Auburn University Sees Alumni Association Enrollment Conversion Escalate by 21%


Total open rate


Click through rate


Increase in enrollment conversion

Using the Fanatical program, DME offers a unique marketing vehicle that combines powerful imagery with an added layer of personalization. The result is a one-of-a-kind personalized photograph to be given to each and every recipient. This conveys to the targeted audience individually that they are a special fan and their patronage matters. This marketing campaign can be launched electronically, by direct mail or a combination of the two to really drive the message home.

The Fanatical marketing campaign resulted in a 21% increase in membership conversion over previous campaigns. The email component of the campaign had 41% total opens, 21% unique opens and lead to 27% click through to the alumni portal.

The Challenge

Universities are challenged to increase alumni participation and renewal memberships. Universities have the added challenge of engaging an audience that is no longer actively associating with their brand, and can face the age old problem of “out of sight, out of mind”.

Auburn Alumni Association tried countless marketing campaigns, from the efforts of simple postcards to complex and expensive packages. What they found was that regardless of their campaign, the membership conversion never got beyond 1.9%. This conversion rate was in correlation with a decrease in membership base, decline in its programs and benefits and a dismal financial position.

The Solution

With the Fanatical program, two objectives became clear for Auburn Alumni Association:

  1. Increase membership conversion
  2. Drive quantifiable traffic to alumni website

Strategy: Create a plan using VDP for direct mail as well as email for alumni whose membership had lapsed as well as a larger list of past alumni.

To achieve these goals, the campaign focused on reaching alumni on a personal level and offering them a promotional photograph showing their name spelled out, on the Auburn field, by the marching band. The mailing package included a personalized letter with a perforated membership form, a return envelope and the photograph.  The Auburn Alumni Association also decided to offer a 20% discount for additional photos purchased through the portal by a certain date. Along with the mailing list, an email campaign was launched to a list of 29,153 email addresses offering online enrollment as well as a link to purchase the personalized photograph.

Once the emails and packets were sent out, the association received multiple calls a day in support of the campaign. The association received three to five membership pledges a day generated from the emails alone. During the first thirty days of the campaign response conversion rose to 2.3%.