A to Z About Alumni Segmentation
When it comes to communicating effectively with your alumni group, audience segmentation is somewhat of a magic solution. After all, these kinds of communities are made up of people from a wide range of age, occupations, regions, and interests. Therefore, it only makes sense for you to effectively route your communication to guarantee that it… Read More »A to Z About Alumni Segmentation
When it comes to communicating effectively with your alumni group, audience segmentation is somewhat of a magic solution. After all, these kinds of communities are made up of people from a wide range of age, occupations, regions, and interests.
Therefore, it only makes sense for you to effectively route your communication to guarantee that it has the greatest impact. When done correctly, segmentation opens the door for successful relationship-building with this network as you engage them with messaging that is wholly pertinent to their interests.
1. Importance Of Alumni Segmentation
We’ve witnessed that higher education institutes and schools achieve greater success by incorporating personalised email campaigns for targeted groups of alumni.
The more relevant your communications are, the more likely your audience will continue to engage with it. Of course, no audience is a monolith, so segmenting up your alumni list based on certain audience characteristics can help you increase the relevance
Segmentation allows you to zone in on different target audiences and tailor a specific message to their needs or pain points.
In both the short and long term, alumni will be much more receptive to your message if they feel it has been tailored to them.
2. Why should you segment your alumni?
To provide maximum value to alumni: Each segment of your alumni population will have different needs and would engage more with your institution if you catered to those needs. For instance, alumni who just graduated from the university might be interested in internship updates via emails but the same outreach will be ineffective for older alumni who are already well settled in their careers.
To receive maximum value from alumni: Each segment of your alumni population can give back in different ways to the institution. Older alumni who are at respectable positions in their careers are more likely to respond to giving asks. On the other hand, younger alumni who are fresh out of college are more likely to provide value to their alma mater in the form of volunteer support.
3. Common alumni segments to consider
Here are a few popular types of alumni segments that work well for alumni communities of schools and institutes in particular:
- Geographic location. Start by sorting your alumni in terms of their physical location and where they are based for work. By getting this information as part of their alumni enrollment, you can segment according to global, regional, and local communications.
- Career type. It can be pretty tricky to segment according to every single career out there, especially since titles tend to vary from one company to the next. However, you can create certain broad categories that sort your alumni in terms of sector, department, seniority, and so on.
- Class Year: Segregating alumni on the basis of class years is a common approach employed by institutions worldwide.
- Reasons for alumni enrolment. It makes sense to segment your audience according to the reasons why they joined your alumni community and what they want to receive from you. Be sure to make this a central question in your enrollment form. This way, you know the relationship is ‘opt-in.’
- Affinities or Interest groups: Another way to segment alumni is on the basis of shared interests. For example, all former football players can be engaged with content around the current team or exclusive fundraising campaigns asking for their contributions to the sports fund.
At the end of the day, the trick lies in experimentation. What works for your enterprise will not necessarily work for another, and vice versa. Stay nimble, and be ready to adjust your segmentation approach if you find that it’s not working.
Is there any limit to creating a number of alumni segments?
There is no restriction on how many alumni segments can be made, but it is crucial to take a few things into account when you plan out the same. The number of segments you establish should be determined by the staff’s capacity to develop unique engagement strategies for every group while continuing to be pertinent to all. Finding out what your alumni would like is the other crucial step in building an alumni community. For instance, if your institute had a soccer club, it’s likely that your alumni would be eager to get in touch with other former students who were involved in that group.
Tips For Optimal Alumni Segmentation
1. Avoid Over-Segmenting
To start with, don’t go too narrow with your segments. For instance, if you zone into 96 batch alumni living in California interested in soccer you might be reaching too small of an audience. This will leave you spending too much time creating messages for each segment.
Start broader instead. Go for all the alumni living in california interested in soccer and see what your hit rate is in terms of engagement. Then take it from there.
2. Measure Success at The Hand of Clear Campaign Goals
Set clear goals before you roll out a new campaign, and measure your results. It could be as simple as 50 more email opens, or 200+ likes and shares. But know what you’re going for so you can tell if you succeeded.
3. Always Be Ready To Improve
Following on the previous point – remember to stay nimble. Not every campaign you roll out will be equally successful. Take from your wins and learn from your mistakes.
4. Take an Omnichannel Approach
Direct mailing is absolutely vital when it comes to staying in touch with your corporate alumni.
However, it’s also essential to bring other channels into the mix to ensure that you’re exploring all avenues. This includes your social channels such as Facebook and Instagram, professional platforms like LinkedIn
5. Bear In Mind Which Devices Your Alumni Are Using
People use desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones in completely different ways. They also consume information differently from these interfaces. As such, it helps to know where and how your audience is likely to consume your content. Doing so means that you can lean into their needs in each space.
For instance, social media posts are far more likely to be read from a mobile device, which means that the shorter and snappier your messaging, the better.
On the other hand, emails can be a little longer since they are frequently read from a desktop. However, this does not give you free rein to write a novel.
Try many approaches, and see what works best for your alumni community in particular.
Institutes around the world invest greatly in building personal relationships with alumni but, when it comes to outreach, many often overlook this critical aspect but Audience segmentation can make all the difference when it comes to gaining traction with your alumni. It helps to ensure that you get the right messaging in front of the right people to have the most impact.