Hotchkiss Got 300 New EverTrue Users in One Month—You Can Too

Our customers are always coming up with great ways to promote the EverTrue app. We’ve heard countless stories of schools seeing incredible boosts in alumni adoption of the app because of their marketing and outreach efforts. From email blasts to social media campaigns, there’s no end to how our customers get their alumni excited to use the app.

We love to encourage schools to get creative with their promotions. After all, the more alumni on the app, the better the networking opportunities—and the easier it is for advancement to stay in touch with those alumni.

And every so often, one of our EverTrue partners blows us away with their creativity… so much that we just have to feature them here! Today, we’re putting a spotlight on The Hotchkiss School, a Connecticut boarding school with a superstar advancement team. By thinking outside of the box, Hotchkiss got 300 new alumni on their EverTrue app in just one month.

They didn’t use rocket science but instead employed a thoughtful plan of action (your community won’t grow if you don’t consistently promote the app!). Fortunately, it’s easier than you think to create and execute a successful promotion campaign. Let’s break down the Hotchkiss story for some key insights on how to drive alumni adoption of your EverTrue app.


The Goal

First things first:  Hotchkiss set a reasonable, attainable goal for how many new app downloads they wanted to see. This was an important first step for a number of reasons, but in particular it gave them an easy way to measure their success. A campaign without metrics or clearly defined goals is like a shot in the dark.

With that in mind, Hotchkiss aimed to acquire 300 new users, which guided the entire effort and was consistently referenced in campaign communications to the school’s alumni. This goal ended up being a reasonable 20% of the 1,500 alums who had liked content on its alumni Facebook page.


The Strategy

This is where Hotchkiss really shined. The team’s strategy, which revolved around a clever idea, only required a few moving parts in order to execute.

So what was the idea? At Hotchkiss, all students are held to a strict dress code. The team knew that this was a main pain point for students and pitched the following offer:  If 300 alumni downloaded the EverTrue app from April to May, current students would earn a highly coveted dress-down day. Besides being a cost-effective incentive, this rallied together the current student body and the alumni community in support of a great cause!


The Execution

To kick off the initiative, Hotchkiss created a video with clips of students explaining why they would love a dress-down day:

In under a minute, Hotchkiss was able to articulate the positive impact alumni would make if they downloaded the app. The video scored nearly 300 views on the first day of its release, and to date it has been played almost 600 times.

In addition to sending out an email announcing the challenge (with the video embedded in the email), Hotchkiss posted on Facebook and Twitter once a week with updates on how close the school was to reaching 300 downloads. By posting frequently, they ensured that the challenge would stay top of mind for alumni.


The Results

Hotchkiss’ amazing planning paid off. Within just 6 days, its EverTrue app gained an impressive 223 new users. Although adoption slowed after the initial push—which is normal for any campaign—over the course of the month the school made it to 300 downloads (the school’s social media reminders undoubtedly helped with the home stretch). The campaign ultimately put the Hotchkiss Alumni Mobile App community at over 800 users total.

Dress-down Day Thank You from Hotchkiss School on Vimeo.
Later that month, Hotchkiss Head of School Dr. Hicks officially declared a dress-down day for students. And the generosity of the alumni didn’t go unnoticed—the school put together a short thank you video featuring students looking happy (and comfortable!) in t-shirts and jeans on their special day.

Want to know more about how the EverTrue app is helping alumni relations teams across the country? Click here to read Union College’s ROI story.


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