Tracking Down Your Lost Alumni With Marketing Automation

The Problem: I need to find my lost alumni to grow my program!

The Solution: Have you checked your website?

As people move on from their college days — sometimes literally moving around the world, carving out careers, perhaps starting families and generally searching for their places in the world — it’s not unusual for them to lose touch with their alma maters.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still passionate about their school.

In fact, they might be visiting their alma mater’s website regularly, searching athletic scores, looking up former classmates, checking the homecoming calendar, and generally finding out what’s new at their old stomping grounds.

For universities and colleges across the country, this means they have “lost but engaged” alumni right under their cyber noses on a pretty regular basis. Wouldn’t it be nice to say, “Hello?”

But how do you do that if you don’t know who they are?

lost alumni

With marketing automation — like Capture Higher Ed’s Capture Behavior Engagement for advancement (CBE) — a university advancement office can communicate with anonymous visitors who are visiting their web pages. When these unknown visitors are on the site, digital content such as a popover identification form can be served asking them to update their information (name, address, workplace) or give us their thoughts (“What kind of alumni events are you most likely to attend?” … “What’s your favorite college memory?”).

This kind of CBE campaign is so effective at bringing lost alumni back into the fold because it approaches them at an appropriate time … when they are actually engaged with and thinking about their university.

In fact, when Capture integrates these forms as part of a larger marketing automation strategy for our partners, we have seen about an 8 percent completion rate. But 70 percent of those who complete the form are organic leads that CBE generated. That means that those visitors were not in the partner’s prospect pool.

This is just one example of how advancement offices can use CBE as a practical tool to solve a specific problem — in this case, identifying lost alumni. But with this kind of marketing automation, the possibilities are endless. Check out this short video to find out more.

By Kevin Hyde, Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed