Why do we continue soliciting alumni who haven’t given in 30 years — or more? Is it the fear that this is the year their affinity will suddenly bolster and if we don’t reach out then we will miss an opportunity? Is it the hope that if we can develop a relationship with older alumni we might create a planned giving opportunity?
Whatever the reason, mass campaigns focused on soliciting alumni in this population can be costly.
But what if we could identify alumni in this population whose affinity did suddenly bolster and then focus our resources engaging these alumni? As you may suspect, marketing automation does just that. By identifying visitors to your websites, reading e-communications and registering for events online, marketing automation knows when non-donors who graduated 30 years ago visit the website. It knows their first visit, how often they visit, what they look at and more.
Plugging in marketing automation helps identify the 500 alumni with recent affinity who graduated in the 1970s but have never given. Using the right strategies, personalized follow up emails, direct mail, text messages and internal team alerts can all happen to engage these alumni when and where they show affinity.
What does this look like in practice?
- John Wayne receives your e-newsletter and clicks on a college of business article.
- While reading the article, he receives custom, real-time, on-screen prompts to connect with the alumni association.
- 24 hours later, he “happens” to receive a personalized email signed by the Dean of the College of Business with brag points on the college.
- 72 hours later, John receives a solicitation in the mail asking him to support the college.
All of this happens without the Dean making a single click or anyone licking a stamp.
Think older alumni aren’t online? Capture’s data shows more than half of alumni identified online graduated prior to 1985.
When John Wayne — Class of 1965 — comes back to browse the planned giving website but does not reach out to schedule time, marketing automation will alert the planned giving officer. He or she then “happens” to reach out to become a meaningful resource at a key point in the planned giving journey.
That is the power of marketing automation – the right message, at the right time, to the right alumnus. And … in our case, avoiding the costs of sending the wrong message (or right) to the wrong 30-year non-donor at the wrong time.
Curious about steps 5, 6, and 7 that create a fully custom experience without lifting a finger — check out our Advancement CBE Playbook.
- One hundred percent of current CBE partners cite increased capacity to target the right prospects.
- More than 80 percent of current CBE partners cite a reduction in minimizing repetitive tasks.
- Perhaps more importantly, almost 82 percent of current CBE partners ‘agree’ and ‘strongly agree’ that Capture’s marketing automation has helped them communicate with prospects on the website wherever they are in their decision journey. The technology allows them to personalize the messaging and highlight the values of different programs … in real time.
By Kevin Bauman, Director of Philanthropic Initiatives, Capture Higher Ed