Are you looking for ways to connect with your graduating students long after they leave campus for the very last time?
Knowing how to connect with alumni after graduation is important because they are more likely to contribute if they feel strongly connected to their alma mater.
In this article, we’ll share with you some of the best ways to connect with alumni after graduation.
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Why Connect with Alumni?
Staying connected with those that graduate from your institution is important for maintaining long-term relationships with those that once helped your school thrive.
Here are the top reasons you should work hard to connect with alumni after graduation day:
- Repeat Business: Graduates that donate once are more likely to donate again in the future. It’s easier to retain old customers than it is to acquire new ones.
- Positive Word of Mouth: People love to talk about their past experiences and alumni are no different. Maintaining positive relationships with those that graduate, and offering them exclusive access to alumni services, means more positive referrals coming your way.
- Recruitment Opportunities: There’s nothing better than using past graduates to convince those looking to start college to go to your school. If you stay in touch with graduates, you can ask them to be a part of the recruitment process. Be sure to read these proven ways to convince students to open recruitment emails, too.
- Better Rankings: If you want your school to rank well in the country, you’re going to need glowing references from alumni. If you don’t stay in touch with graduates, how can you expect to get them to review your school and help your rankings?
As you can see, connecting with alumni is important to the success of your institution.
Let’s take a look at how you can start actively engaging with alumni and nurturing long-lasting relationships.
1. Publish an Online Alumni Magazine
Much like the Harvard Magazine, founded by alumni for alumni, your institution can publish an online magazine designed to keep alumni connected to each other and the university they once attended.
Here are some of the things you can include in your publication:
- Work alumni are doing for the university and community
- Research being performed by alumni and current students
- Upcoming events, conferences, and talks alumni might be interested in attending
- Career-related advice and job listings to help alumni looking for inspiration or a job
- Ways to get involved with the school
- Touching essays penned by graduates
- Professor profiles and the work they’ve been doing
- How to donate, as well as a donation form so alumni can contribute right away
The best way to let your alumni know new content has been published or a new issue has been released is via email. That’s why having an email newsletter signup form on your organization’s official website is so important.
WPForms has a newsletter signup form template that makes collecting alumni emails simple. All graduates have to do is enter their name and email and they’ll be added to your email list.
WPForms integrates with the following email marketing service providers and makes adding a signup checkbox to them all easy to do:
Unless alumni regularly come to your website looking for new content, they’ll never know you’ve published another magazine. This hurts your chances of staying connected to those that no longer attend your school.
Want to collect content for your alumni magazine from graduates themselves? Learn how to accept post submissions on your WordPress site so you can start highlighting past students.
2. Host Events and Feature Alumni
Hosting events on campus is a great way to bring alumni back to their alma mater to reminisce about their college days and stay connected.
Here are some event ideas that alumni can either attend or become actively involved in:
- Sporting events
- Informational sessions about graduate school
- Speaking events highlighting industry professionals or involving alumni
- Job or career fairs that alumni can use to get a job or hire people for their own businesses
No matter which kind of event you want to organize, remember, alumni will be most engaged if you make it all about them.
For example, sell merchandise like the shirts sold by UNLV that are made specifically for alumni that can be worn to alumni specific events.
Need a great way to register alumni for an upcoming event? Use any of WPForms’ registration form templates:
- Conference Registration
- Fundraiser Registration
- High School Reunion Registration (customized for college)
- Online Event Registration
- Workshop Registration
- Webinar Registration
WPForms’s registration form templates are fully customizable to meet your needs. You can add or remove form fields as needed so you can register alumni for any type of event you’re hosting in their honor.
For example, integrate your registration form with PayPal or Stripe to collect payment for events, send out email notifications with more information about the event, allow alumni to choose which day they’s like to attend if it’s a multi-day event, and more.
This is also a great opportunity to add more alumni to your email list if they agree to subscribe to your newsletter.
3. Let Alumni Voice Their Opinion
There are always going to be things about going to college that past graduates really liked and things they hated. Luckily, you can collect the opinions of your alumni and use whatever they have to say to improve current students’ experiences.
Invite alumni to visit your website and take your online survey about their time as a student at your school. Or, encourage site visitors to set aside some time and answer your pressing questions.
No matter how you convince people to voice their opinions, use a WordPress form builder with powerful survey features such as the ones seen in WPForms to collect the data you need to improve your institution and reputation.
WPForms comes with a variety of survey form templates, features, and form fields so you can find out all the information you need from alumni:
- Responsive design so graduates on mobile devices can fill out forms
- Multi-page forms for those times you need to ask a lot of questions
- Likert scale form fields for measuring people’s experiences or opinions
- Poll form templates for asking simple, one-off questions
- Suggestion and feedback form templates for getting concrete ideas from alumni
- Rating form fields with smart conditional logic that can be used as social proof on your website
- Visual survey reports in the backend of your site that you can export
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) form fields and survey templates to find out whether an alumni would recommend your institution to others
You can add questions related to being a student and/or being an alumni to your survey forms. You can also ask for suggestions, what it would take to get them involved in school activities, how finding a job once graduating went, and so much more. Knowing this information will help your school become better than ever.
But more than that, it will give alumni a voice and a reason to stay connected with the university they graduated from.
And there you have it! 3 easy ways to connect with alumni once they’ve walked off stage with their degree in hand.
If you’re looking for ways to boost form conversions on your site, check out these research based tips and use them to get alumni engaged with your forms.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with the most powerful WordPress forms plugin today.