The 3 Essential Benefits of Marketing Automation for Alumni Associations

If your alumni association is like most, there are things you’d like to improve about the way you communicate with your members and prospects – from fundraising campaigns to membership renewals to event attendance and more, alumni associations today find their capabilities stretched thin.

Further complicating your outreach efforts are the diverse needs of alumni relations, development, communications, marketing, and advancement services. How can outreach initiatives be integrated and properly managed?

Marketing Automation is the answer. It allows you to structure your communications so that each member, donor and prospect receives tailored and relevant messages, all triggered automatically at precisely the right time for each individual. Its benefits to alumni associations include:

Time Savings Clock

Time Savings

Marketing Automation automates labor-intensive processes that would otherwise be performed manually, such as:

  • Scheduling and managing multi-message email campaigns
  • Segmenting/routing campaign participants according to their email opens, clicks, and other actions
  • Syncing campaign data with your member/donor databases (importing participant data, exporting campaign results)

Improved Insights into Member, Donor, and Prospect Behavior

Marketing Automation continually gathers information on constituent actions such as donations, renewals, purchases, email opens, document downloads and much more. All of this data is stored to enrich your donor/member profiles, helping you to:

  • Better understand your audiences through each individual’s interests and past actions
  • Measure donor/member/prospect engagement (identify most-engaged and least-engaged individuals)
  • Analyze the effectiveness of each campaign via state-of-the art reporting

Improved Fundraising, Member Retention and Prospect Nurturing

Marketing Automation significantly enhances your ability to communicate with your entire constituent universe on an individual basis:

  • For current members, imagine a message campaign that is automatically triggered to each individual 90 days before his/her personal renewal date, with the messages tailored to reflect each member’s interests and level of activity over the past year, along with any special calls to action you would like to offer.
  • For current donors, use web tracking functionality to identify additional areas of individual donor interest (through visits to the different areas of your website) and automatically trigger tailored email campaigns to solicit a second/additional gift
  • For non-members, an example might be that a prospect visits your website and registers for an event or signs up to receive a newsletter – your marketing automation solution will follow up instantly and automatically with an appropriate message campaign that you’ve chosen – perhaps a membership offer or a survey capturing the reasons for their interest in that material.

With Marketing Automation, these messages are sent at exactly the right time for each recipient and are never forgotten or delayed.


Marketing Automation improves not only your alumni association’s bottom line, but also thework flows of your marketing, fundraising/development and membership teams. It frees staff to focus on higher-priority initiatives, identifies which campaigns are generating results and achieving objectives, and improves donor, member and prospect experiences.

As the lifetime link between alumni and the university, your organization plays a very special role. We invite you to continue exploring Marketing Automation for Alumni Associations and would welcome your insights!