Best Use of Direct Marketing

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1 Best Use of Direct Marketing 2015 Nomination Form Nominations should be in respect of activity completed during the organisation s 2014 financial year. This award will recognise the campaign that demonstrates the best use of direct marketing in fundraising for campaigns created in-house or in partnership with an agency. A direct marketing campaign is defined as the use of multi-channel tools to communicate and raise funds from potential donors including Direct Mail, SMS, Inserts, DRTV, Telemarketing. Criteria: The judges will award marks for: Innovation and creativity. Effectiveness in terms of financial and non-financial results. Overall execution and outcome of the campaign/project.

2 Nominator s Details (every line in this section is compulsory): Nick Jones Name:(must be a member of Fundraising Ireland) Job Title: Individual Giving Manager Organisation: Merchants Quay Ireland Address: PO Box 11958, Dublin 8 Telephone: Nominee s Details (only if different from the above): Main Contact in Denisa Casement the nominated organisation: Job Title: Head of Fundraising Organisation: Merchants Quay Ireland Address: Telephone: CHY: Please complete the following sections in full: Name of Campaign Nominated: MQI s Warm File Christmas Appeal 2015 Objectives: List the key objectives of the campaign and how it was carried out including the name of any agency that may have been used? (Max 250 words) Our key objectives were: Generate a high net income Increase donor loyalty Retain existing donors Forecasting: How did you intend to measure success? Please list the key performance indicators for this campaign. (Max 250 words) We looked back at our previous warm and cold appeals and based on our 2013 warm Christmas results.

3 Our targets for 2014 reflect the issues surrounding the trust issues between donors and charities during the same period in 2013 and the awareness of homelessness in the media this past winter. WARM FORECASTS Response Rate (RR) 45% to 50%. There was a lot of talk around the subject of homelessness which we hoped would push our results forward from the negative media reports surrounding charities during the same time in (RR = 42.23% in 2013) Return On Investment (ROI) We forecast a 27.5 to 1 ROI. This is due to an increased mailing number up 35.3% from 2013, combined with an increase costs, specifically postage costs. (26.58:1 or 2658% in 2013) Net income We forecast a 25% increase on ( 595,217) The 35.3% increase in donor numbers should reflect a similar increase in income, however most this was in the lower gift ranges which is reflected in this forecast. ( 476,217 in 2013, Gross Income 494,831) Average gift We forecast 115. For the same reasons to that of our Net Income forecast. Rationale: Why was the direct marketing approach deemed to be the best approach? (Max 250 words) Direct Mail is the most cost-effective method and has resulted in excellent performance for both warm and cold donor files. This is also the method by which our existing warm files were acquired and therefore we know they are receptive to this type of fundraising. and online fundraising yields lower response rates. We do use online channels to support our Christmas Campaign, and we receive donations by phone & online but the vast majority of donations come in by mail. Segmentation: To what extent, if any, did you segment the mailing into different groups and if so, why? If segmentation was used was it successful and why? (Max 250 words) Based on prior testing our warm file was segmented into the following and the gift scaled accordingly: General Low Donors General Medium Donors General High Donor Major Low Donors Major Medium Donors

4 Major High Donors Super Donors Each segment based was on previous giving history, level of contact and perceived ability to give, with General Low Donors having lowest perceived giving capacity and Super Donors the highest. Each segment then had their giving levels set accordingly. We felt this increased attention to data segmentation would help MQI to make the most from the existing file during what is still a very difficult economic period. Reach: How many people did this campaign reach? Our warm pack was mailed to a total of 11,429. Each of these donors had given to Merchants Quay Ireland within the last 24 months. Creativity: How did you ensure that your creative stood out? Please attach a soft copy of any printed materials. (Max 250 words) This year s campaign focused on the positive things the generosity of our donors has helped to achieve as described through the words of our staff and clients. The overall pack design followed an authentic personal tone and homespun feel helped the pack stand out amongst its peers. The pack contained subtle hints of Christmas, all elements seamlessly knitted together whilst remaining in-keeping with our existing DM programme. The pack consisted of a: Closed-face outer envelope with a handwritten style font. Chosen to stand out and look almost like a Christmas Card in order to Mail help open rates. A beautifully written Cover letter about a homeless man called Jack. Separate A5 Donation form Special Book of Thanks booklet - The book contains individual heartfelt stories and pictures from staff and clients expressing thanks for all that MQI s generous and loyal donors who make possible through their support, to remind donors that without them many MQI services would not function, and for this we and our clients remain grateful. Books were made relevant to each segment with specific ask amounts spread throughout. 2 paper chains with a DL-size paper chain descriptor that explained what they were for. Barry s Tea bag this added a premium to the pack at a very low cost.

5 Handwritten font post-it note linking the tea bag to MQI s mission. Our Major and Super donors received a premium version of the pack with the following alterations. Closed-face A4 envelope A Special blessing card in place of the paper chains Increased handwritten personalisation throughout 2 teabags Supers and Major-High Donors received a handwritten Top & Tail from our CEO. Major Medium Packs were hand signed. A follow-up reminder post-card was also sent to all segments excluding General- Low three weeks after the appeal mailing. Innovation: To what extent was the campaign innovative? (Max 250 words) Merchants Quay Ireland s 2015 Christmas campaign leveraged innovative elements chief among them being a break with the ROI mind-set in order to create an appeal pack that would connect with donors on a more personal level. At the same time, the pack was heavily focused on tested fundraising research resulting in an exceptionally strong appeal pack that included: Extensive segmentation Identified top 10% of file and spent additional time & money Consistent emotional storytelling Donor-focused content Donor engagement devices Deadline driven, euro for euro matching offer Personalisation (and hyper-personalisation in the major and super segments, with handwritten greetings and signature from the CEO) Creative use of handwritten fonts to suggest a more personal correspondence and homespun feel, itself a theme for the overall pack. The paper chains and blessing cards were cleverly used to engage donors and connect them to the people their gifts were helping. These engagement devices were also tracked as an indicator of donor loyalty. These chains and cards were then used as Christmas decorations and displayed in MQI s Open Access Homeless Centre providing words of friendship, support and inspiration to both clients and staff. Three weeks after the main mailing a reminder follow up post card was sent to donors who had not yet given. In short, the 2014 Christmas appeal made use of every opportunity to create a personal communication to each and every one of our donors, thanking them

6 individually for their consistent, kind and loyal support of Merchants Quay. Integration: Please explain how you integrated the various channels (e.g direct mail, DRTV, DR Radio, direct recruitment, telemarketing, and other channels) (Max 200 words) Our appeal was integrated across Direct Mail, and online through our MQI website, Facebook and Twitter. We also sent a pre and post appeal drop to make donors aware of the forthcoming appeal, and an additional soft reminder to those who had not. Longevity: Would you run a similar campaign again? Please explain why. (Max 100 words) The simple answer is yes. Each year and especially this past Christmas we received extensive positive feedback from our donors through phone calls, letters and personal visits to our door from both our general and major donors. We will certainly take note of elements that we feel added to our pack and look to see how we can be innovative and creative to create a new pack while maintaining the personal touch our donors appreciate If done correctly direct mail produces a strong and consistent fundraising income, along with increased retention, and we plan to continue to implement and perfect. However as this past year we did enhance the postal experience using other channels including , and online through Face Book and the MQI website. Results: What were the actual financial results and how did these compare to your original forecasts? (Please include net and gross income and ROI % figures) (Max 250 words) We matched if not surpassed our targets for each category. Response Rate = 47.76% (Forecast - 45 to 50%) ROI for MQI warm file = 28.79:1 or 2879% (Forecast :1 or 2750%) Average Gift = (Forecast - 115) Net income for MQI warm file = 691,365 a % increase of 44.75% on 2013 (Forecast - 25% increase from 2013 ( 595,217) Gross income for MQI warm file = 716,248 a % increase of 45.17% on Our Super Donors segment alone had a response rate of 63% and an average gift of 2,249, showing that the extra time and attention given to these potentially high income donors really pays off. Total Gross income amounted to 178,840. This amounted to 25% of our overall Gross Income.

7 Other Outcomes: Please provide any other relevant information such as: the number of people directly helped by your initiative and the changes or outcomes they experienced. Did it help to create a stronger link between the donor and your organisation? E.g. did many offer to volunteer for your organisation etc?(max 300 words) At Merchants Quay Ireland, 2014 was a year for stretching ourselves and expanding our work in order to help more of Ireland s most vulnerable. Much of this can be attributed to the generosity of MQI donors, even despite a continuing tough economy. With help from our Donors in 2014 MQI served over 85,000 meals. Their generosity continued to support our medical programs, our detox and rehab programs, our street initiatives, our mental health initiatives and more. Quite simply, without our donors Merchants Quay Ireland would be a very different place. One out of every two euro is raised in the 4th quarter of the year at MQI, and the Christmas Campaign is the largest piece of this. The ability to meet this huge quantity of meals for our homeless and hungry was entirely funded by donations. This campaign allowed us to show our donors what they had accomplished throughout the year and stories of real people that have been helped as a direct result of their kindness, The warm and personal tone of the appeal really seemed to resonate with them, and their increased engagement with MQI can be directly seen in the increase in the number of phone calls and personal visits from donors at year-end. We were so very pleased to see that they feel comfortable communicating with us. This was also reflected in the high number of engagement devices sent back. During the 2014 Christmas campaign almost 30% of gifts contained either a blessing card or paper chains. We also saw a staggering increase in the donation of new and used clothes, shoes, toiletries and food. Authenticity Guarantee: I confirm that to the best of my knowledge, the nomination is legal, decent, honest and truthful.* * Entries must be submitted by a charity and not an agency, consultant or other commercial supplier.

8 Date : 18/01/2015

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