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Direct mail case studies from the fundraising sector in Ireland


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Nine direct mail case studies from the fundraising sector in Ireland - big results and great ideas.

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Direct mail case studies from the fundraising sector in Ireland

  1. 1. 9 Awesome Direct Mail Case Studies from the Fundraising and Not-for-Profit sector in Ireland
  2. 2. <ul><li>Bóthar – Gifts that Count </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s Aid – Joanna </li></ul><ul><li>ActionAid Ireland – Free your tax money </li></ul><ul><li>Bóthar – Bee My Honey </li></ul><ul><li>Irish Cancer Society – Garden of Hope </li></ul><ul><li>UNICEF – Our Symbol of Hope </li></ul><ul><li>Concern – Haiti Emergency Appeal </li></ul><ul><li>Barnardos – The Danone Big Toddle for Barnardos </li></ul><ul><li>Bóthar – Valentine’s Campaign </li></ul>
  3. 3. Bóthar – Gifts that Count <ul><li>Not-for-profit: Bóthar Agency: SPARK Marketing Communications                   Campaign: Gifts that Count </li></ul><ul><li>The Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>When planning the annual Christmas Appeal in June 2010, SPARK recommended Bóthar focus on Acquisition Measurement and Retention Strategies. It became apparent that in order to survive the organisation needed to learn more about donor responsiveness and place an emphasis on retention strategies. However, to completely drop acquisition activities would be a suicide for an organization that relies on database fundraising and needs to, at minimum, replenish the natural annual fall-off from their database. Direct Mail, loose inserts and Publicity Post were used for this purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>The Target Audience </li></ul><ul><li>The Retention strategy targeted both Active and Inactive database donors. The Acquisition strategy targeted a hired list of prospects matching Bóthar donor profile. </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>The Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Mailings were divided into three segments, with a control pack developed for each segment (Database Active, Database Inactive and Acquisition list mailing). The programme tested front-loading with gift cards, offering alternative creative on the mail pack and basing the donation amount solicited on previous giving patterns. </li></ul><ul><li>The Mailing </li></ul><ul><li>Database donors received two mailings within a 3 week period. First, they received a Gift Catalogue & Appeal Letter, followed by Christmas Newsletter & Reminder Gift Catalogue Order Form. Prospects received a Christmas Gift Catalogue & Appeal Letter and a Postcard Reminder. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The campaign achieved a whopping ROI of 275%, 70% of campaign responses were by post (up from 49% in 2007). The programme also delivered an increase in campaign measurability and provided key learnings. From testing the mail packs a clear leader emerged which will form the basis for future control mail-packs for retention and acquisition mailings. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Women’s Aid - Joanna Not-for-profit: Women's Aid Agency: Ask Direct                             Campaign: Joanna The Challenge Over the last 5 years Women’s Aid has build a small but valuable donor database. However, acquiring new donors has continued to be a challenge, as there were limited funds available to invest in donor acquisition. Women’s Aid also lacked the immediate appeal and tangibility of most larger, mainstream charities. There was therefore a need to produce a donor acquisition piece that would overcome these challenges and deliver the maximum number of new donors for a limited budget. The Target Market The vast majority of Women’s Aid donors are women, so the acquisition targeted affluent women, aged 40+. As Women’s Aid’s profile is strongest in Dublin, the campaign was targeted specifically to Dublin.
  6. 8. The Thinking The campaign objective was to recruit 150 new donors at a net cost per new donor of less than €150. The run in to Christmas was chosen for the campaign because of the increase in charitable giving at this time but also because the Christmas period often sees an increase in calls to the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline incidences of abuse. The Mailing The first task of the creative was to get the envelope opened. This was achieved by using an extremely minimalist envelope. The front was blank except for the words ‘To the Householder’ printed in blue handwriting. The reverse contained two stark warnings. One stated “WARNING: This is unsolicited fundraising appeal from Women’s Aid. Please discard it immediately if you feel its presence may put you at risk” . The other said “CONTENT ADVICE: The enclosed leaflet contains a frank account of domestic violence. If you feel you may be upset or offended by this, or if you are under 18 years of age, please do not read it”. Inside, a five page letter told the disturbing story of Joanna’s horrific abuse at the hands of her partner and how she escaped with the help of Women’s Aid. The entire pack was kept very simple, using two colour print and basic design to keep costs down. <ul><ul><li>The campaign exceeded all objectives. 196 new donors were recruited which was 30% ahead of target and the average gift increased by 67% to €140.87. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 9. ActionAid Ireland – Free your tax money Not-for-profit: ActionAid Ireland Campaign: Free your Tax Money Agency: Acorn Marketing The Challenge ActionAid Ireland has almost 4,000 child sponsors, who all donate at least €252 a year to sponsor a child abroad. The tax value that can be claimed back on this donated amount is at least €175. This is worth almost €1,000,000 which is a significant amount of revenue for ActionAid. To claim the money back ActionAid need their donors to fill out a form, add their signature and post it back into ActionAid. It sounds relatively simple, but it is still a huge challenge for charities and remains their single biggest potential loss of income each year. In 2009, ActionAid had 32% response rate; the challenge for 2010 was to drive up this performance to 40%. The Target Market 3,964 donors of ActionAid Ireland who had donated over €250 in recent years.
