Focus On: Channel Integration: Piecing It All Together
Why advocacy groups? Because they tend to have a larger number of e-mail addresses that they can match back to their direct mail housefile. In general, advocacy organizations have had more success using the Internet than charities (other than those specializing in emergency-relief appeals).
This type of approach also has been used in alumni appeals where there is also a larger number of e-mail addresses matched with regular mail addresses. One large, national university tested the combination of an alumni e-newsletter and regular mail. Forty-nine percent of its e-newsletter recipients donated to the annual alumni appeal versus 34 percent of those who did not receive the e-newsletter. Thirty-two percent of donors who had not given in the prior year renewed if they’d received the e-newsletter versus 22 percent if they had not. Thirteen percent of those who had never donated before did so for the first time if they received the e-newsletter vs. 5 percent if they did not. Overall, the fundraisers report that they got a 100 percent lift on their fundraising efforts using the e-newsletter. While this wasn’t a true test because there was no control group — it could be argued that the donors who supplied their e-mail addresses were “different” from those who didn’t — it certainly had results that encourage this type of integration.
Keeping it simple
Other fairly simple efforts have used mail and telephone in conjunction with such efforts as high-dollar appeals and lapsed-donor reinstatement. These too have proven to be useful and often more powerful than using a single channel.
Greenpeace, for example, has integrated DRTV, billboard display ads, press ads, direct mail and its Web site in order to increase response. As a result, it increased the number of activists recruited and reduced its fundraising costs by using the Internet as a method of servicing some donors.