I recently made a career switch from healthcare to graphic information technology. As I explored the many areas of opportunity in my new field, it became clear that my strengths and interests gravitated around new media and the tremendous marketing potential of these communication channels.
But, like many others, I couldn’t quite see how new media (particularly social network sites like Facebook) could become legitimate players in the world of business. Then, in January of 2010, I had the opportunity to attend the PODi AppForum in Las Vegas. The conference featured networking, information, inspiration…and a case study that proved to be life-changing for me. Ted Raymond, VP of Allegra Marketing and Print in Scottsdale, Arizona, presented his award-winning Support the Sash campaign developed by The Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus Pine Council (GSACPC) and Allegra. The purpose of the campaign was to engage alumni and to develop a network of donors for future campaigns. The campaign utilized:
- Variable data direct mail
- Web – Personalized landing pages
- Social Media (Facebook Cause page, YouTube Video
- Telesales follow up calls
The campaign targeted the memories and emotions of former Girl Scouts in an effort to get them re-engaged, and ultimately make a donation to support today’s scouts. In addition, the campaign was versioned by age segment, with personas and messaging targeted to specific age groups:
The campaign results were remarkable:
- 31% of respondents made a donation
- Average donation increased from $50 to $250
- Facebook “Cause” page grew by 141 members, 68 of whom were not in GSACPC’s database
- collected 87 referrals from “refer a friend” function
Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus Pine Council was very pleased with this campaign and continues to use this format for ongoing alumni donor development.
Best practices learned from this campaign are:
- Build a relationship before asking for money. GSACPC did not make a hard push for donations in this initial communication with alumni. Rather they focused on reconnecting and informing alumni about the challenges facing Girl Scouts today.
- Use print to drive social media interaction. With print you can cut through the clutter of email and online messages. It can be an effective way to capture your audience’s attention and then begin the conversation through social media.
- Relevance drives response. By segmenting its audience into different age groups, GSACPC and its service provider were able to create messaging and imagery that strongly resonated with Girl Scout alumni.
After Ted Raymond’s presentation, I approached him to let him know how impressed I was with his work. From there, we developed an ongoing professional relationship which resulted in an invitation from Ted asking me to join the Allegra team. I am now currently working on the GSACPC’s Fall campaign and look forward to bringing you the results of that effort.
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