  8. 11. The Thinking The goal of the campaign was to make the process simple and understandable for the customer, therefore cut-through copy and creative explaining the process in a straightforward manner to the individual were developed. ActionAid communicated how important it was to them that donors return the forms. Donors were segmented into two groups: over and under €500 donations in terms of claim value. Customers were contacted in a number of ways: direct mail, email, texts and outbound calls. The Mailing Creative was crisp, clean and clear as to what the customer had to do. Copy was simple and straightforward, and call to action was incredibly strong from the envelope all the way through to the return envelope. The first wave of direct mail consisted of a double sided heavily personalised letter, a flyer with frequently asked questions and the forms were included in the envelope. <ul><ul><li>55% response rate was achieved, a 137% of plan. An average claim value was €210 due to the focus on getting the higher value donors to respond </li></ul></ul>
  9. 12. Bóthar – Bee my Honey Not-for-profit: Bóthar Campaign: Bee my Honey Agency: Spark Marketing The Challenge Fundraising is an increasingly challenging time with more and more charities looking for a share of market. The Target Audience 25,000 existing donors
  10. 14. The Thinking Link the appeal to a specific time or event (Valentines Day) in order to maximise responses by creating an offer expiry date. By choosing communication methods that engages donors and gives Bóthar maximum space for telling their story. The Mailing The elements of the mailing communicated the message in a longer, storytelling format, using real life success story of a family in Uganda who had been rescued from poverty by Bóthar honeybee programme. Using the illustrated characters was in keeping with a softer Valentines appeal. The positive imagery was compelling and appealed to donors who were desensitised to images of hardship and suffering. <ul><ul><li>Costs were reduced on campaigns from previous years. With a ROI of 417% and brand awareness increased. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 15. Irish Cancer Society – Garden of Hope Not-for-profit: Irish Cancer Society Campaign: Garden of Hope Agency: DirectBrand The Challenge The Irish Cancer Society is one of Ireland’s best know charities and Daffodil Day is its flagship fundraising event of the year. While the primary vehicle for fundraising for this day in previous years has been street collections, as part of a Direct Mail fundraising programme launched in late 2008, the campaign sought to bring a new dimension to Daffodil Day that would leverage the strengths of direct mail while creating deeper and more effective levels of engagement. The Target Market The target was a ‘warm’ list of 20,000 contacts who have given to or supported the Irish Cancer Society in the past. This included cross section of regular donors, cash givers and lapsed donors.
  12. 17. The Thinking Research showed extremely high level of spontaneous awareness of Daffodil as being a major fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society, and this was primarily associated with the street collections. The direct mail campaign needed to positively leverage this idea, while giving people an opportunity to more actively participate. Cancer is a very emotive subject. The strategy was to tap into this emotion in a way that was respectful of those touched by this awful disease while at the same time being positive and solution focused. The Mailing DM was part of an overall campaign that also included media inserts in national newspapers, and selected area door drops. The mechanic developed was to send a cardboard cutout daffodil within each pack, inviting the recipient to write a message to a loved one affected by cancer, and along with a donation, return it to ICS. The daffodil would then actually be planted in the new Garden of Hope in the Phoenix Park, where visitors could attend and see the collection of daffodils and read the messages. This would then create a special space, to mark the suffering of those affected by cancer, creating a unique and valuable PR and awareness opportunity. <ul><ul><li>Over 5,000 actual daffodils were planted. In a very difficult year donation responses were 16% above target, average donations were up 11%, and this all meant the campaign exceeded an ROI of 20%. Feedback from volunteers and supporters was overwhelming. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 18. <ul><li>Not-for-profit: UNICEF Campaign: Our Symbol of Hope Agency: Refresh </li></ul><ul><li>The Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers are almost at charity fatigue and inertia. The economic crisis is also working against international causes, like malaria, as consumers tend to look after their own first. Specifically African charities suffer from charges of corruption, a sense that very little of what we donate actually gets to the source. On a brand level, although well known, UNICEF’s role is not understood; some see it as a ‘celebrity charity’ that doesn’t need funding. </li></ul><ul><li>The Target Market </li></ul><ul><li>Existing donor database in particular the high value donors. </li></ul>UNICEF – Our Symbol of Hope
  14. 20. <ul><li>The Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>The agency was tasked to introduce the Global UNICEF campaign ‘Believe in Zero’ by incorporating the look and feel into the mailing and deliver a significant amount of donations. The campaign visualized the four component causes of early, unnecessary child deaths worldwide in the form of a Christmas Card. Each of these causes was arranged in descending order to demonstrate that UNICEF was actively and successfully aiming for Zero deaths. </li></ul><ul><li>The Mailing </li></ul><ul><li>The aim was that by using a Christmas Card device, it would be pride of place on the hearth and have a longer shelf life around the home. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By using segmentation, personalisation, a unique production device, the campaign over-delivered significantly, in a market where charity donations had dropped. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 21. Concern – Haiti Emergency Appeal Not-for-profit: Concern Campaign: Haiti Emergency Appeal The Challenge On 12th January a massive earthquake hit Haiti – up to 200,000 people lost their lives and hundreds of thousands more Haitians were left injured and homeless.  The challenge was to raise €1 million from an integrated fundraising campaign in Ireland for the emergency response The Target Market 130,000 existing Concern supporters were mailed, segmented based on recency, value and donation type.
