2016 Gold Award Winners: Email
Hudson Valley Rescue Campaign
Submitted by Avalon Consulting Group
Response Rate: 1.29 percent
Total Cost: $1,750
Income Generated: $257,209
Average Gift: $65.58
Cost to Raise a Dollar: $0.015
Why It Won
When Farm Sanctuary learned about horrific conditions on a rural New York farm, the animal protection organization knew it had to act fast. And it knew it would need a huge influx of funding to rescue and care for 120 mistreated animals. Mere days before the rescue, Farm Sanctuary turned to Avalon Consulting Group to get the job done.
The agency devised a flexible online strategy that would allow the charity to report on the rescue almost in real-time. The initial email—subject line “URGENT: Emergency rescue happening NOW”—featured an eyewitness account from Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s national shelter director, and went out as soon as the rescue team arrived on scene at the farm. The intentionally bare-bones design let the descriptions and images speak themselves, highlighting the urgency of the situation. A second email, sent 72 hours later, updated donors on the situation. Both emails used symbolic asks—$120 in the first email, representing the anticipated 120 animals; and $200 in the second email, representing the 200 animals ultimately rescued.
It was Farm Sanctuary’s most successful online rescue campaign ever. The $257,209 in revenue was 35 percent higher than the previous best, while the $65.58 average gift was 27 percent higher. But it wasn’t just the numbers—the campaign earned high marks for the creative setup and execution on a remarkably short turnaround time.
See the complete list of 2016 winners here.