Phired Up recently met a fraternity man named Robert Cavezza. Robert graduated in December of 2008 and has a recruitment success story to share. In a series of guest blog posts over the coming weeks, Robert will share his unique point of view on recruitment. Phired Up welcomes partnerships of this kind, and hopes to share other people's recruitment perspectives in the future. Even if we don't agree 100%, we're open to sharing this forum to ensure that anyone with a great recruitment idea can share it with the world.
My name is Robert Cavezza and I recently graduated. I was a four year fraternity undergraduate and used technology in recruiting to "save" my fraternity. Here is my story.
It was the Spring of 2009. We had just lost our fraternity house and there were only five of us left. Four of us were graduating either in May or next December. We NEEDED a large new member class. It wasn't an option.
It wasn't as if our fraternity didn't have anything to offer. We had one of the highest GPAs on campus and we all knew how to have a good time. We attended two different Phired Up Recruiting seminars and national headquarters recruiting seminars. For some reason, we were not able to connect the dots.
Two Weeks Into Recruitment"
We were two weeks into recruitment period and we had no potential new members and no leads. We were brainstorming possible ways to get new members at a meeting and someone mentioned the idea of a mass email. Our fraternity office supplies a list of student emails and the list can be segmented by GPA. We had nothing else to lose, so we decided to try sending the mass email.
The announcement of the sale of our fraternity house would be in the school newspaper the next day. We thought this would be a great time to send out the emails.
The Email and The Response
That night, I spent eight hours learning how to use and format mail merges. A mail merge is a way to use Microsoft Word to send out personalized emails to a large number of people. The email was sent a little before 3am that night. It was sent to a few more than 3,000 students and the mail merge allowed me to personalize each email using each student's first name. Before I woke up the next day, there were 60 emails in my inbox.
We planned three information sessions at different locations on campus over the course of the next two weeks. We emphasized the benefits of the fraternity and how it changed our lives. After the third information session, we had a pledge class larger than the Brotherhood. Our membership grew by 400% that semester.
The Future of Fraternity Recruitment
The internet is going to become increasingly important in fraternity recruitment. Josh and Matt have asked me to answer questions that some of you may have about using technology in recruiting. If you have a specific technology related question, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and it might be featured on this blog in the coming weeks.