UTSA Alumni Programs wins marketing award for direct-mail campaign

marketing award
marketing award

Top photo (from left): Jason Ellis (e.f. group), Chuck Ellis (Accu-Print), Amber Phifer (UTSA Alumni Programs) and Dustin Ellis (Accu-Print)
Bottom photo: AMA-SA Marketer of the Year Award

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(June 14, 2012) -- The UTSA Office of Alumni programs recently received the Marketer of the Year Award at the 2012 Marketing Excellence Awards (MEAs) sponsored by the San Antonio chapter of the American Marketing Association.

With the awards selected by AMA-Texas, UTSA Alumni Programs was the overall winner among all for-profit and nonprofit campaigns. UTSA also won the best campaign award in the nonprofit category for campaigns costing under $10,000. The group teamed with the UTSA Office of University Marketing to plan the campaign and design collateral materials.

"I am excited that UTSA Alumni Programs received this recognition for their work," said Marjie French, UTSA vice president for university advancement. "This team effort demonstrates once again the staff expertise and excellent resources that we have at UTSA."

In spring 2011, Alumni Programs faced the challenge of increasing annual memberships in the UTSA Alumni Association. For the retention portion of the campaign, the team abandoned its previous static alumni-retention methods and adopted a new strategy using personalized direct mail and email.

The UTSA team contracted with the e.f. group to create a series of variable direct-mail and email pieces. The campaign involved a personalized and targeted promotion and a personalized postcard approach.

The campaign was a great success. Starting with a baseline retention rate of less than 5 percent, the personalized campaign had a response rate of 19 percent and the personalized postcard campaign had a response rate of 6 percent.

"We learned that personalized direct mail does impact retention rates and acquisition campaigns," said Amber Phifer, marketing coordinator of UTSA Alumni Programs. "We plan to continue to incorporate variable marketing in all of our future renewal notices and communications."

As part of AMA-San Antonio and AMA-Texas, the MEAs recognize outstanding marketing campaigns, honoring organizations that demonstrate excellence in marketing through goals, strategies and results that address identified challenges.