Many of our departments handled their own email outreach to alumni and business partners, which allowed for the free flow of information but off-brand designs of emails and timing issues that ended up stuffing inboxes. We decided to unify platforms, and chose Mailchimp because it played nice with some of the other programs we used like Salesforce and Eventbrite and had multi-user support. Cost was split between departments based on the number of contacts they had and I acted as the email admin, checking emails for content and brand accuracy and scheduling optimal send times.
Each department has their own lists that they manage. Newsletters went to mostly everyone and we used segmentation to split up the lists for more specialized emails, sometimes by demographics but also by activity, following up opens with an invite to an event we promoted. We also focused heavily on targeted promotion. We targeted potential students at certain companies that offered tuition benefits, sending specialized emails that pushed the tuition remission message and how to follow up with their company about attaining an advanced degree.
24% Avg. Open Rate / 2% Avg. Click Thru Rate
We created a branded base template so that each of our departments were under the Cook School brand standards. We knew from surveys that our students were often confused about the different designed that emails from different departments. We worked to make sure the point of each piece of contact was made up front to cut down on unsubscribe rates.
Soon after, we started the process of combining the separate CRM databases into one, uniform salesforce database for the school. We gathered all of the databases, around 30,000 contacts in total, and after establishing best practices for business names and workflow, we were able to make some key findings from the reports we were able to run. One of the biggest discoveries was the value of our email system; our event blasts drew around 4 times the response rate that our print invites did, and the guests showed up more reliably. This allowed us to cut down on our printing and be more effected with our messaging.