Staying in touch with students after graduation is important for many reasons, including alumni donations, which accounted for $12.25 billion in the U.S. in 2021. Unfortunately, former students are harder to reach now that they no longer walk the halls or have lunch on the quad. Once located, they likely have multiple points of contact, such as social media handles, cell phone numbers, and several email accounts, making it even harder to connect with them.
Communication channels are rapidly changing: people average more than 8 hours a day on digital media platforms. Colleges and universities must acknowledge this trend and adjust their outreach methods to meet alumni where they are and track the platforms that support successful donation campaigns.
Reach Alumni Where They Are: On Email, Chat, and Social Media
The days of relying on bulk mail campaigns and telemarketing landlines are over. Now institutions must reach alumni where they are: on phones, chats, forums, and social media. But determining an alumni’s preferred communication method is just the beginning. The next step is juggling multiple communication channels to cater to individual needs and preferences.
It’s not just where you communicate that matters, but when. Only operating during the “normal” business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is a thing of the past. Smartphones with calling, texting, and social media capabilities have made 24/7 real-time communications the norm. In fact, a study from BCG found that 64 percent of consumers expect organizations to respond and interact in real-time.
One way educational institutions can better manage the complexities of alumni outreach is with advanced contact center technology. With the omnichannel features of a contact center as a service (CCaaS) solution like GoContact, institutions can coordinate outreach efforts across varying channels and time zones, allowing employees and administrators to reach and respond to alumni on the right channel at the right time. The more connections made, the more likely they are to donate.
Track and Optimize Outreach Efforts
Leveraging the various ways to reach alumni is a big step toward increasing donations, and analyzing these communication channels and correlating them to conversion data is crucial.
With that said, measuring the success of an omnichannel communication approach can be challenging when the channels — and their data — are on different platforms. The task gets more complicated when you consider that it’s necessary to continually assess the data so you can tweak communications strategies and maximize contacts and conversions.
You can optimize outreach campaigns by tapping into the data generated by omnichannel outreach efforts. An affordable, subscription-based omnichannel contact center solution like GoContact ensures that you can track conversations and data across channels, measure success, and optimize your return on time, effort, and investment.
Increase Alumni Donations with Contact Center Technology
With a cloud contact center solution like GoContact, higher education institutions can communicate with alumni on their preferred channels and effectively track conversion data using a centralized platform. A cloud contact center makes communicating with alumni easy and effective, allowing institutions to create relationships and turn former students into ongoing financial supporters.
Contact us to learn more about how GoContact can help improve alumni donations.