Alumni associations can build up some very large contact databases over time. While all of your contacts have the commonality of being alumni of your school, the types of messaging to which they are most responsive could very well differ significantly, especially when you consider the massive range of ages your contacts are likely to cover.
Therefore, segmenting your list by age and tailoring your communications to specific age segments can be an effective way to communicate and engage alumni of all ages. Here are some tips to help you accomplish this.
- Segment by decade: The easiest way to segment your alumni by age is to go by decade of graduation (1970s, 1980s, 1990s, etc.). This makes it easier to track who’s in which segment, and also ensures that there will at least be some common ties in those groups of alumni.
- Adjust your language: You shouldn’t use a “one size fits all” approach for your communications. Different age groups respond differently to different types of language or communication. That’s not to say you should try to use slang with younger alumni, but older groups might respond better to more formal language.
- Feature content specific to that segment: Customize your communications to each segment by featuring content that appeals to them. For example, you could find some pictures from the past and a few facts about “a day in the life of a student of the 80s,” including things that might have been happening at school and in the world in general. These topics can make for simple, quick newsletters that are fun and create engagement.
- Track your success: Be sure to track your successes with your email newsletters to each segment, including open rates and clicks through to your website or other call to action, so you can determine the success of your tailored messages and see what does and doesn’t work for you.
For more tips about improving your alumni association’s communications, contact us at Alumni Nations!