Think Small: Experiments in Personalization

“Universities sometimes have a really institutionalized way of speaking, which is OK, however, we’re talking to real people and we’re asking them to do a thing that maybe isn’t the first thing they want to do.” — Drexel Fund Team

This week, Beth sits down with the team from the Drexel Fund, Drexel University’s annual giving team. They talk about how they reach 133,000 alumni and how their methods have changed over the years to create more effective messaging depending on who they’re trying to reach. One key tactic has been experimenting with segmented groups of their target audience to create more personalized messages with the incentive of donating and getting involved. Drawing inspiration from even something like a Rubik’s cube, they talk about projects and ideas they have to make their appeals fun, engaging and personalized. Beth talks with them about:

  • Understanding the alumni engagement index (AEI)
  • Where universities can improve in their communication with alumni
  • How they decide what is a risk worth taking when testing communications
  • How one 50/50 email test helped them understand what tactics of messaging work more effectively
  • How to improve retention rate
  • What they would do with an unlimited budget


The Drexel Fund website


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