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Messaging with Meaning — Who Is Reading Your Outreach?

Messaging with Meaning — Who Is Reading Your Outreach?

For advancement offices at colleges and universities across the country, the ultimate metric for measuring the effectiveness of messaging comes with a dollar sign. Obviously, if you are meeting your fundraising goals, people are getting your message. If you are not … people might be missing your point.

But how do we know if we’re building healthy programs for success in the years to come? Are we too reliant on too few donors? Are we reaching new or previously disconnected alumni every year? Building a long-term program takes planning beyond simply knowing who is and who is not giving today.

Marketing automation helps answer questions like, are young alumni reading the e-newsletter? Who is (or is not) reading our campaign updates? Who is (or is not) reading planned giving messages? Are we reaching new alumni or are the same alumni reading our communications every month? Did MBA grads actually read the email about the new dean?

Recently, a Capture Higher Ed partner tracked message effectiveness using Capture Behavioral Engagement (CBE), marketing automation developed specifically for higher education. For the first time, this partner was able to get a much clearer idea of how messaging was connecting with alumni. Breaking out by grad years, the institution found it had tremendous engagement with older alumni. And, the college identified opportunities to develop messaging to younger alumni whose engagement was lower.

The benefit? Improving overall engagement can help improve overall participation rates. Connecting these previously disengaged alumni can help broaden alumni engagement — paving the way for successful fundraising efforts in the years to come.

Not only does marketing automation show who is receiving outreach, by virtues of marketing automation, it helps messaging go further by delivering the right message … to the right alum … at the right time.

At the same time, it frees up development teams to identify more university stories and messaging — time they would otherwise spend pulling lists and sending mass communications to alumni who may or may not be reading them.

Do you want to learn more about how CBE can help you measure and improve your office’s outreach? Check out the recent webinar, CBE for Advancement.

By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed