Rosemont College felt that their relationship with young alumni, specifically those who graduated between 1998 and 2008, was not strong. They knew that it was important to start building that relationship now so they can become future supporting donors. Additionally, Rosemont wanted to strengthen relationships with alumni as it began to transition from a women’s college to co-ed.
Pacesetter and Digital Innovations Group developed a three-phase cross-media campaign.
Phase 1: Focus on reconnecting with the alumni in order to cleanse the existing database and add new email addresses and profile information for the new communication process. With this new information, an email and a direct mail piece were sent out simultaneously. These communications were personalized with the alumna’s name, graduation year, major, and PURL. Alumni were encouraged on these materials to visit their personal landing page and update their contact information, join the Alumni Facebook Group, and share updates about themselves post-graduation via survey. A few weeks later, a follow-up email was sent to individuals who had not responded.
From these responses, Rosemont learned:
- Preferred time of year for a reunion
- Favorite types of alumni events
- Likelihood of attending a future alumni event
- Willingness to host a future alumni event
Phase 2: The responses were analyzed and a second round of communication was sent out, via email and direct mail, sharing news about each class. The goal of this phase was to strengthen the relationship between Rosemont and the alumni who responded. It also gave non-responders a second chance to participate.
Information that was shared included:
- Participate by class year
- Percentage of class that went on to graduate school
- Who was volunteering in the community
- Class preference for when to hold a reunion
Phase 3: This phase was the first appeal for donations and was sent out via email and direct mail. Recipients were encouraged to visit their PURL and make a donation to support their alma mater. These communications were personalized with available information such as scholarships received and extracurricular activities participated in. Rosemont wanted to determine if this level of personalization would affect response rates. Mailers that listed out extracurricular activities yielded a 7% higher response rate than those that did not.
Reasons For Success
Rosemont built relationships with their alumni before asking for money. Deep connections were lacking with their young alumni. While this group may not be strong contributors right now, cultivating the relationship to yield future donors is key to the success of Rosemont College. This is why the first few communication pieces were all about reconnecting.
Using the preferred communication of each alumni added to the success of this campaign. This generation of alumni are accustomed to communicating online. Adding the PURL with the recipient’s name as part of the URL attracted attention and made responding very easy.
- 23% response rate on PURL’s
- 85% conversion rate on surveys on PURL’s
- 18% of young alumni provided new contact information
- 64% response rate on emails
- 26% of respondents joined the Rosemont Alumni Facebook page