Johnston also works with clients to digitize TV spots and run them as online campaigns, which works to both solicit and motivate people to give. SOS Children’s Villages Canada was running a DRTV spot featuring Mike Holmes, a craftsman with a popular home-renovation TV show, and features a digitized version of it on its home page.
“A DRTV spot is dominating the home page of this organization, which helps orphaned children,” Johnston says. “[Holmes] is a very popular character, and so we run these online and offline campaigns and they seem to work very well.”
Don’t forget the workhorse
In Fall 2003, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence launched a branded online campaign and microsite, the NRAblacklist.com, supported by a print-ad campaign. The microsite featured a petition visitors could sign. According to Johnston, the site had a visitor-to-signer conversion rate of 40 percent and, as a result, increased the Brady Campaign’s e-mail list from 38,000 to 101,257 in less than three months.
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. For example, Amnesty International Canada’s program called TXT2WIN encouraged people to send a text message to the organization to enter a contest to win tickets to see U2 as a part of its Make Some Noise project.