Focus On: Channel Integration: Piecing It All Together
Naturally, all three channels were designed to reinforce each other, and the message was integrated. This type of fundraising program has been successful for many years but has mostly been limited to those with a sponsorship type of appeal.
Another example comes from Europe where there has been great success using a telephone “thank you” to convert first-time direct mail donors to monthly givers. In one control test, 2,000 new direct mail donors were selected at random and received a mailed note thanking them for their gift and asking them to consider becoming a monthly donor, while another 2,000 were selected at random and received a telephone call thanking them for their gift and probing for interest in a monthly donor club.
The result was that the subsequent gift rate for donors who were called was 22 percent higher than those who received only the thank-you note. The average gift for donors who were called was 3.5 percent higher than those who received the thank-you note. Most importantly, 16 percent of donors were converted to monthly giving as a result of the telephone call versus less than 1.5 percent for the direct mail thank-you only. Clearly, mixing the media improved the results.
One need only look at some recent efforts by various groups to be encouraged to try some of the newer methods of integration. Some of the simpler tests, for example, have been done to integrate e-mail with “snail mail.” Some nonprofit advocacy groups are finding that they can achieve a “lift rate” (increase in response rate) of between 10 percent and 20 percent through either or both a pre-letter or post-letter e-mail. Typically these e-mails announce that an important letter will be arriving soon or indicate to the donor that no response has yet been received to the mailed solicitation.