Specializing in Marketing Services for the Learning and HR Solutions industries

Archive for October 2013

City & Guilds acquires Kineo Pacific

City & Guilds has acquired Kineo Pacific, a company based in New Zealand which partners with employers to help them improve performance through learning and technology. This follows City & Guilds’ acquisition of Kineo in December 2012, which was recently re-launched as City & Guilds Kineo in September 2013.

Dos and Don’ts of Text Versus Graphical Emails

By Rhonda Hug

Text based or graphical email; which is it this time? Cox eLearning Consultant’s experience has been that graphical emails make great newsletters or emails to a cultivated or present customer list.  Most often, we’ve seen better results with a text based and personally written email from a “cold call” perspective.

Why might this be?  We have a few suspicions based both on experience as well as what I will call “hunch” and include the following:

  1. Graphical emails can often get caught up in spam filters when marketing to a brand new list of prospects.  It can take time to “warm up” to a user’s address and getting caught in spam decreases your overall deliverable rate.
  2. If you are sending to a current client list or one in which you’ve had regular email communications to, they are already somewhat familiar with your company and thus more likely to read your communication.
  3. A personally written email gets the reader’s attention quickly because they feel as they you “know” them.  One that starts with a question or statistic immediately screams “I AM GOING TO TRY TO SELL YOU SOMETHING”.

Here are a few other pointers Cox eLearning Consultants recommends when writing an email to a new prospect:

  • Avoid a question in the subject line – It is almost always immediately perceived as spam
  • Links – Include them, but keep to a maximum of two.
  • Keep it succinct – The less scrolling the better.
  • Include a testimonial from a present client  – This is a powerful way to get readers to believe in you

For more information on experimenting with text versus graphical emails click on this link.

Cox eLearning Consultants has learned many dos and don’ts over the years.  Reach out to us to schedule an appointment with one of our email marketing professionals to learn more. We also have a database of over 500,000 (yes, you read that right) new prospects waiting to hear from you.

Gilfus Ventures takes on Blackboard, Instructure with Adrenna purchase, announced at Educause 2013.

Bill Flook Staff Reporter- Washington Business Journal
Bill Flook, covers the DC technology scene for Business Journal

From the article:
District-based Gilfus Venture Partners has acquired Adrenna, part of an ambitious plan to rival learning management system (LMS) powerhouses like Blackboard, Desire2Learn and Instructure.

The move is the first of its kind for the firm, founded by Stephen Gilfus, himself no stranger to the LMS market. Gilfus co-founded CourseInfo LLC, which merged with Blackboard LLC in 1998 to form Blackboard Inc., a company that over the next few years would establish itself as the dominant learning management system provider in higher ed.

Focus on the ‘Fill’ for Successful HR Email Campaigns

By Vicki-lynn Brunskill

Your organization has designed the greatest recruiting/ benefits/ HRIS software on the planet, and now you’re ready to sell it with a savvy, spot-on email campaign. In order to assure that your email rises above the deluge of clever campaigns that crowd every HR manager’s inbox, the content should focus on the ‘fill’. The ‘fill’ is the essential need or problem that your product solves.

In order to define the ‘fill’ your email content should include a clear explanation of:

  • Which essential tasks your product makes easier, faster or more cost-effective
    Every software designer thinks their product is the cat’s meow. However, the real proof of your products ability to ‘fill’ an HR need must come from real-life users. By interviewing current clients or HR staffers in the field on how your product meets their needs, you will be better able to communicate the practical day-to-day usefulness of your product. The proof of your product’s greatness is in its practicality!
  • How other organizations have used your product successfully (and dramatically)
    Show me, don’t tell me! The business world is chock-full of great software solutions and like it or not, yours won’t sell without a case study and the more dramatic the case study, the better! Example: Company XYZ was having trouble securing its personnel files. A staff member found out that an unauthorized person had accessed their information. We saved the company more than a million dollars and helped them to avoid two costly confidentiality suits with our iron-clad solution. Here’s how…

  • The pressing industry issues (compliance, federal regulations, etc.) that your product addresses

Compliance is every HR manager’s biggest headache. Products that ease compliance with EEOC, FMLA, FLSA, ADA, or other state and federal rules, have a significant leg-up on the competition. Your product will stand out in the HR crowd if you research all of the compliance issues that it solves/prevents. A little legwork and legal counsel in this area is well worth the customers it will earn.

  • What to expect in terms of cost and budgeting

Cost matters! HR managers are under the same budget crunch as every other corporate department. Even if they love your solution and believe that it will make HR life a bit breezier, they may pass on your solution if cost information is missing. A link to actual product pricing is ideal, but at the bare minimum, an HR manager should be able to decipher from your email whether buying from you entails a one-time purchase price; if there will be future maintenance/upgrade fees; and whether or not the price is based on staff size, etc. Cost transparency ‘fills’ an HR budget need and could earn you their business.


When crafting your next HR email campaign, check that you are covering at least two of the product need categories presented here. By describing how your product ‘fills’ a specific Human Resource need rather than listing a horse and pony show of fabulous product features, your emails will be much more effective in moving the reader to take action, and reader action is the first step to landing a new client.