2014 Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence Email ($10 Million and Over) Winners
In the end, the subject line test saw unprecedented results for The Wilderness Society. Open rates increased by 46 percent, clickthrough rate by 40 percent and revenue by 109 percent. The ability to roll out with a test subject line during the campaign allowed the series to rival year-end email campaign performance. Through the series, response rate increased with each send from 0.36 percent, to 0.55 percent and finally to 0.68 percent. Plus, 6 percent of the campaign donors became sustainers.
BRONZE: The Wilderness Society — Year-End Email Campaign — (Submitted by ABD Direct)
Response rate: 0.53 percent
Total cost: $4,688
Income generated: $47,652
Average gift: $49.95
Cost to raise a dollar: $0.10
In 2013, The Wilderness Society set out to increase revenue without degrading its file through donor fatigue or spiked unsubscribe rates. The organization increased emails from two to three in the final days of December, but it employed a number of techniques to keep recipients receptive, including:
- Targeted messaging with variable copy based on the recipient’s 2013 donor status;
- Emails segmented by recipient time zone; each recipient received a personalized message with increasingly urgent copy focused on the midnight deadline; and
- A Dec. 31 landing page with a countdown clock tied to the viewer’s local time zone.
The campaign was sent to the full email file, including low-, mid- and high-level donors, activists and prospects (but excluding sustainers and previous 30-day donors, who each received customized versions of the Dec. 31 morning email only).
The campaign resulted in significant year-over-year gains, with clickthrough rates increasing by 41 percent, 37 percent more revenue and 30 percent higher average gift. And … the unsubscribe rate actually decreased by 18 percent — proving that your supporters really don’t mind hearing from you often, as long as you have something to say.