Release the alumni license plate frames, proud parent shirts, and sappy Facebook posts - it's Graduation Season!
As seniors graduate and begin a new chapter as alumni, it's time to transition them out of the student section. Our PAC Community came up with many effective and innovative strategies to reach new grads with communications about what it means to be alumni, the benefits of being young alumni, and special ticket offers. Read on as we spotlight a few efforts to reach recent grads and proud parents.
Building Awareness of Alumni Benefits
Hitting young alumni on the platform they use most was Rutgers' priority. So instead of running a dual Facebook/Instagram campaign, Rutgers limited placements to Instagram-specific spots - in feed, Reels, and stories.
Rutgers retrieved each grad's personal email address working together with the admissions office. This first-party data allows targeting new alumni and having a future database for when they are done checking their school inbox. The two eye-catching creatives in feed (image) and on Reels (video) led the recent grads to a Young Alumni Ticket Central. They could explore benefits and continue the purchase flow to the Season Ticket package for their desired sport.
By setting this up as a one-month-long awareness campaign, Rutgers served over 90,000 impressions to their recent grads and had a click-through rate (CTR) of 0.36%. Let's go!
Gifting The Season Ticket Experience
NC State took a different and unique approach to generate awareness for recent grad season tickets: reach parents who came to Raleigh for graduation. The tactic had two overlapping flights on Facebook and Instagram. Our broad targeting included anyone over 30 with adult children (18 - 26), but each effort focused on specific locations and times.
The first effort attempted to reach parents on campus or in nearby restaurants and hotels by using a three-mile area around the university. The effort began the Thursday before their main graduation ceremony, running through the day after the ceremony. The second tactic was limited to one mile around the graduation site, PNC Arena, and only through the early afternoon on the day of graduation.
Three simple yet bold creative elements were used, with compelling and easily consumable messages in the ad posts. Each creative highlighted a unique aspect of the NC State experience: their newest mascot, Tuffy III, their passionate fans, or the iconic bell tower on campus.
Ads brought visitors to a dedicated landing page about recent grad season ticket offers and young alumni Wolfpack Pack Club information. In addition, the page was equipped with an Eloqua form for parents, or the graduate, to fill out and be contacted by a sales rep to confirm the graduating year and process the sale. The form also included a tick box for visitors to say they are interested in gifting the tickets. This addition was helpful for the sales rep and provided additional first-party data for future campaigns, including donation opportunities.
Over this short run, NC State reached nearly 13,000 people resulting in over 43,000 impressions. Despite a seemingly broad target audience, 1.2% of people clicked through, higher than typical for broadly targeted Facebook campaigns. And what of the creative? As you might expect, ads with Tuffy III outperformed the other sets serving 18.5K impressions with a 0.42% CTR, again much higher than average, to the parents on campus alone. Who could say no to that face?
Creating New Season Ticket Holders With FEVO
The University of Rhode Island leveraged FEVO to offer discounted season ticket packages to recent grads. While using FEVO offers, URI was able to build urgency and drive direct sales straight from the digital ad. This campaign targeted recent grads in two ways: CRM lists and Alumni affinities through Facebook.
The University of Rhode Island gathered CRM lists of the past five years of alumni to deliver a personalized message. This list opened the door to all young alumni who have established themselves in the South Kingstown, RI area - but have yet to become a Season Ticket Holder. URI saw a click-through rate (CTR) of 0.61% on the social strategy by targeting this local alumni group.
To ensure URI reached more recent alumni, they also included a second tactic focused on the most likely ages of recent graduates who listed the University of Rhode Island as their university. In their area, they reach 5,000 potential young alumni.
Our young alumni are the future of our programs, and we need to develop good relationships with them after their education wraps up. So as graduation season commences, get ready to turn the tassel and create a new class of season ticket holders.