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Automate and Personalize Alumni Outreach

By Shannan Hearne, Summit Technologies Marketing Specialist

Automate and personalize alumni outreach

Now that you know you are familiar with Salesforce’s EDA, it’s time to get a bit more personal. Salesforce has powerful marketing tools that help you streamline your outreach team’s alumni and volunteer efforts, making each communication more personal and more relevant. Let’s dig in.

Salesforce offers marketing tools that can help streamline alumni and volunteer outreach, making each communication more personal and relevant.

The Salesforce Campaigns feature is an engagement initiative within the Salesforce application. It can be used to track any outbound marketing project that seeks a response from contacts.

Campaign in Salesforce is an engagement initiative that you can plan, manage, and track within Salesforce. The campaigns object can be used to track any outbound marketing project that asks a contact for a response. Want to send a series of emails to recruit alumni volunteers for an upcoming admissions event? Campaigns can do that. Looking to distribute direct mail to promote this year’s reunion weekend? You guessed it—campaigns can do that, too.

The Campaign hierarchies feature helps to group contacts and track their level of engagement. For instance, for planning a homecoming weekend, a direct mail brochure, save-the-date email, and an email with an e-brochure and video could be linked to the Homecoming celebration campaign.

Campaigns provide an organized way to analyze alumni engagement endeavors, run reports, and create dashboards to visualize the impact on achieving overall goals. Salesforce's marketing automation tools, Marketing Cloud and Account Engagement, offer automation of activities such as emails, forms, landing pages, and nurture programs, enabling the maintenance of timely and consistent outreach. Each tool has unique qualities that should be considered when choosing one. When used together, campaigns and marketing automation reveal their full potential.

You might be under the impression that marketing automation only applies to those who work in your institution's marketing team. However, engagement is at the core of marketing. If you want to streamline repetitive and time-consuming tasks so that your team can focus on utilizing their collective skills, then keep reading.

Salesforce's marketing automation tools enable you to automate tasks such as emails, forms, landing pages, and nurture programs. These forms of communication are crucial for maintaining timely and consistent outreach with your constituents. However, doing them manually can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Salesforce offers two options for marketing automation: Marketing Cloud and Account Engagement (previously known as Pardot). Both solutions allow you to engage with your contacts without spending the entire day sending emails or posting messages, but each has its own unique features. Let's take a closer look and compare them, shall we?

When it comes to selecting a Salesforce marketing automation tool, there are a few options to consider. Marketing Cloud is highly customizable and can be tailored precisely to fit an institution's needs, but its flexibility comes with increased complexity. On the other hand, Account Engagement is generally more user-friendly, but less customizable.

To determine which tool is right for your institution, there are several factors to consider. These include the scope and timeline of your project, your team's bandwidth and Salesforce expertise, and your outreach goals. Once you have a strong sense of your answers to these questions, you can have a deeper conversation with a Salesforce partner to select the Salesforce tool that best meets your needs.

If neither tool seems like the perfect fit, it is possible to use both. For example, an institution may use Account Engagement for initial engagement and lead nurturing, and then switch to Marketing Cloud for managing relationships with converted constituents. Alternatively, a large institution may use Marketing Cloud for introducing themselves to audiences and then rely on Account Engagement's engagement and lead nurturing features.

If you are considering a mix of both solutions, it's important to also consider questions such as what integration model to use, who your key product users are, and if you have a product champion for each tool. A Salesforce partner can help you navigate these decisions and determine the best approach for your institution.


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