Keeping the Faith
“SMI had a lot of experience and had successfully utilized a lot of video in the digital space in the past, but the majority of it was very ministry-focused. So there was a lot of engagement off of it, but there really wasn’t a strong fundraising component,” Schremmer says. “In December, we were able to develop a direct-response video that we promoted in multiple areas digitally.”
Then on top of that, social media became a focal point as well to really promote engagement with the enhanced digital assets, which opened up a new audience of potential donors. Add in increased e-mail frequency and a more integrated year-end campaign, and SMI embarked on a more aggressive, and more overall integrated, campaign.
Did it work?
Coming off a year in which revenue grew by 50 percent, SMI couldn’t possibly expect such a lift in 2012, right? As it turns out, it saw nearly double that. In December alone, revenue grew by a whopping 95 percent over December 2011, and year-over-year growth in November was up 67 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. Overall, the year-end campaign saw a total year-over-year lift of 89 percent — coming off a 2011 year-end campaign that saw a 50 percent lift.
What’s more, KerstenDirect and SMI saw that even with the increased e-mail frequency, open and clickthrough rates remained relatively consistent, while there was no noticeable increase in the unsubscribe rate. And the e-mails that featured the direct-response video were a huge hit, with an open rate of more than 20 percent and nearly a 30 percent clickthrough rate to the video itself.
The more robust and integrated campaign also allowed Peters and the SMI team to better track and attribute response to the proper channels. Landing pages were incorporated for all online and offline pieces, with specific codes, so SMI could track the donor journey from all channels. It has helped SMI clean up its database and target donors better.