Untangling the Webs We Weave


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By creating a mission and vision for your Web Strategy, alumni relations professionals are more easily to take advantage of Web technologies for strategic purposes.

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  •  Is your iModules community just a fancy event calendar and e-mail marketing? Or is it truly an integral tool in helping you to implement your strategic alumni programming efforts? In this session, we'll explore the strategic planning side of managing your community, and how creating a vision for your website can help direct relevant content and features to your users, thus achieving higher levels of engagement – and showing the value of your website.
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  • WillTraditional-age students
  • WillWe have had an online community since 1998Use roles to differentiate, no sub-communities, entire campus community is in the system
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  • TimAt Lake Forest, really everything we do goes back to our mission. We’re really a mission-driven institution, so it’s not a far reach for us to then figure out how a department, or a campus committee, or what-have-you fits into the overall plan.When you start with that thought process, it really begins to drive your strategy.
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  • WillDeciding what to use on the WebJust because you have the technology doesn’t mean you have to use it.
  • WillFor job board, we only have 13,000 alumni – we can’t compete with CareerBuilder or LinkedIn.
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  • TimStreamlined work from 3 offices
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  • WillEileen Walsh: '08: Location: Delta Lake, The Grand Tetons, Wyoming. This lake is a little known spot, as it is a difficult climb, located directly beneath the Grand Teton. In the picture from left to right: Disappointment Peak, Maggie Rezac '08, Eileen Walsh '08, the Grand Teton, the Teton Glacier, and Mt. Owen. Story behind the picture: I work in Grand Teton National Park and Maggie came out for a visit. The weekend turned out to be quite the epic adventure. It started out 80 degrees, we hiked through rain and hail, and camped in snow. Delta Lake was our favorite spot so we decided it was where our "where in the world picture" should be taken. We made the letters out of a poncho, dropped a camera in the lake, fell into the lake (which is glacier run off - so about 33 degrees), and took about 20 pictures of the sky before we finally managed this one!We took this picture while vacationing in Jackson Hole, WY, this August.
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  • WillWe’re not afraid of Facebook groups – they work. Reunions post photos, there’s discussion, and we always push users back to iModules.Sometimes we just need to create the path for alumni to connect and then get out of the way.
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  • WillTie-in with community’s Forester Friday – wearing red and black – and #followFriday
  • TimDidn’t change much, but already hearing that it’s easier to use.Completely from the viewpoint of the user and not from our internal structure – Homecoming is the perfect example.We integrated designs on .edu site, intranet site, iModules, athletics site, planned giving site, and HEP. Result – an admitted student found out about and attended our Finance Network event.
  • WillWe separated registered and non-registered users – in order to send them different messages about their username or Constituent ID. The open rate for registered users is 30%, with an 8% click-through rate.We’re also much more directed with subject lines now – e-news highlights two stories.
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  • WillSent to ~5,000 non-donors for this fiscal year each email18% open rateCTR of 1%Conversion rate of 32% of those who clicked on an email
  • TimF1 – Accumulated Wealth – The presence of children is the defining characteristic of the segments in the Family Life Class. Accumulated Wealth contain the wealthiest families, mostly college-educated, white-collar Baby Boomers living in sprawling homes beyond the nation’s beltways. These large family segments are filled with upscale professionals – the groups median income is nearly six figures – who have the disposable cash and sophisticated tastes to indulge their children with electronic toys, computer games, and top-of-the-line sporting equipment. These adults in households are also a prime audience for print media, expensive cars and frequent vacations – often to theme parks as well as European destinations.M1 – Affluent Empty Nesters. Americans in the mature crowd tend to be over 45 years old living in houses that have empty-nested. They feature upscale couples who are college educated, hold executive and professional positions and are over 45. While their neighborhoods are found across a variety of landscapes – from urban to small-town areas – they all share a propensity for living in large, older homes. With their children out of the house, these consumers have plenty of disposable cash to finance active lifestyles, rich in travel, cultural events, exercise equipment, and business media. These folks are also community activists who write politicians, volunteer for environmental groups and vote heavily in elections.Y3- Striving Singles – Make up the most downscale of the Younger Years class. Centered in exurban towns and satellite cities, these 20-something singles typically have low incomes – often under $25,000 a year – from service jobs or part-time work they take on while going to College. Housing for this groups consists of a mix of cheap apartment complexes, dormitories, and mobile homes. As consumers, the residents in these segments score high for outdoor sports, movies and music, fast food and inexpensive cars.So this might suggest that we should be planning high-end play dates; rather than exclusively upscale cocktail parties.
  • TimWe have the greatest chance of donor conversion and upgrade in our primary market.F1 – Accumulated WealthM1 – Affluent Empty NestersThose two segments are the people who have the money to give and give it.
  • TimSo in the same way we have fine-tuned our fundraising efforts, we have been focusing our alumni programs.Forced us to ask: what are we doing that we shouldn’t do?What are we NOT doing that we should be doing?So we know what segment we are now looking for. How do we know if they are turning out?
  • TimOverdraw in Accumulated Wealth and Affluent Empty Nesters
  • TimOverdraw in Accumulated Wealth and Affluent Empty Nesters
  • Untangling the Webs We Weave

