At the moment I’m not feeling all that motivated at work as on June 22nd I’m starting a new job. I still have loads I want to get done before I leave. What’s making me feel de-motivated is what’s happening, or not happening, in terms of my replacement(s).
I have a close relationship with my line manager and so when I announced I was leaving one of the first things I did with them was to sit down to discuss future staffing. We agreed it probably didn’t make sense trying to find a like for like replacement for my role. Instead she could use my departure as an opportunity to restructure, maybe having two lower graded posts where one had existed before. So we duly put together job descriptions, one was a co-ordinating role for our partners, which would also focus on customer understanding and conversion whilst the other was intended as a much more junior role which focussed on online community management (with management of our online advertising agency thrown in for good measure).
On Friday my boss explained that she’d been given the go ahead by the Senior Management Team to recruit for the lower position only.
I really don’t know what to think of this, other than feeling a little dejected because what I do isn’t valued.
Whilst there definitely does need to be someone with online communication skills within the team (there currently really isn’t anyone else), social media is part of how I get my job done, but it’s a very small part whilst most of our online advertising is now handled by an agency rather than in-house.
I can only think that there’s an element of attraction to the bright shiny world of social media and online marketing, but a misunderstanding of how this world works and how it can be used.
It’s been just over a week since I was involved in what I consider to be one of the very worst email campaigns ever*, so I thought it was a good time to reflect.
The graphic on the left shows the stats from this email – a week after the email was sent (although the open graph just shows opens on the first day).
Notice how big the mailing list is – 18,000+
And then look at that open rate <1% – How appalling!
So what’s going on – well let me give a little background.
Up until recently the university didn’t provide email addresses to students. These were finally introduced with a student portal system at the beginning of this academic year. This particular email was sent to 18,000+ students at their new university email addresses. So what the poor open rate really shows is that the student email accounts are not being used that widely yet.
We’ve probably not done enough communication with, or education of students. Oh well – that’s probably another job for next week!
* Why the worst email ever – well it’s wasn’t just the poor open rate. There was also a mistake with a URL in the email (a line break somewhow crept in to the HTML) and it was only noticed that this caused a dud link after the email had been sent. However it was dealt with very quickly and efficiently by the people at Campaign Monitor who have also promised to update their parsers to ensure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.
For info, I’m currently exploring whether other ESP’s (Email Service Providers) are likely to be better for my particular circumstances but at this point in time I’d strongly recommend Campaign Monitor. They’ve just introduced a new interface which I haven’t really had much chance to explore properly yet – although the reporting is looking great and if the WYSIWYG support has been introduced as promised my life could suddenly have been made a whole lot easier.
This is probably going to be a series of related posts which reflect on how I am taking forward certain database issues, however I think some explanation may be necessary for external readers (anyone but me). Hence this post – although at the moment I’m not sure when the second of these posts will happen.
We are currently waiting for our new student database system to be implemented. We are moving from an obsolete Adabas based system to SITS which is a standard system in the UK for student record management.
Im only really interested in the start and the end of the student lifecycle enquiries and alumni – bizarre but true!
Our alumni are managed from Raisers Edge for which I am the database admin.
Whilst our enquiries system is semi-complicated as it’s distributed. Prospects requests are currently managed from Access but we hold lots of other data elsewhere (predominantly with an ESP).
Anyway today I met with the admissions people to discuss the online admissions process and how I could get this to integrate with our current systems. For various reasons it has taken three months to get a couple of emails signed off and agreement to the changes I have suggested.
What I’m ultimately aiming for is one email list that contains all email addresses with a few status flags to indicate who everyone is to allow segmentation. Sounds simple doesn’t it!