This year, make it your resolution to improve your constituent’s experience with these three goals. To guide you in the right direction, the team at iModules has shared out some turnkey ideas on how to make 2018 your best year yet.
Goal One: Foster Engagement
1. Increase Stewardship Messaging
Once an individual makes a gift to your institution, it should be the start of a different relationship as they are now a donor. Send follow-up communications that share how their donation is being used to make a difference on- and off-campus.
2. Be Inclusive
As you post content on your website, think about your constituents and ensure that the site reflects the range of constituencies that you are trying to engage. For example, if recent graduates do not feel they are represented on the homepage, they may get the impression that your office does not serve them; the same goes for a class that graduated three decades ago. So take care that your messaging and respective imagery speaks to a broad range of your constituents.
3. Customize Confirmation Emails
All communication alumni receive from you is an extension of your brand. When sending confirmation emails after registering for an event or making a gift, the email should include the same look and feel as other communication from your institution, or should reflect the look and feel of the specific event. By incorporating consistency at every touchpoint, your constituents will more easily recognize the communication came from your institution.
Goal Two: Change It Up!
1. Thank Online Donors Online
If someone makes a gift to your institution online, look at opportunities for continuing communication about their gift online. The donor expressed a preference for giving digitally, so their expectation is likely that future communication (i.e. receipts, follow-up communication, etc.) will take place in the digital space.
2. Add Additional Segmentations
The more personalized the messaging, the more likely you’ll get a response. The new year is a great time to think about adding new segments to your communications, such as giving history, year of graduation, residency, or the individual’s historical level of engagement.
3. Look at Existing Segmentations
It’s also a good time to evaluate existing segments. With the segments that you have in place, are you seeing higher open and/or click-to-open rates? If not, perhaps that segment is not needed and you can use that time to work with different segments of your constituency.
4. Reward Behavior
Consider ways to increase engagement of your most loyal constituents and reward them for being active. For example, use a promotion code on reunion registration for graduates who attended last year, for those who attended another event, or for individuals who participate in other programs (mentoring, career program, etc.). Another way to recognize these individuals is to open registration to them first or give them an exclusive preview.
Goal Three: Make It Simple
1. Review Forms
Put yourself in the shoes of your constituents. You may know why you have various fields on your update contact information form, but consider their experience. Think about reducing the number of fields and pre-populating information to make it easy for constituents to complete their updates. If the form looks long, they are less likely to complete it. The same goes for your giving form – if the fields aren’t absolutely necessary, then consider removing them from the form, making it easier to make a donation!
2. Include a Clear Call-To-Action in Communications
We all skim emails to see the desired action. By including clear call-to-action buttons and call-out text, you make it easy for constituents to take the next step. Remember to either use css buttons or consider including a text link as not everyone has images set to display on mobile.
For more ideas on how to engage your constituent base, check out the resource library at iModules.com.
Mirko joined the iModules team in July 2013, bringing over 11 years of higher education experience. Most recently, he was the Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at Wilkes University. At iModules, he provides consulting services related to engagement scoring, strategic planning as well as in-depth analyses of client websites and programming. Mirko is a Drew University graduate and recently completed his Ed.D in higher education administration at Wilkes University, focusing on whether giving differs based on participation in different types of alumni programming.