    1. 1. Timothy State ’93Associate Vice President for Alumni Programsstate@lakeforest.eduWill Pittinos ’06Web Content Managerpittinos@lakeforest.edu
    2. 2.  Creating a vision Adapting that vision for the Web Reviewing your site Strategic tactics
    3. 3.  Private 4-year liberal arts college 1,400 students All 50 states; 48 countries 80% of students live on-campus 30 miles north of Chicago’s Loop 13,500 mailable alumni 65+% email addresses iModules Client since 2008 Alumni Parents Faculty/Staff Friends
    4. 4. They’re eating it up. 5,521 with username and validemail 136 roles 5 constituencies: currentstudents, alumni, parents,faculty, and staff 1 community
    5. 5. Adapting Your Mission for the Web
    6. 6.  Start with your institution’s MissionStatement Start with your Department’s Mission Define how your Mission plays out on theWeb
    7. 7. We are dedicated to building life-longrelationships with our alumni, students,parents, faculty, staff and friends to securethe ongoing success of the College. Throughour commitment to quality service,communication, programs and advocacy, weinstill a sense of pride and trust in theinstitution and engage our constituents asactive participants in the life of the College.
    8. 8. Alumni & ParentsStudentsFriendsFac/StaffQualityServiceComm.ProgramsAdvocacyActive Participationin theLife of the CollegeRolesContentManagementNavigationEmail MarketingEvent RegistrationDonationsMembership
    9. 9. The alumni Web presence shouldwork to foster the feelings ofcommunity by conveying the sense ofpride people feel toward Lake ForestCollege. The Web should inspirepeople, particularly those previouslydifficult to reach through traditionalmethods, to contemplate theiremotional connection to the College,motivating them to actions ofparticipation, sharing, and giving.
    10. 10. Convey PrideInspire PeopleStrike Emotional CordsMotivate People to ActionProvide Opportunity for Action
    11. 11. Convey Pride (Data-Driven)Inspire People (User Experience)Strike Emotional Cords(Relevance)Motivate People to Action(Integration)Provide Opportunity for Action(Technology)
    12. 12. Adapting your mission for the Web
    13. 13.  Is all of your content relevant? Enews is not sent over the summer – Vacationmode, Vacation emails Job posting board When to login and when to check out Users will take the time to login when they areemotionally engaged Integrate your program in the Web Burn all registration forms!
    14. 14. Adapting your mission for the Web
    15. 15.  352 userscompleted theform since itlaunched Must be logged in– role-based
    16. 16.  420 votes 39 photosubmissions Gathered newemails We’ll repeat thissummer Not only data, but achance to thinkabout Lake ForestCollege
    17. 17.  54 comments
    18. 18.  5,000 users –2nd largestmarket Internationalalumni, 33members in 3months, with nopromotion Conversation
    19. 19. Each senior must registeronline for their tickets behindthe login
    20. 20.  #ForesterFriday hashtag– used by alumni,students, staff 30 – 40 tweets eachFriday Creating onlineconversation andhelping build community
    21. 21. ForestersForever.com LakeForest.edu
    22. 22. eNews Event Blast23% open rate 52% open rate
    23. 23.  Role-driven Promotional codes F.A.N. Club discounts for other events Email marketing and RSS feed to manageregular communication and program support Cross-promote with all of our other programs
    24. 24. Annual Fund Ads generated three gifts in the first two newsletters
    25. 25. Giving form is just one click away from any page in our Web site.
    26. 26. Users begin making their gift from the main Giving page.
    27. 27. Reviewing data of our latest email campaign for end of fiscal year Raised $15,725($5,196 new) 103 donors (53 new) 31 unsubscribed 10-year giving:6 donors gave$1,077
    28. 28. Younger YearsSingles & Couples<45No ChildrenY1 – MidlifeSuccessY2 – YoungAchieversY3 – StrivingSinglesFamily LifeWith Children25-54F1 – AccumulatedWealthF2 – YoungAccumulatorsF3 – MainstreamFamiliesF4 – SustainingFamiliesMature YearsSingles & Couples>45ChildlessM1 – AffluentEmpty NestersM2 – ConservativeClassicsM3 – CautiousCouplesM4 – SustainingSeniors
    29. 29. 738551022430PrimarySecondaryTertiary
    30. 30.  RDI is a percent divided by a percent to giveyou a ratio. 1.0 is even. Below 1.0 is under-drawing. Above 1.0 is over-drawing. Group of 100 at homecoming, 20% yellow Population of 1,000, 30% yellow Divide 20% by 30% = 0.66, or underdraw
    31. 31. Y2 Y3 F1 F2 F3 F4 M1 M2 M3 M4
    32. 32. Y2 Y3 F1 F2 F3 F4 M1 M2 M3 M4
    33. 33.  Create a relevant vision Make data-driven decisions Integrate all of your program elements andmarketing channels Focus on the user-experience Listen to your users
    34. 34. Timothy State ’93Associate Vice President for Alumni Programsstate@lakeforest.eduWill Pittinos ’06Web Content Managerpittinos@lakeforest.edu