Inigral is a closed community platform for colleges to increase enrollment and boost retention within Facebook. Creating a private, branded community for potential students allows them to meet their future classmates, ask questions, share interests, and get excited about their college experience. In turn, Inigral helps colleges improve social workflows by offering a turnkey solution designed to maximize student engagement.
Email communications are a core part of connecting and engaging students in ongoing conversations with their peers. Students join the application using a verified school email address, where they are securely authenticated, and asked to fill out a profile with their interests, likes, and activities. As a result, Inigral sends up to five million emails per month in the form of invitations to join, message notifications, confirmations, and bi-weekly email digests based on activity. These emails are drivers of the platform and contain highly relevant information including most liked or commented posts, new member updates, and number of active users. They also send emails that alert students of both their commonalities and the friendships that they share based on their interests.
Additionally, Inigral sends administrative email to various stakeholders within the universities that have licensed their platform. These include weekly reports on the success of the application as well as keyword alerts. These business emails are critical for Inigral to show ongoing value to their customers.
As the number of Inigral communities grew, so did their email volume, which began to cause delivery problems. They were sending email from their app server’s IP, but as delivery failures started to occur, they did not have the deliverability expertise or access to the analytics they needed to monitor and improve the results of their email program. They needed a more reliable solution that could ensure that their emails reached the inbox and could give them the data they required to better track the success rates of the application and keep students engaged.
Inigral chose SendGrid as their new deliverability partner. SendGrid had the infrastructure, email deliverability expertise, and reports they needed to support the rapid growth of their business. Moreover, Inigral was impressed with SendGrid’s deep connections to the start-up and developer communities. Recommendations from other start-ups helped solidify their decision to move forward with SendGrid.
From an implementation standpoint, integration was easy, and Inigral felt well supported by SendGrid’s online documentation and customer support team. As they continue to make improvements to their product, they are planning a tighter integration using SendGrid APIs to provide more customized experiences for their users.
Today, Inigral reaches 99% of inboxes which has effectively increased join rates to the application (and consequently, student engagement) by 11%. Inigral is now on track to triple the number of universities using their community based platform over the course of 2013.