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UCCS Alumni Association Optimizes Birthday Emails With Journey Builder

Maddie Taylor

The UCCS Alumni Association engages with constituents on their birthday by sending a celebratory email, including a personalized calendar to download. Prior to utilizing Journey Builder to automate this process, eComm user Maddie Taylor at UCCS would manually send the birthday email at the beginning of the month to all alumni with a birthday that month. While Maddie was able to make optimizations to the manual communication process and achieve quality open and click-through rates, there were additional opportunities to optimize by automating the process in Journey Builder.

By automating this communication using Journey Builder, emails are sent to alumni on their actual birthdays. Additionally, through the use of dynamic content, the downloadable calendar is automatically updated to start on the month that just began, matching the recipients’ birthday month.

Maddie says, "I think the real success is being able to personalize outreach to our constituents." In the first month since launching the journey, open rates have remained relatively consistent with the manual send average, and click-through rates have increased by nearly 2%. 

After having a month of baseline data, the UCCS Alumni Association decided to test adding the Marketing Cloud Einstein’s Send Time Optimization (STO) activity to the journey. This STO step sends emails at the best time for each individual contact between the window of 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM on their birthdate based on prior engagement information for the specific contact. If there is not enough engagement information for the particular contact to determine the best send time, the email will be distributed according to the optimal time for all contacts in the enterprise Business Unit. The impact of adding the STO activity to the journey is yet to be seen but will serve as a good A/B test to compare engagement metrics with and without using STO.

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