Trendy … Yet Timeless
In an effort to capitalize on its expanded e-mail file, the Brady Campaign did something some might see as counter intuitive when dealing with online constituents: It sent them direct mail. The organization mailed 33,000 non-donor e-constituents an acquisition package in September 2004. The results proved the strategy to be a wise one: Those mailed responded at a rate of 1.26 percent and sent in average gifts of $24.22, with a net per acquired of -$6.22.
The success of this strategy was reinforced when, in March 2005, the Brady Campaign mailed 12,000 non-donor e-constituents who responded at a rate of 1.07 percent and sent an average gift of $23.40, with a net per acquired of -$12.13.
But wait ... there’s more
Text messaging, just catching on in the States, has worked well in Canada, the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, Johnston says. The American Red Cross’ Text 2HELP was one of the first text-message donation programs in the United States. In Hurricane Katrina’s wake, the ARC worked with the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, an international association for the wireless telecommunications industry, to institute the program to support its Disaster Relief Fund, which it promoted through ads in newspapers. Through the program, which ran from Sept. 6, 2005, to Oct. 31, 2005, people could donate $5 to the Red Cross by texting the organization the message HELP.
Jeff Simmons, director of technology programs for the CTIA, says people with cellphone plans with participating carriers who texted the word HELP to the ARC’s short code number would then receive a message asking them if they, indeed, wanted to donate to the Red Cross. If they answered “Yes,” they got a confirmation/thank-you message back. The donation amount showed up on donors’ cellphone statements for the next billing cycle, and the cellphone carrier company remitted the amount to the ARC. Simmons says the technology is still very new and CTIA plans on getting more equipped to offer this service.