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The Results Are In - Integrated Marketing Success Stories

After spending three days at the NTEN Technology Conference, I came away with the undeniable sense that integrated, multi-channel fundraising is truly in focus for nonprofits and political campaigns.  Though still far from reaching its fullest potential, a slew of results were vibrantly discussed throughout the conference.   

In 2008, the Obama campaign used a team of six analysts to empirically test and fine tune every nuance of its fundraising and organizing program by pouring over results garnered from one billion email sends.  By contrast, not every result shared at the conference came certified with degrees of statistical significance or control group results, nonetheless, one thing was abundantly clear: an integrated, multi-channel approach works.
Here are just a few excerpts and examples of what was presented and discussed in various contexts…  

  • Multi-channel donors had two times the retention rate of offline-only donors;
  • Direct mail influenced donors to contribute online, though some donors, particularly older ones, will always remain single-channel;
  • Online-only donors had a 20% lower retention rate than offline-only donors;
  • Delivering an email shortly after mail hit homes increased email response rates by 20%; 
  • Appending social media activity to a robust CRM database successfully triggered engagement and conversion in other channels;
  • Facebook and Twitter were not driving direct contributions per se, however, social channels have become a top referring domain in driving significant web traffic and engagement;  
  • A major US Senate campaign’s online contributors were thanked with a triggered direct mail acknowledgement to increase engagement; 
  • 50% of first time online contributors renewed offline;
  • Data captured on a phone call with potential donors proved invaluable for future segmentation and conversion in other channels;
  • An email message followed up by a mobile reminder message improved the response rate to the email by 25%.

Of course, results will always vary case by case, but whether these examples were anecdotal or empirical, presented by organizations or agencies, political or nonprofit, measured as purely incremental or potentially cannibalizing other channels … there is definitely a powerful movement to break down the silos and integrate across channels of engagement.

Do barriers exist before all organizations embrace this approach?  Certainly. Budget, technology platform, reporting, and organizational structure and culture, among others, will always factor into strategic decisions.  However, when we integrate our messaging, communications channels, and data platforms we become smarter marketers that can increase conversion, reduce costs and ultimately improve net revenue.

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