Two years ago in April, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission saw a dramatic drop in donations simultaneously with seeing a dramatic increase in homeless cases.
Based on advice from its marketing agency, it learned that the days of single-channel marketing were over. Donors now function in a multi-channel mode. Even if a direct mail acquisition piece is sent with a response mechanism, 40% to 60% of donors will elect to do further research online, according to Masterworks.
According to a 2010 study by Convio, most nonprofits continue to apply a traditional direct mail centric acquisition model to target Baby Boomers and other younger donors who make it onto available rental lists. For many, the answer has been to augment their direct mail with an online push. Internet fundraising has grown strongly, but most major mailing nonprofits have reported almost a 20% decline in new donor acquisition over the last five years. “Houston, we’ve got a problem.”
Reversing Dwindling Donations by Pulling Out All the Stops
Union Gospel Mission built a multi-channel campaign to reverse the trend of declining donations. By building a campaign that included radio, direct mail, print (posters and press releases), promotional items, telemarketing, email, and landing pages, Union Gospel Mission grew donations by 2% and has continued this increase year after year.
The campaign slogan Union Gospel Mission crafted was “One Meal…One Hope.” One meal spoke to the needs of the poor and homeless while one hope offered the outcome donors wanted – a promise of a future through the mission’s work rebuilding broken lives.
SOURCE:Masterworks, Seattle-based integrated marketing firm
The direct mail letter solicitation spelled out clearly how far the donor’s dollars would go in helping the homeless – $1.98 would feed one person and $19.20 would feed 10 people.
The landing page you see below helped put a face to the cause by thanking the donor for feeding Don and turning his life around by getting him off the streets and back into society and into church.
Multi-Channel Campaign Generates Huge Lift
Union Gospel Mission’s campaign exceeded expectations by making 7 million impressions. Website traffic to the mission grew 57% at a time when other missions were losing traffic and seeing income declines. Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission grew its donation by 2% and continues to see this upward trend now that it’s using multi-channel campaigns.
Six Rules of Multi-Channel Marketing
Are you implementing multi-channel marketing programs in your organization or nonprofit? If so are you sticking to these six requirements outlined by The Nonprofit Timesbelow?
- The optimal deployment of media should be driven by voice of the customer (VOC) learning to ensure both relevance and effectiveness.
- Key elements of the multi-channel mix must be deployed according to the individual opt-in preferences of customers and prospects.
- The multi-channel mix must provide customers and prospects with choices so they can communicate with the marketer via the media mix of their choice.
- The channel mix must meet requirements 1 through 3 in accordance with the timing and frequency determined by that individual’s opt-in preference.
- The channel mix must offer a completely integrated experience. All the elements must complement each other, support each other, and send coordinated messages to customers and prospects.
- The channel mix must be responsive. If the organization alienates or abuses a consumer, we can expect to hear about it in a public forum if we do not resolve it privately.
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Learn why direct mail is the most effective medium for fundraising, how to develop a direct mail plan, and the essential elements to include to ensure success.
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