking a lot about their pros and cons.  Here are some of my thoughts about the simple postcard as a direct mail powerhouse. A postcard by USPS standards is no larger then 4×6.  So when should you use this potentially […]

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