2014 DMAW MAXI Awards Results
Attending the 35th annual Direct Marketing Association of Washington MAXI Awards in July, I had a greater appreciation of the MAXI effort invested by the participants, judges and program planners. Given the formidable winning campaign benchmarks, I assume the judging was particularly challenging this year.
Reviewing the winners across all channels, the shared themes were engagement, extraordinary storytelling and relationship building. The stats and snapshot images of the winning Direct Mail, Digital Media, Multichannel and Telemarketing campaigns provided high-level intel of the strategies and tactics.
Generally there was a noticeable focus on reporting net outcomes — especially in the Direct Mail category. Digital Media and Multichannel campaign winners impressed with their year-over-year results. The Telemarketing success in recruitment, conversion and dollars fulfilled for special appeals, monthly giving and major gifts was extraordinary. Interestingly, there were no 2014 winners in the Workhorse campaign category. This may be a good indication of bigger things to come in 2015 and beyond.
The year-end acquisition success stories were simply fantastic. For The Wilderness Society and ABD Direct, the Web light box design change and streamlined donation process increased the number of year-end donors from the previous year by 92 percent and the overall response rate by 35 percent. Natural Resources Defense Council, in partnership with OMP, used search engine technology to conduct hundreds of tests leading up to its “Green Gifts” holiday-giving campaign. Optimizing the right images and messaging for the right audience resulted in the most successful NRDC online year-end campaign ever with 850,000 visits and $300,000 in revenue.
Eidolon Communications tested straightforward language in the first renewal email notice for the Consumer Reports Foundation. The test leveraged the results of previous test learnings and delivered open rates of 33 percent for a first renewal email notice and an increased response rate of 62 percent. Special Olympics and RedEngine Digital earned a Gold MAXI — using every available online option to help “Transform Lives” — with an impressive 733 percent return on investment and $200,000+ in revenue. A two-email, year-end appeal from Guide Dogs for the Blind and Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey performed boldly with nearly 70 percent more revenue than the previous year and the highest-grossing year-end email of all time for the charity. In all, 10 Digital Media campaigns were recognized for excellence.