SCETV E-Renewal Series grabs unprecedented online revenue!

The Situation

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.

The Strategy

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 Results

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.

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