Providers Newsletter – Summer 2014

Abroad101-reviews-logo-webAh Summer, the time to…
…increase your presence on Abroad101.  This newsletter is devoted to helping providers get more from their listings on Abroad101 which in turn should help you connect with the students, parents and academic advisors who use Abroad101 in their quest for a better education abroad experience.

Just Released: The Abroad101 Review Web Badge:
Abroad101 now has a new widget to bring our data to your web site. A widget is small block of computer code that when placed on your web page(s) easily displays review summaries on that page.  The Abroad101 Program Widget is designed as a badge and creates a small sized icon that highlights an individual program’s star rating and number of reviews.  Choose just a few, or choose the all, you get a different badge for each program.  Installing the widget is simple:

  1. Visit: http://www.studyabroad101.com/program_widget
  2. Choose the width and the program to display, click “generate code”
  3. Copy that code to your web page and insert in a way similar to putting in a photo or graphic

The program widget is our second widget, created specifically for individual programs.  Our first, called the University Widget was released a few years ago for advisors.  It feeds program summaries from their selected pre-approved listings on Abroad101 to their university web page.
 
 
5 Steps to Success on Abroad101
The formula for success in getting more quality student inquiries in not a mystery, it just takes some work.  Here are the steps:

  1. More Reviews: Reviews are what brings people to Abroad101, so together let’s give the people what they want.  More than 20% of the reviews come from providers inviting students to submit reviews and the most effective way to do this is through the “invite tool” on your account dashboard.  Using our invite tool will insure that you don’t invite a student who has already been invited by their university or already left a review, plus the tool sends ongoing reminders to increase completion rates.  Listings in the Abroad101 directories are displayed based on the number of recent reviews, thus new reviews also boost your position on the site.
  2. More Photos: Photos are the eye candy of the site and can capture what words sometimes can’t.  As our new “Jump into Study Abroad” Pinterest campaign shows, happy students seem to leap for joy on positive reviews, so we recommend you add photos that are somewhat playful and not logos or still shots of local monuments.
  3. Better Descriptions: Approximately 15% of Abroad101 visitors use the advanced search feature that includes program length (fall, spring, summer, etc.) andprogram type (study abroad, intern, volunteer, intensive language, etc.)  Soon we will add academic subjects as a category for directories.  Having these fields up to date in your listings will help your programs be found.  If your program has further qualifications, adding it to the descriptive text should improve the quality of your inquiries.
  4. Advertise Programs: To complement the first three steps, advertising a program will give it even more visibility.  Advertising key programs is a cost-effective way to reach Abroad101’s unique core audience, American university students looking for a semester or short-term study abroad.  Ads are:
    • in the directories as Featured Listings
    • on the major portals as Banner Ads
    • throughout the site as Global Rotation Ads
  5. Respond Quickly and Appropriately: “Speed to Lead” is increasingly important when a student inquiry comes to you, so if you can’t use the API (see details below), please respond to the student as quickly as possible.  Abroad101 leads come only from a program listing, meaning the student has already looked at some details of the program and is likely to have read a review or two.  Abroad101 leads indicate their home university and the program they are interested in, so the more customized you are in your response, the more likely you are to get a response back.  If your message is many paragraphs long with rules and regulations and a brochure attached, you’re not likely to get a response from the student.  If you respond with a short message with relevant details like the status for a given program (space available, deadline, history of that program at the home university), the contact info of a program coordinator and a qualifying question back to the student, you’re likely to get a response.

Sharing Data, the Abroad101 API:
Abroad101 is delighted to announce its new API gateway.  We have created an advanced interface to automatically pass data (reviews and student inquiries) from our system to that of providers and universities.  API code and routines on your computer systems pull data from ours and post it where you’d like.  The data can go to your student information system, CRM system or back to your web site.  Documentation and your unique API Key can be found at the bottom left of your Abroad101 account dashboard, or here: http://www.studyabroad101.com/help/api-docs

Coming Soon: Search by subject!
Today the directories of programs on Abroad101 are organized by city and country.  By the time the Fall Semester begins, we will have a search by subject option and directories of programs by their subject area.  We have started adding the new subject areas and will use the US Government’s CIP (Classification for Instructional Programs) as our reference.  For more details on this initiative, contact Mark@Abroad101.com

Don’t Forget the Videos
Videos make nice additions to your program listings on Abroad101 and you can add them through your dashboard using the “iframe” code that can be found on most video players.  If you are using YouTube, click the share link under the video on YouTube, then select the embed link, the iframe code will appear in a window.  Simply copy from that window and paste into your listing on Abroad101.

Pre-Approved Lists:
As mentioned earlier, the University Widget and the Approved Status icons for students feed off a university’s pre-approved programs list.  A number of universities use this to help guide students and to manage reviews.  You can see a report of which of your programs are pre-approved on the site by using the University Approvals link underReporting on your dashboard.  We know of a few providers who have been contacting their key university partners and guiding them to better utilize the pre-approved programs list.  The Abroad101 team has been active in adding programs and updating program names for the universities to make sure the Abroad101 lists accurately reflect their recommendations to students.

Thanks to the Advisors:
More than 70% of the 21,000 reviews and a majority of the student awareness of Abroad101 come from university advisors.  Being built for advisors makes Abroad101 unique and increasingly popular.  Good looking listings on Abroad101 with lots of reviews will help advisors promote your programs better as reviews are not only used to discover great programs, they are used to validate choices, draw parents and family support, help set everyone’s expectations and are even used in pre-departure orientations.  These first-hand accounts of student success are priceless marketing tools that we hope you will use in all of your marketing and university relations.

Training, Staff Development and Private Webinars:
Your account on Abroad101 has basic information about using the system and suggestions for you to follow, but if you’d prefer a more personal touch, we’re available for training sessions either by phone or through a private Webinar.  Sessions take about an hour and can be scheduled at your convenience.  For more details, please contact:Mark@Abroad101.com

Please join our activity on Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/Abroad101
https://twitter.com/StudyAbroad101
http://www.pinterest.com/studyabroad101/

If you got this far, thanks.  I realize we hit you with a lot this time, but as we said at the start, summer is the time to pay attention to these things.

Regards,

Mark Shay
CEO, Abroad101
Mark@Abroad101.com
+1-212-321-0928