The South Carolina ETV Endowment already had an integrated renewal program, with an email effort following up each month’s mailing in its 10-part membership renewal series. With a historically generous and highly responsive donor base, South Carolina ETV became concerned when the e-renewal results began slipping and the monthly revenue declined well below its previous norm. SCETV asked DMW Fundraising to take a look at the series and give it a tune-up.
DMW Fundraising freshened the entire series, which up until then had an identical subject line each month, was graphically dull with just a logo for interest, and used stiff and formal language. The new series varies the subject lines, adding urgency as the membership expiration date approaches and passes, deploys a colored background along with images of favorite PBS programs “above the fold,” and uses informal, friendly language in quick-to-read bursts. A large donate button appears at both the top and bottom of each email, along with hyper-links in the copy at the beginning, middle, and end of the message. A specific, personalized, renewal gift amount directs the response on each appeal. When the donor clicks through, he/she is met with a streamlined donation page that clearly and simply leads through the donation process.
The ETV Endowment is very happy to be back “in the money” with its e-renewals! In the first year, the response rates climbed from well below 1% to an average of 1.25%. In the following year, the overall average response rate went up to 3%, and in the current year it has jumped to nearly 5%. Average gifts are up to the $70 – $80 range. At calendar year end, some emails in the series achieved response rates of 15% to 19%, with average gifts of over $100! And monthly revenue totals have climbed from the low $1,000s to an average of $14,000 – $15,000 per month. Engaging, personalized, and bold renewal messaging is producing unprecedented results for the ETV Endowment!
Rather than using a cookie-cutter approach, DMW Fundraising thoughtfully crafts a strategy focused on the audience and how they use the channel through which the appeal is made, to help its clients arrive at the best possible result.