Keeping the Faith
Then it took an integrated approach, taking components from URM’s direct mail and highlighting them online, and doing the opposite, driving mail recipients online to online creative.
The online overhaul provided an immediate impact for URM. Online donations spiked more than $60,500 in the October-December 2012 stretch over the same period in 2011, from $400,660 to $461,249. Looking over a longer period, from October 2011 to February 2012, online giving brought in $425,025, according to Groseth, while that number spiked to $535,041 in the October 2012-February 2013 time period.
“A big part of the success was the behind-the-scenes SEO work,” McKinney says. “The SEO cleanup was a big part of the fundraising change; people found them more often. As much as it’s the creative, I also think it’s the things people don’t see that was a big impact on the success.
“The direct-response calls to action were key as well. The No. 1 reason people don’t act is because they’re not asked,” he adds. “That was a challenge from Jacqui, to make sure that it is an action-oriented website … It was one of the key directives from the organization, to make sure it’s a fundraising-based website. You see it in the results.”
Groseth also says Bales’ active social-media presence had a great impact. He’s dedicated to communicating with his followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, which has really brought a more engaging crowd to URM. Her only regret is not enlisting help sooner.
“In retrospect, I probably wish I would have gotten help sooner rather than later. We were trying to do it ourselves, but we didn’t have the expertise,” she says. “The fact that it was much more user-friendly after all this was key.”