You probably can’t scroll through your social timelines very long before being prompted to sign an online petition. New online petitions are launched every day on a host of different website platforms. These platforms are often organized as a “community” of registered users (many times in the millions) who can easily be reached through the website.
They also provide nonprofits with a means to reach out to an audience that is predisposed to online activism — millions of untapped potential leads.
Recognizing the potential for acquiring new online donor leads, Lawrence Direct Marketing, Inc., approached one of our international nonprofit clients about running an online campaign on one of the most popular petition websites in the U.S.
The petition site charged a fixed cost per lead, but guaranteed delivery of new leads. We hoped to acquire donor leads who would convert at rates comparable to direct mail acquisition.
LDMI drafted a call-to-action description for the petition and a letter that were published on the petition website. The campaign described a timely issue that required an urgent response.
LDMI also created and executed a compelling and timely integrated multi-channel conversion series for the client that was sent to each petition signer.
Every new supporter first received an email thanking them for joining the cause. After a few days, an email newsletter was sent out updating supporters about the petition.
The leads acquired through the online petition also received both a house direct mail appeal and prospect appeal created by LDMI for the client. (Online fundraising is important, but direct mail is still the heavyweight champ of direct response.)
Following up, LDMI kept leads engaged with at least one cultivation email and one fundraising email each month.
The campaign was launched within a week, and it was fulfilled in just three days.
It only took seven months for the campaign to break even with an ROI equivalent to a direct mail acquisition. After 18 months, our client received 8,514 donations through the online campaign totaling $103,619.
Many of the campaign supporters were already on our client’s house file list, but, “We also were able to capture email addresses for people who had only ever received direct mail from us, which allowed us to start cultivating and converting them online as well,” our client stated.
- 8,514 donations
- Over $103,600 raised
- 7 months to break even
- Campaign was fulfilled in just 3 days