Proven Tips for a Top-Notch Alumni Engagement Program

The best way to get alumni to engage with your school is when interactions with them have nothing to do with asking for money. Customize content based on data points such as their graduation date, program, and their preferred social media platforms. You need a rocking subject line to get alumni to open your emails, but don't let the personalization stop there. If the career center is organizing a job fair for graphic arts students, invite recent graduates as well as current students. Having a LinkedIn group for alumni can do that. Use other social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, to promote more social activities and interactions. Social media is also the ideal channel for encouraging and sharing alumni generated content (AGC). Whether they're posting career or personal updates, sharing stories about their time at your school, or attending school events – alumni always have entertaining or informative content of interest to prospective students, current students, and other alumni. Use your social media accounts to solicit their stories and posts. In-person events are spring-boards for interesting AGC, as well as ways to connect potential students with alumni.

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You know it’s bad when they start making parody videos about the horrors of alumni fundraising campaigns. Nothing can sap alumni energy for your school like getting donation calls again and again and again… But you need your alumni engaged to maintain your school’s relationship with them. You want them to be motivated to act on behalf of your institution and yes, donate, at the times and ways they’re able.
Alumni involvement may have its most valuable payoff through alumni’s power to connect with potential students with an authenticity no one else can match. Alumni can give your prospects a view into life at your school and what life might look like for them once they have a degree from your institution.
The best way to get alumni to engage with your school is when interactions with them have nothing to do with asking for money. Here are some proven tips how to inspire engagement from alumni:

Alumni Respond to Personalized Emails


People won't bother with emails that don't hit on their personalized interests and concerns. Use everything you know about each alum to tailor email content based on their unique history with your school — both off and online. Customize content based on data points such as their graduation date, program, and their preferred social media platforms.
An email with a subject line "Join us for an alumni lunch" isn't terribly inviting. Try an email with the subject line "Nursing program alumni lunch – come network!" instead. Now that's a subject line that makes it clear why this email is directed to the recipient and what she'll gain by reading it.
You need a rocking subject line to get alumni to open your emails, but don't let the personalization stop there. Send happy birthday and graduation anniversary emails. If the career center is organizing a job fair for graphic arts students, invite recent graduates as well as current students.

Continue the Conversation via Social Media


Social media is the most effective option for the "little" yet highly impactful conversations you can have with alumni. Keep track of how their social media preferences change over time.
For nearly all alumni, regardless of graduation year, LinkedIn is one of the most important platforms for career networking. LinkedIn's...

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