Case Study: DM-fueled Patriotism Delivers for National WWII Memorial
“There are thousands and thousands of worthy causes in this country,” he says, “and it’s a real challenge to have your message heard. So having somebody as recognizable as a World War II veteran and national leader coupled with America’s most popular actor taking your message to the people, it popped our message out of the wheat fields and got us great visibility.
“A lot of things jelled to create greater receptivity when the direct mail pieces hit the mail boxes,” Conley adds. “People had heard about it and now we were putting the opportunity to donate right in their hands.”
The bulk of direct mail donors were premium acquired, having received certificates, lapel pins, posters and reproductions of WWII-era prints.
The advanced age of the core group of donors would make renewals a tough proposition, Winchell explains, so the goal was an acquisitions blitz that would bring in donations and perpetuate itself by fueling the buzz that was swirling around the project. (As it turns out, Winchell says, renewals turned out to be stronger than expected.)
So in addition to hardcore asks, direct mail pieces gave prospective donors the opportunity to be include in the World War II Registry, an electronic database listing of the names of Americans who contributed to the war effort. Through DM pieces and the National World War II Memorial web site (http://www.wwiimemorial.com), veterans and their families can add names, as well as stories and memories to be stored at the memorial itself, Winchell says.
Other interactive elements of the campaign — both via DM and online — include a message board where vets can leave and retrieve information about reunions and other events.
“Not all of our communications (with donors and prospective donors) were specifically fundraising,” Winchell adds. “There was content there that added weight to it.”