Digital acquisition yields high number of Sustainers

NineNetwork Lead Generation
Date Published
JC Bouvier

Lead Generation:
Email key to digital acquisition success

The Situation

Nine Network, the PBS station in St. Louis, was interested in finding new ways to acquire members to augment the current mail acquisition program. Because Nine Network has been seeing increases in sustaining members, Passport activations, as well as online and streaming activity, we recommended that Nine Network go online to find new membership leads through an email lead generation campaign.

The Strategy

The Allegiance Agency Services Digital team advanced a pre-holiday giving approach, designed to drive new names onto the Nine Network e-file. The campaign ran for six weeks, starting in October and ending right before Thanksgiving. 

The team began by creating multiple custom ad sets on Facebook with a “Sign Up!” call to action leading to a custom landing page;  the fresh email leads were then sent on an automated 3-email welcome series journey and then later included in Nine’s #GivingTuesday and main calendar-year-end series.

The main calendar-year-end series was designed with a mix of stewardship and fundraising asks including more than a dozen emails throughout; different segments received variations on messaging depending on their behavior. Combined with social, PPC advertising, and website components, the program shipped close to one million messages to the subscriber and donor base.

The Results

The lead conversion plan and welcome series worked very well, with over 1% of new email leads converting to donors over the course of the calendar-year-end series – 40% as sustainers! This response is on par with mail acquisition, but with a much higher sustainer conversion rate. And Nine’s gross FY19 calendar-year-end digital revenue was up year over year. Most importantly to the client, digital acquisition was up substantially – with a significant percentage coming in as new sustainers. 

NineNetwork Lead Generation support
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, ( :: 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.

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