Case Studies

Using a data-driven approach to drive and inform creative strategy and audience segmentation, our clients' programs have achieved record-breaking success.

Special Campaigns
for Mid-Level Donors

Photo of Mailbox

While many organizations use stakeholder conference calls to bring donors closer to the cause and context of their missions, most do not effectively harness the fundraising capacity of this relationship-building tool. MINDset developed a recipe for success which included an integrated multi-channel, multi-phase campaign that:

  • Invited the donor to experience a higher level of access to the organization and the missions they support.
  • Created an exclusive opportunity for higher-value donors and other important stakeholders.
  • Offered donors the chance to increase their investment in the organization.
  • Fostered inter-departmental collaboration within the organization.

The results were impressive. A national outreach organization’s first-ever stakeholder call for mid-level donors resulted in average gifts of more than $600, with total net revenue of more than $71,000 and a response rate greater than 17%. Two $10,000 gifts came from donors who had never made a gift higher than $1,000. And an international relief organization’s first-ever stakeholder call yielded more than $500,000 in unprojected revenue. One call participant who happened to be a monthly donor to the organization increased his monthly gift from $500/month to $2,500/month. The organization now rolls out these campaigns semi-annually.

Growing Monthly
Donor Programs

pile of coins and billsA legal advocacy organization with a small sustainer program wanted to increase the number of monthly donors. Despite years of sustainer invitation campaigns conducted via phone, the file remained stagnant. To reverse course, our team began with our data, creative, message and business process audits to identify the following opportunities:

  • Business rules had not been well established or implemented. Our team mapped out business rules to create the structure to ensure that declined or expired credit cards were updated and that lapsed sustainers were aggressively recruited to rejoin the program.
  • Telemarketing programs had not been well managed. After a program review, we determined that scripting wasn’t effective for a monthly giving invite. Segmentation strategy was lacking and daily results monitoring had been inconsistent — resulting in a large investment that wasn’t paying off.
  • Online activists and other warm prospects weren’t converting well.

MINDset has found that online activists — constituents who sign up for an e-newsletter or sign a petition — are good warm prospects for a monthly giving program. The organization had not worked aggressively to monetize these important supporters.

After we created and mapped the business rules, monthly retention of existing sustainers improved. If a sustainer’s credit card was declined, it was tried again on a specific schedule that recaptured almost 95% of all credit cards throughout the established process. In addition, remaining sustainers were quickly called and emailed to collect new credit card info or update an expiration date, to ensure the following month’s donation was processed in a timely manner.

Targeted telemarketing invitations breathed new life into the program, bringing four times as many new sustainers in at an average cost of less than $50 per conversion. In addition, close management of the segmentation strategy for online activists drove many new sustainers into the program at a cost of roughly $80 per new sustainer — ensuring that their investment in online paid acquisition was quickly monetized.

Through this comprehensive approach to conversion, retention and value growth, our efforts doubled the size of this program in the first six months — and with a strong direct mail and online acquisition program in place, the file continues to grow month over month, exceeding budget expectations.

Creating New
Acquisition Controls

data analysisMany robust direct marketing programs experience package fatigue over time as prospective donors get used to seeing the same formats and messages in their mailboxes year after year. For one local health organization that MINDset partners with, this is a constant challenge.

To address the need for an often-changing control package in a data-centered, strategic way, MINDset implemented an aggressive testing and roll out plan.

A non-seasonal statement format was tested at 50% of the mail volume in Spring of 2017. For many organizations this large of a test volume would not be advisable as it is a sizeable risk, but we have found that due to the limited geographical area and high penetration, once the control package begins to decline it is a greater risk not to replace it.

The Spring test was successful – increasing response by 49% over the control package. But we did not wait until Spring of the following year to test again. Knowing that the Winter effort would struggle again in 2018, we tested the statement there at 70% of the mail volume.

The test improved response by 49% over the control and gross revenue by 72%. We also saw a small decrease in package cost, which led to an overall improvement in cost to acquire of 138%. This increase was better than we anticipated.