Multi-Channel Strategy Leads to Membership Increase

November 1, 2016

Imagine a world where you can only visit one website, or watch one television channel, or (gasp!) eat only one kind of pie. More than likely you would feel restricted, held back, maybe even get bored. Having choices is a great thing as a consumer. As a marketer, these choices can make reaching constituents much more challenging. With members able to get information from any number of sources, it can be difficult to know exactly where, and how, to reach out to your audience.

Last year, the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) started out on a quest to reimagine the marketing to their 120,000 members. CCA began the process of restructuring their marketing plans to better serve their community. They gathered feedback from its members, as well as input from each of their state chapters. As they worked through their current marketing plan, it immediately became clear that the email and direct mail communications were not working together. In some cases, email and direct mail were actually fighting against one another. In addition, they identified that return rates varied from 1% to 28% for direct mail efforts. This inconsistency made it difficult to read responses and develop an accurate marketing plan with true revenue estimation.

In an effort to streamline and create consistency, key leaders and consultants developed a multi-channel marketing plan. The plan worked to combine all elements of member outreach. While some facets of the plan required altering their message, in many cases this simply meant timing a communication differently. To manage their plan more effectively, CCA unified all efforts by tracking them on a single marketing calendar in their Informz account. Combined with the utilization of the Informz Marketing Automation suite, their plans began to have a clearer vision that crossed departments and streamlined management.

Having a clear picture of their entire plan allows CCA to implement two fundamental changes.

  • First, they analyzed their audience and identified segments that did not respond well to direct mail efforts, limiting their exposure to this type of marketing.
  • Second, they began co-targeting their audience by sending emails 2-3 days prior to the direct mail piece being printed. This allowed them to identify respondents from the email and pull those people from the printed efforts.

By more intelligently segmenting their audience and targeting more effectively, CCA was able to reduce marketing spend, stabilize direct mail response with a consistent 7-9% return on direct mail. CCA saw a 3.3% increase in membership over the prior year.

Due to the cost reductions, CCA is now working to create a more tailored experience for their members through e-communications. The tools in the Informz Marketing Automation Suite have allowed the organization to better understand the interests of their members and create captivating content to serve them.