How many discovery calls are your gift officers making? (Is it ever enough?) How many of their discovery calls are based on promising information? How many are shots in the dark? Really, the question should be: what’s more important to the workings of your office — the volume of outreach, or the quality of outreach?
With university advancement offices often preoccupied with the number of discovery calls being made, perhaps it’s time to refocus that attention from how many to how promising. This requires a tool that offers a way for gift officers to prioritize alumni and friends who are most engaged with the university and perhaps most open to making a commitment.
The beginning of the discovery process is critical and difficult, but marketing automation can be a real difference maker at the beginning of the process. It makes the process more surgical.
Instead of aimlessly reaching out to as many alumni as you can — because that’s what you have always done — it allows you to make fewer calls, but make the calls based off a report that shows a prospect’s activity on your website. A daily report lets you know how many times an alumnus has visited and exactly where he or she has visited. This offers insight into both the level and specificity of interest — valuable intelligence that can be received everyday … if you have the tools.
The visitor browsing history, which you can access on a daily visitor report, shows you a meaningful approach that gift officers can take when they are making a discovery call. It also gives them the confidence to know they are calling someone who is interested and engaged with the institution.
Typically, a visitor report includes names, capacity and affinity scores for alumni reading articles, registering for events, researching athletics or otherwise active with your university online.
What does this mean for discovery? It changes the approach from quantity to quality when picking up the phone. It means making those calls in a more efficient, purposeful and promising way with the most up-to-date information.
By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed