3 Reasons to Collect Data on Your Alumni

3 Reasons to Collect Data on Your Alumni


It’s easy to keep your focus on prospective students when collecting data. They are the people you want to attract to your school and the group you’re most focused on winning. However, they aren’t the only ones who deserve attention.

Your alumni network can provide insights that are just as valuable as insights gained from prospective students. By collecting and analyzing data on your graduates, you can learn and understand their behaviors and plan for their future actions.


Your alumni network is a great pool of potential donors. But are you tracking details about the donations you receive? Collecting and analyzing data about donations can lead to valuable insights.

By identifying patterns and trends, you can create a marketing strategy to drive even more donations. Have you noticed that a specific major donates at a much higher rate than other majors? Target them. Is one group of alumni not donating until at least twenty years after graduation? Create a campaign to encourage that group to donate sooner.


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CASE STUDY: Case Western Reserve University’s institutional marketing team is leveraging Google Analytics goals to track donations, contact and corporate relations and contribution forms. This data is helping them identify the impact areas that are driving the most traffic.

Your graduates have strong ties to your school and are already more likely to donate. Look for patterns in how they donate and you’ll be able to strategize ways to encourage even more donations.

Grad School

You should also track the frequency at which your graduates attend grad school. Analyzing this can help you create campaigns to bring alumni back to you as graduate students.

What percentage of alumni have received their graduate degrees? How many years after graduation did they enroll? Did they enroll with you or choose to attend another institution? The answers to all these questions are important and can help craft the perfect marketing strategy for your graduates.


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CASE STUDY: Avila University in Kansas City, MI, has a segment setup in their analytics that allows them to see which institutions are driving traffic to their site and what traffic is coming to the site from their own campus.

For example, if you look at the data and notice that 60% of your alumni begin their first year of graduate school five years after finishing their undergraduate degree, you can start to advertise your graduate degrees to them four years after graduation. This way your brand is in the forefront of their minds. And if you notice they primarily attend other institutions, you can be sure to tout what you offer that other schools don’t.

Success Stories

If you want plenty of success stories to promote in your marketing channels, you need to keep track of your graduates. This group is where you’ll find the bulk of stories that will entice prospective students to attend your school.

Do 95% of your graduates have a job in their field within six months of graduation? Do 80% of your alumni receive a promotion within their first year on the job? These are the kinds of statistics potential students care about hearing. By constantly collecting data on your alums, you’ll find successes like these that will convince students to attend.



CASE STUDY: American University’s We Know Success campaign highlights student outcomes by program. Their team is using analytics to track engagement with different types of outcomes content. The number one thing users click on who visit the site is salary.

Collecting data can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Data helps your marketing efforts be more targeted and more impactful, leading to positive results.

Want to learn more about creating targeted marketing campaigns? Feel free to reach out to us!

Maddie Shepard
Maddie Shepard
February 2, 2017