Maintaining alumni engagement post-graduation is essential for universities. Relations with graduates often weaken due to new life chapters. To bridge this gap, institutions need to explore innovative strategies. Effective engagement goes beyond occasional events, focusing on continuous and meaningful interactions.
In this blog, we’ll explore strategies for universities to create meaningful alumni connections and how you can leverage technology to boost engagement and efficiency.
How Universities Can Increase Alumni Engagement
1. Regular Email Newsletters
University newsletters serve as a bridge between the institution and its alumni. These newsletters aren’t merely updates but gateways that instill a sense of belonging. Highlighting university accolades, staff achievements, and professor spotlights showcases success and reaffirms the alumni’s pride. These newsletters create an emotional connection by weaving stories that resonate with alumni experiences, strengthening their loyalty and commitment.
2. Invite Alumni to Events
Sending personalized invitations and timely reminders for events, whether on-campus reunions, networking sessions, job fairs, or engaging lectures, is crucial. These events serve as touchpoints rekindling alumni connections. Text message reminders offer convenience and can significantly boost event turnout. Engaging alumni in academic and social activities fosters a thriving community that transcends graduation day, reinforcing a sense of ongoing belonging.
3. Special Projects or Collaborations
It involves inviting alumni to contribute their expertise or experience to university initiatives. This could include inviting them as guest speakers, involving them in advisory roles, or collaborating on research projects. Leveraging their knowledge benefits both the university and the alumni. Therefore, it fosters a mutually beneficial relationship, allowing alumni to stay involved and connected.
4. Surveys and feedback
Engaging alumni through surveys to gather their opinions and experiences is vital. This shows that their input matters and provides invaluable insights for improving engagement strategies. Tailoring efforts based on their feedback ensures that initiatives align with alumni preferences, increasing the likelihood of active participation.
5. Volunteering opportunities
Informing alumni about volunteer opportunities within the university or the broader community is essential. Initiatives like mentoring programs or guest lectures offer alumni opportunities to give back and remain engaged. By showcasing opportunities that resonate with their skills and interests, universities can effectively recruit willing volunteers, fostering a spirit of ongoing involvement.
6. Career Services
Providing career-oriented resources such as job postings and professional development opportunities is pivotal. Timely updates on career fairs, skill-building workshops, or networking events via email or text messages cater to alumni seeking career advancement. Ensuring alumni feel supported in their professional journeys cements the institution’s role as a lifelong partner in their success.
7. Provide Exclusive Benefits
Offering exclusive benefits to alumni serves as a token of appreciation. By granting access to continued education discounts and access to university facilities, institutions create a sense of belonging and value for former students. These tailored benefits acknowledge alumni as valued members and encourage active participation, maintaining a strong and lasting relationship between the university and its graduates.
8. Recognize their achievement
Recognizing alumni achievements is a powerful way for universities to celebrate their successes and showcase their impact. By featuring alumni accomplishments in university publications, awards, or spotlights, institutions honor their contributions, inspiring pride and connection within the alumni community.
How Universities Can Leverage Technology
There are different ways in which universities can take advantage of technology to keep alumni engaged. When universities use these ways together, they can talk to alumni in different ways that work best for each person. This helps make sure everyone gets the info they need and feels included.
1. Use a mix of communication methods
To reach alumni, universities can use various communication methods such as automated phone, email, text, postal mailing, or social media.
Automated phone systems offer a personalized touch when reaching out to alumni. These calls can convey urgent updates, event reminders, or invitations. While they lack the visual element, phone calls provide more personal interaction, allowing for direct communication and immediate responses.
Emails serve as a versatile tool for detailed communication. They allow universities to send comprehensive newsletters, event details, and career-related information. With the ability to include multimedia and hyperlinks, emails offer an expansive platform to engage alumni. Besides, you can use delivery reports to determine how many people opened the email.
Text messages are immediate and direct, ideal for quick updates, event reminders, or urgent announcements. With high open rates, texts ensure that critical information reaches alumni promptly.
Postal mailings provide a tangible and personal touch. Sending physical newsletters, event invitations, or thank-you notes can evoke nostalgia and stand out amidst digital communications.
Social media platforms offer a dynamic space for interaction. Universities can share news, achievements, and event updates on LinkedIn, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and other platforms. These platforms facilitate ongoing conversations, networking, and community building. With social media, it’s easy to reach even the alumni who are not on your contact list yet. The algorithm these platforms use helps connect people with the same interests and hence can reach more people.
2. Use templates to keep your university’s messaging consistent.
Using templates for your university’s messages can be a real game-changer! Templates are like ready-made formats or designs that you can repeatedly use for similar messages. Templates are useful because they save your team a lot of time. Instead of starting from scratch every time you want to send a message, you can fill in the blanks or tweak a few things in the template.
Consistency is gold because it means that no matter who’s sending the message, the university’s style and message stay the same. So, even if other staff members send out messages, they all look and sound like they’re from the same place. It’s like having a uniform way of talking that helps everyone recognize and remember your university!
3. Create professional-looking email designs
When engaging alumni through emails, visually appealing designs are crucial to catching their attention and keeping them interested.
Create these images using vibrant images, sleek layouts, and eye-catching designs. Use images that resonate with your alumni. The advantage of using real images compared to stock photos is that it triggers a sense of belonging.
For example, you can add images highlighting campus memories, notable events, or alumni achievements. Thus, it adds a personal touch, making the email feel more relatable and nostalgic.
By combining appealing visuals, thoughtful designs, and useful attachments, these emails become more than just messages; they become an experience. They create a lasting impression, fostering a stronger bond between the university and its alumni and encouraging their continued involvement and support.
Increase Alumni Engagement with ComHub365’s Automated Communication Solution
ComHub365 is the one-stop solution for all university needs to keep the alumni engaged. We offer a complete suite that saves money by reducing your team’s workload and is fast, reliable, and efficient. By subscribing to our services, you can enjoy the following features, all for the same price.
Automated phone, email, text, and postal mailing.
Whether you want to use one channel or a blend of traditional and modern mediums, we’ve got you covered. With ComHub365, you can automate phone calls, emails, text messages, and postal mail. In addition, you get to enjoy secure communication and contact management tools.
Reach wider audiences with language translation
University Students come from different walks of life. Especially when dealing with a national or international University, you must communicate in different languages to accommodate all the alumni. This is where ComHub365 comes in handy. We translate text and email messages to more than 100+ languages in real time. In addition, ComHub365 can translate phone calls into Spanish. Using a communication platform that features language translation ensures your message is delivered and well understood.
Real-time delivery analytics
With ComHub365, you get access to real-time delivery analytics. You can see how many people opened the emails and received a text message. Additionally, you can get delivery insights on whether the phone call was picked up by a person or if a voicemail was left.
Thanks to real-time delivery analytics, universities have peace of mind knowing that every message was delivered. You can quickly identify which email addresses bounced and make corrections before sending your next message.
Message archive and inbox
ComHub365’s message archive and inbox are a centralized hub for storing all alumni interactions. It offers intuitive search features for quick access to specific responses and automatically archives all outgoing messages. This tool ensures organized records, simplifies retrieval of past interactions, and enhances communication efficiency with alumni.
Maintaining alumni engagement is pivotal for universities seeking to establish connections beyond graduation. The best way to achieve this is by leveraging technology such as automated phone calls, SMS, emails, and postal service. Accessing all these features from the same platform, such as ComHub365, improves your team’s workflow. Contact us to learn how ComHub365 can keep your alumni engaged with automated communications. Consistent outreach and providing valuable opportunities can create a thriving community of engaged alumni for the university.