5 Expert Tips For Optimal Alumni Network Audience Segmentation

by Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni   |    Last Edited: 13th September 2021

Audience segmentation is somewhat of a silver bullet for effective communication when it comes to your corporate alumni community. After all, communities like these include individuals from vastly different generations, employment levels, careers, locations, and interests. 

As such, it only makes sense for you to channel your communication efficiently to ensure it has the best possible impact. Done right, segmentation paves the way for effective relationship-building with this network, as you engage them through directly relevant messaging.

The Importance Of Audience Segmentation In A Nutshell

Think about it this way. Depending on the nature of your company, the members of your alumni community can span decades’ worth of involvement with your business. Some may have left to retire. Others could have moved with their family to a different state or country or even segued into entirely different careers.  

Segment Corporate Alumni Audience

There are also a variety of reasons for alumni to stay involved with your business. Some may want the option of becoming a boomerang hire or consultant. Others may want to leverage your employee referral program or remain engaged with your CSR initiatives. Whatever the case, it’s up to you to ensure that you angle your communication correctly when you get in touch.

While compiling and distributing generic content that ‘appeals’ to everyone is an option, it seldom hits the mark. This type of missive mostly feels flat and mediocre. Segmentation allows you to zone in on different target audiences and tailor a specific message to their needs or pain points.

In both the short and long term, community members will be much more receptive to your message if they feel it has been tailored to them.

Common Audience Segment Types To Consider

Here are a few popular types of audience segmentation that work well for corporate alumni communities in particular:

  • Geographic location. Start by sorting your alumni in terms of their physical location and where they are based for work. By getting this information as part of their alumni enrollment, you can segment according to global, regional, and local communications.
  • Industry. Understanding which areas your alumni are working on once they leave your organization makes it possible to segment them effectively for recruitment, business development, and networking events.
  • Career type. It can be pretty tricky to segment according to every single career out there, especially since titles tend to vary from one company to the next. However, you can create certain broad categories that sort your alumni in terms of sector, department, seniority, and so on.
  • Reasons for alumni enrolment. It makes sense to segment your audience according to the reasons why they joined your alumni community and what they want to receive from you. Be sure to make this a central question in your enrollment form. This way, you know the relationship is ‘opt-in.’
  • VIPs. Some of your alumni are going to be more ‘important’ to your business than others. These may be individuals who have worked for the company for a long time. Or they may be especially well-positioned to bring in leads. These A-listers should also be segmented so you can easily reach them with invitations to special dinners, one-on-one networking opportunities, etc.
Segment Audience Types

At the end of the day, the trick lies in experimentation. What works for your enterprise will not necessarily work for another, and vice versa. Stay nimble, and be ready to adjust your segmentation approach if you find that it’s not working.

Five Insider Tips For Optimal Alumni Audience Segmentation

1. Avoid Over-Segmenting

To start with, don’t go too narrow with your segments. For instance, if you zone into ’65+ finance department alumni living in Arizona interested in charity initiatives,’ you might be reaching too small of an audience. This will leave you spending too much time creating messages for each segment.

Start broader instead. Go for ‘65+ Southwestern alumni interested in CSR’ and see what your hit rate is in terms of engagement. Then take it from there.

2. Measure Success at The Hand of Clear Campaign Goals

Set clear goals before you roll out a new campaign, and measure your results. It could be as simple as 100 more email opens, or 300+ likes and shares. But know what you’re going for so you can tell if you succeeded.

3. Always Be Ready To Improve

Following from the previous point – remember to stay nimble. Not every campaign you roll out will be equally successful. Take from your wins and learn from your mistakes.

4. Take an Omnichannel Approach

Direct mailing is absolutely vital when it comes to staying in touch with your corporate alumni. 

However, it’s also essential to bring other channels into the mix to ensure that you’re exploring all avenues. This includes your social channels such as Facebook and Instagram, professional platforms like LinkedIn and GlassDoor, and your corporate blog.

Best Practices Audience Segmentation

5. Bear In Mind Which Devices Your Alumni Are Using

People use desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones in completely different ways. They also consume information differently from these interfaces. As such, it helps to know where and how your audience is likely to consume your content. Doing so means that you can lean into their needs in each space. 

For instance, social media posts are far more likely to be read from a mobile device, which means that the shorter and snappier your messaging, the better.

On the other hand, emails can be a little longer since they are frequently read from a desktop. However, this does not give you free rein to write a novel.

Try many approaches, and see what works best for your alumni community in particular.

Final Thoughts

Audience segmentation can make all the difference when it comes to gaining traction with your corporate alumni. It helps to ensure that you get the right messaging in front of the right people to have the most impact.

For more information on how an alumni program can work for you, get in touch with the EnterpriseAlumni team today.