E-Renewals successful first step toward digital fundraising

Date Published
JC Bouvier

The Situation

Alabama Public Television has a mature and successful direct mail program. However, APT had not done a lot of digital fundraising and wanted to implement an e-renewal series to augment the direct mail and generate more online activity. 

The Strategy

Send members with an email address on file, receiving notices 1, 3, and 4, an e-renewal on the 25th of each month — the same day the mail drops. Use direct and short copy in the email, but reflect the general message that is conveyed in the mail.

The Results

The e-renewals have been a big success. The open rate is over 30%, and the click-through rate is nearly 13%! Overall, nearly 2% of the members who opened the email ended up making a gift. Those in the notice 4 group, who receive the email just after their membership expired, had the highest conversion rate of the three segments at over 4%! The station is thrilled in the investment it has made in e-renewals.

Next Steps

Based on the strong response, we think the e-renewal program can sustain a more aggressive email strategy. We recommend:

  1. Adding e-renewals in notices 2 and 5.
  2. Adjusting the timing and message in notice 4. Rather than keeping the message consistent with direct mail (which arrives after that group is past the expiration date), send an email on the last day of the month indicating that the recipient’s membership expires at midnight.
  3. Adjusting the timing to deploy closer to the in-home date to see if there is more lift when the two communications are received closer in time
About the Author:
J.C. Bouvier
Vice President, Digital Fundraising, Agency Services

Role at the Company

Working with the President of Agency Services and the CEO of AFG, I’m responsible for setting digital fundraising strategy and tactics for the Agency Services Client Management team and our clients.

What excites you about your work at AFG?

The opportunity to both build on and refine the digital practice and, working with our sister companies, to help create a sum greater than the parts.

If you weren’t at AFG, what would you be doing?

Helping others improve their marketing efforts, working on my own startup.

What are your hobbies/interests outside AFG?

Trying to get back to writing screenplays, discovering hidden terrific restaurants on the South Shore (Oro anyone?) and on Cape Cod (Terra Luna), playing competitive tennis, finding reasonable prices on outstanding wine, and sitting on the board of the Woods Hole Film Festival.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I’m a first cousin once removed of Ram Dass, (https://www.ramdass.org/) :: Timothy Leary’s partner at Harvard during the 1960’s LSD experiments, on my mother’s side.

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

Opening the wrapped toy Eagle from the “Space 1999” TV show one Christmas. https://amzn.to/2I4Z6jN

Get the fundraising solutions you need to fuel your mission.

Get Started

Finally, an End-to-End Fundraising Solution Accessible to all Nonprofits

DMW Fundraising and Member Benefits are now part of Allegiance Fundraising Group

Allegiance Fundraising Group brings together three well-established fundraising teams to create an end-to-end fundraising solution that makes it easier for you to reach your mission. Today you can turn to a single team for seamless fundraising strategy and implementation, donor management software, and membership loyalty programs.

Learn more about Allegiance Fundraising