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Case Study: Multi-channel Marketing Campaign for JFK’s Centennial

JFK Giving Logo v3OBJECTIVE: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world-class arts and culture venue and presidential memorial. As JFK’s 100th birthday approached, the Kennedy Center tasked Avalon with creating strategies to leverage the Centennial celebration and events to help fund the Center’s programs, by celebrating JFK’s legacy and enduring impact on the arts.

STRATEGY/AUDIENCE: Avalon designed a comprehensive Centennial campaign spanning all channels, including on-site, social media, email marketing, the KC website and unique landing page, media outreach, direct mail, and telemarketing.

Billed as “35 Days of Giving,” the campaign, which celebrated the 35th president, led up to the 100th birthday of President Kennedy (May 29). The centerpiece of the fundraising campaign was a series of nine compelling emails that Avalon designed—each one building in urgency and with its own case for support. All of the emails also touched on common themes, including The Kennedy Center’s legacy as the nation’s performing arts center and how it has helped to shape the arts across the country and JFK’s legacy and ideals often attributed to President Kennedy: Courage, Freedom, Justice, Service, and Gratitude. The emails also promoted a generous two-to-one matching gift challenge by a Kennedy Center donor. And, as each fundraising milestone was achieved, the Kennedy Center released video content featuring performers highlighting the centennial celebration ideals.

For further branding and a broad reach, we designed advertisements for an online ad campaign that The Kennedy Center managed, and on-site materials, including a campaign brochure, collateral materials for giveaways/prizes (including buttons and tote bags), a banner, and a Playbill insert. We also conducted a telemarketing campaign to reinstate lapsed members, and we added an insert on the Centennial to direct mail gift acknowledgements. The brochure was also mailed to $1,000 current members who the Center could not email and would not be attending any performances during the campaign. Finally, as something new for the Kennedy Center, we coordinated a Thunderclap in the week leading up to the Centennial, in which supporters agreed to let Thunderclap auto-share an update about the campaign, amplifying the reach and visibility of the campaign.

#17NTC All Hands on Deck! Managing a Rapid Response Campaign

Avalon staff who attended the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in Washington last week reported that, as usual, the conference didn’t disappoint. New ideas and trends, networking, and collaboration were the order of the day. We had the opportunity to visit with old friends and colleagues, and share with and learn from new ones.

Avalon’s session, All Hands on Deck: Managing a Rapid Response Campaign, was well received, with lots of great questions and discussion. Check out the slides below for some of the insights from our presenters (and Avalon clients): Sylvia Moskovitz (Farm Sanctuary), Sarah Stallings (National Geographic Society), Jack Mumby (Common Cause), and Avalon Vice President Anne Senft.

All Hands on Deck! Managing a Rapid Response Campaign from Avalon Consulting

We’ve put together some key takeaways from the conference:

DMAW Marketing AdVents—November 2015

DMAW

Check out the latest DMAW Marketing AdVents – and don’t miss Jamie Natelson’s “President’s Perspective” on page 3.

Jamie took the helm as President of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington in January. Jamie has been an integral part of the Avalon team since 2007, with more than 20 years of industry experience as consultant and client. Jamie’s forward-looking, creative, and strategic approach will serve the DMAW well, as she leads the organization in 2015.

 

Key Takeaways from DMAW Digital Day 2015

2015 Digital Day header(Photo Credit: www.DMAW.org)

I recently attended DMAW’s annual Digital Day here in Washington—always a great opportunity to hear smart people talk about new technologies and products that can improve our marketing programs. Here are a few key takeaways:

    • List hygiene isn’t sexy, but it is super-important to the productivity of your email list. You need to have a protocol in place to systematically scrub your email list; for example, removing people who haven’t opened an email in 12 months. You can make a last-ditch effort to re-engage them first, with links and downloadable content. But if that doesn’t work, you will have to delete them. If you don’t, your un-engaged emails start to infect the good, responsive email list. One option for strengthening your email list is to use a double opt in. This ensures that you’re signing up and retaining good subscribers, to keep your email list clean and healthy.
    • Google Analytics is an easy way to track events and segments of your website visitors. Start by gathering information, then determine what actions you want to take. For example, you may want to target male donors with a higher ask, because they have a higher average gift. You can track form validation errors, capture which pages users are printing, see what users are highlighting, find out what forms they’re abandoning, track form timings, etc. This will help you find and eliminate the choke points on your donation forms. Google Analytics also lets you create dashboards showing metrics like total errors by browser, so you can pinpoint and address specific Safari issues, or total errors by screen resolution, so you can address issues on different devices.
    • Beaconfire RedEngine suggested running an A/A test to show variations that occur naturally in data and how tricky a proposition testing for statistical validity can be. If you don’t have enough traffic, you can boost your numbers by testing across thank-you pages and emails.
    • The Human Rights Campaign rewrote the book this year on grassroots organizing and communications with the marriage-equality victory. HRC’s Digital Day presentation was a reminder that every organization should be ready to capitalize on its moment in the spotlight—and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to do it. The key is to have fundamental best practices in place so you’re ready to deploy when the moment strikes. (For more on this, revisit my colleague TJ Hillinger’s blog on rapid-response campaigns.) One of the most effective things HRC did to make people feel involved in the marriage-equality movement was allowing them to easily highlight their Facebook profile photos with a red equal sign to show their support of marriage equality. HRC first introduced this campaign two years ago, and it still had legs this year as HRC’s online engagement ramped up to change hearts and minds.

DMAW Marketing AdVents—August 2015

DMAW

Check out the latest DMAW Marketing AdVents – and don’t miss Jamie Natelson’s “President’s Perspective” on page 3.

Jamie took the helm as President of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington in January. Jamie has been an integral part of the Avalon team since 2007, with more than 20 years of industry experience as consultant and client. Jamie’s forward-looking, creative, and strategic approach will serve the DMAW well, as she leads the organization in 2015.