  16. 23. The Thinking The emergency was a primary news story in the two weeks following the earthquake – timing was key with this appeal.  The aim was to deliver an emergency appeal to existing donors as quickly as possible following the earthquake to benefit from heightened awareness of the crisis among the public and maximise donations as a result. The Mailing A simple letter was developed with a reply envelope included.  Written from the perspective of a field staff worker, the aim was to portray the harsh realities on the ground in the immediate aftermath of the quake, bringing the situation closer to the donor and reinforcing the urgent need for immediate support.  Donors were prompted to respond via phone, web or post. <ul><ul><li>Overall the response to the campaign from donors was huge, raising in excess of €5 million in total (combined income from all elements of the integrated campaign). </li></ul></ul>
  17. 24. Barnardos – The Danone Big Toddle for Barnardos <ul><li>Not-for-profit: Barnardos Campaign: The Danone Big Toddle for Barnardos Agency: The Hive </li></ul><ul><li>The Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>With fundraising in Ireland being extremely competitive with thousands of charities competing for attention, Barnardos needed to tackle four key issues </li></ul><ul><li>Make a strong emotive appeal to prospect supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit target number of participants to maximise fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Make it an easy and rewarding experience for participants and organisers </li></ul><ul><li>Create a loyalty  factor that promoted repeat participation </li></ul>
  18. 26. The Thinking The strategy was founded on three phases across seven months, including recruitment, execution and wrap up with an integrated media mix of direct mail, telemarketing, radio, magazine, advertising and PR. The Mailing Barnardos wanted to encourage children to be proud of their contribution to children more vulnerable than themselves. There were numerous interactive pieces in the mailing such as a CD for the children to listen to. Head bands for them to wear, certificates for when they completed their toddle which would take the creative back into the home. <ul><ul><li>The Danone Big Toddle for Barnardos was not only Barnardos’ biggest fundraising event in 2008, involving over 19,000 toddlers toddling up to half a mile in every county in the country, it was the most successful year in the event’s 5 year history. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 27. Bóthar – Valentine’s Campaign <ul><li>Not-for-profit: Bóthar Campaign: Valentines Campaign Agency: SPARK Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>The Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>There are two main campaign times for Bóthar, Christmas and Easter. The majority of funds and new donors are acquired in these periods. The challenge that the organisation faced was to recruit new donors and encourage new donations outside of this period and maintain a presence in a crowded charity marketplace. </li></ul><ul><li>The Target Audience Research conducted in 2007 profiled the following targets: </li></ul><ul><li>List of 10,000 identified prospects hired. </li></ul><ul><li>Bothar database segmented – 29,000 active donors targeted by donation habits. </li></ul>
  20. 29. The Thinking The charity wised to increase brand awareness, differentiate themselves from other charities/not for profits who had recently commenced using animals in their seasonal fundraising, while also covering costs & generating funds. By running a campaign for Valentines – The Bee My Honey Campaign is designed to build awareness and relationships with donors. The Mailing The campaign integrated the same visual creative as the above the line campaign but communicated the messages in a longer, story telling format, using real life testimonials from the field. The overall effect was a positive, hopeful depiction of the benefits of Bóthar’s work and strong emotional message to encourage giving an alternative Valentine’s gift. <ul><ul><li>Total of 841 donors acquired. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>696 new donors from hired list of 10,000 – 6.96% response rate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>145 new donors from Publicity Post of 50,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase in database response of 10.37% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase of average gift to 45% </li></ul></ul>
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