In a world where the buzz is all about social and mobile, DonorsChoose.org turned to old, unsexy email to produce some fantastic rates of engagement.
DonorsChoose.org is a website that allows public school teachers to raise money for their classroom materials and activities through donations. The site makes it easy for teachers to ask for funds related to specific projects such as field trips or art supplies, and for potential donors to pick and support the causes that most interest them.
On Valentine’s Day, DonorsChoose came up with a novel way to use the holiday to solicit donations for its teachers’ projects. It sent out targeted emails to donors, asking them to donate to teachers who shared the same last name as them. Only they did it in a far more charming way, with this poem:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Give to a teacher
With the same name as you.
Here's what it looked like:
— Andrew Winner (@Winner_MLS) February 13, 2015
Not only did DonorsChoose get a spike in donations, the donors appreciated the simple, but highly engaging tactic of getting a personalized email that matched them to a person with the same name. Although giving money towards education is a always a good thing, DonorsChoose made it even easier to do by making it playful activity, introducing a brief moment of real human connection.
The engagement didn’t just spike on email either. People took to social media to tell everyone how surprised and delighted they were with DonorsChoose’s marketing tactics.
Just received a @DonorsChoose email to help "Mrs. French's class". Well played! Done and done!
— Jason French (@jasonbfrench) February 13, 2015
— Missy Goss (@missymusing) February 13, 2015
Clever pitch from Donors Choose: Roses are red, Violets are blue, Give to a teacher With the same name as you. pic.twitter.com/uuCdcBkxOd
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) February 15, 2015
What this email marketing strategy highlights is that the channel of engagement doesn’t matter as much the context in which you reach a customer. DonorsChoose could have sent out an email blast to all its donors, with a generic title and subject line. By targeting the emails with such granularity, it made the customers feel like they had a personal relationship with the website, which they extended to the teacher who shared the same name as them.
This was a case where a customer didn’t mind that the company had a record of their last name, since it was used to make something good happen. It’s a reminder that for a company to gather and keep the kind of data it does, it has to offer its customers a far greater benefit in return.
The DonorsChoose campaign is also a great example of leveraging customer data to build one-on-one relationships rather than just collecting information for the sake of saying you have “Big Data.” On its own, Big Data can do nothing. And neither can a creative mind.But once a brand is able to marry both data analysis, along with a creative idea that makes it actionable, it creates an extremely potent combination that highlights the power of marketing to an audience of one.
DonorsChoose shows how simple targeted emails can produce great engagement across all digital channels.
What you need to know about Facebook’s newly launched workplace collaboration tool, and the impact it could have in a highly competitive space.
In our research and client work at Altimeter, one of the most misunderstood issues we see is social business governance.
When Facebook announced last week that it will soon become more difficult for brands’ page posts to appear in the news feeds of their friends, fans, and followers, the outcry was predictable.
Facebook is working on a new offering called Facebook at Work, according to the Financial Times.
Social selling has become a hot topic. Organizations in every industry are working feverishly to leverage social platforms and social networks for a number of reasons
Ten years ago today, I wrote my first blog post, entitled “Blogging as a State of Mind.”
What’s a digital newsroom? Seems like such a simple question, until you start pondering the potential answers.
It’s no corporate HR secret: the greater investment made into employees, the greater the ultimate reward back to the company.
How teens use social media and why it matters to you. Generation Z = (Today’s Teens, Preteens and Children)
During the past several years, the television industry has changed dramatically, spurred by device proliferation, changing distribution methods, and the increasing popularity of social media.
Late last year, I started wondering about social media command centers. Salesforce had launched one, as had Brandwatch, but I wondered: were they really still relevant? Were companies investing in command center deployments, or had interest subsided since their heyday in 2010?
Co-written with: Susan Etlinger, Rebecca Lieb, Andrew Jones, Linda Saindon, Brian Solis, and Ed Terpening The not-so-long awaited Twitter S-1 is out and now the intense scrutiny begins.
In this webinar, they discuss the seven factors that successful social businesses share and how their strategies are designed to deliver business value.
Businesses may be seen as having a “successful” social strategy by virtue of citations in case studies and speaking at conferences. But, by far, the best metric of success is concrete examples of how the organization creates business value via social technologies across multiple departments and dimensions of their business.