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Maintaining Alumni Communications with SMS

1.8 million bachelor’s degrees were awarded in 2013, and the numbers have only been growing.  One of the hardest parts of being a busy post graduate is keeping in contact with fellow alumni. Thankfully, alumni associations across the country work hard to grow and maintain their database – helping alumni stay in touch. With the help of SMS technology, the burden of maintaining alumni communications can be reduced for these associations.

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Simplifying Opt-Ins, Updates, and Operations

The obvious first step to having a great alumni database is getting people signed up. Associations want as many alumni as signed up and done in the easiest way possible, but once people graduate so much happens – email addresses change, mailing addresses change, and people forget. A simple solution to this “where are they now” barrier is inviting the soon-to-be graduates to opt-in to a mobile club just for alumni, and do so before graduation. Since so much of one’s contact information changes after graduation, it’s better to invite students to sign up using the one contact method that is not likely to change – their mobile phone number.

According the US Census Bureau, “At age 18, a person can expect to move another 9.1 times in their remaining lifetime.” And the average American will change jobs 10-15 times in his or her lifetime, which means there are at least that many email address changes along the way.

Establishing an SMS database is the first step for alumni associations to stay in real contact with graduates. Then maintaining those alumni relations becomes a simple process. Using a basic SMS campaign for sharing alumni news and alumni updates. Associations can also use a dialog SMS campaign for numerous purposes, such as surveys and event coordination. Wouldn’t it be great to invite members of your alumni association to vote on potential locations for a local meet-up or find out who plans on attending the next home game?

 

SMS for Alumni Communications & Perks

In addition to staying in regular contact with graduates, alumni associations often provide perks and discounts to their members. However, this can be one of those benefits that gets lost in the shuffle of emails and direct mail pieces. A simpler way to promote these perks, coupons, and other promotions is with SMS database of alumni contacts.

Have close ties with a local bar or eatery? Then setup a SMS coupon campaign to deliver special offers to the alumni database while they are visiting in the homecoming season. This approach not only benefits alumni relations and the members, but it also creates new opportunities for sponsorships and benefits. The coordination with sponsors more efficient, the overhead cost is lower, and the ultimate reach is wider.

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Integrating Your Alumni Database

Not only can you improve alumni communications using SMS technology, you can create a more complete view of what’s going on with your database. Your alumni association can integrate your CRM platform with the SMS database to achieve this view. And you could invite alumni to communicate with you through their channel of choice – email or SMS – while seeing all of their information in one place.

 

With so many people going in different directions, managing alumni communications is challenging. Even as distance widens, alumni associations have so many resources to keep the class together. SMS provides not only simplicity, but an overall better way to keep up alumni communications.

 

Curious how mobile technology can improve communications in your school? Learn More

 

Sources: National Center for Education Statistics

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