How Samueli Academy engages 97% of its alumni with strategic & personalized email campaigns

With the goal of maximizing alumni engagement over emails, Samueli Academy optimized its email lists by segregating alumni into multiple dynamic groups and creating highly personalized email outreach campaigns. With Almabase, Samueli Academy sent over 25,000 emails, engaging 97% of its alumni network, over the last two years.

97%

alumni engaged over emails

40%

email open rate

25,000+

emails sent over the course of 2 years

About Samueli Academy

Ranked 101 in California High Schools, Samueli Academy welcomed its first class of 120 freshmen in August, 2013. A free, public charter high school in Santa Ana with an alumni strength of over 450, Samueli Academy is ranked #721 in the National Rankings


Samueli Academy offers educationally under-served communities a new choice for the high school education of their teens. The institution’s goal is to ignite the passion within all students to reach their greatest potential through a nurturing and innovative learning environment.


What challenges did Samueli Academy face?

Low alumni engagement

While Samueli Academy was trying to keep its alumni engaged on social media channels, the institution found it challenging to stay connected and generate enough content regularly. As a result of this, the institution also faced low alumni participation at events and for other campaigns.

Limited resources

As the only person handling all alumni functions at Samueli Academy, keeping 450+ alumni engaged at all times was a major challenge for Norah Sarsour, Director of Alumni Success.

Lack of personalization in outreach campaigns

While the institution aimed at creating a more personalized approach for reaching out to alumni over emails, doing this manually for over 450 contacts was not feasible.

Costly communication software

As the institution was using multiple tools to manage its alumni relations functions, the costs were significantly high. Also, with the usage of multiple tools came the risk of losing essential alumni data. Apart from the above challenges, Samueli Academy also ended up spending a huge chunk of time on combining all the data from various tools and putting it in one place.

What did Samueli Academy achieve after implementing Almabase?

Higher alumni engagement rates over email

Focusing on the larger goal of increasing alumni engagement, Samueli Academy leveraged Almabase’s ‘Integrated Communication Center’ to create strategic, personalized email campaigns, targeting specific alumni groups. The two features on the Almabase platform that empower Samueli Academy’s outreach process are: 

Dynamic alumni groups: Samueli Academy now has the ability to create multiple dynamic groups, segmenting alumni into different lists based on criteria such as class year, current city, current employer, alumni interests, etc. Armed with this powerful feature, the institution is now able to optimize its emails with more personalization, focused on driving more engagement.

Pre-existing email templates: Pre-existing email templates have significantly reduced the amount of time that Samueli Academy previously spent on designing emails. Norah now focuses her energies on the content of the emails and is able to easily customize everything with the easy-to-use editor.

25,899 emails sent over the course of 2 years
40% email open rate
5.69% email click rate

Here’s a personalized email campaign that Samueli Academy sent to its Class of 2019:

Samueli Academy invites Class of 2019 back to campus, asking them to collect their free goodies

Massive growth in contactable alumni database

With a platform that automatically captures alumni data during registration and frequent personalized outreach campaigns, Samueli Academy has witnessed a whopping 213% increase in its contactable alumni records over the course of 2 years.


121 alumni contacts in September 2017
379 alumni contacts in September 2019
97% alumni contactable records
213% growth in contactable alumni database in 2 years

Reduction in costs and time spent

Samueli Academy has been able to successfully eliminate the usage of multiple tools and move to a single platform for managing its alumni. With the current approach, the institution is not only able to eliminate unnecessary costs but also save time which was previously lost on switching between multiple software.

Efficiency in tracking alumni engagement

With all activities now being handled on a single platform, Samueli Academy is able to effectively track all developments. Whether it is the number of alumni who registered for a particular event or the success of a recent email campaign, all statistics are visible on a single dashboard. This greatly helps the institution in better planning with respect to future campaigns. 

Samueli Academy actively uses Almabase to keep its growing alumni network engaged with meaningful conversations and foster stronger relationships. You can see the institution’s alumni community here.


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