Acquiring new public media donors directly through online advertising yields, at best, mixed results. The process is often costly, usually coupled with the demand for managing a lot of ad creative and a high cost per donor. Timing the deployment of campaigns including donor asks is also tricky; Calendar year-end, for example, has become incredibly noisy on social media and websites, with dozens of organizations trying to convert every available donor dollar in your market.
Certainly, for the donors who know your organization and are already on your email list, having trained them to respond to your standard fundraising campaigns works well enough…and those donors respond in even greater numbers when you have a Ken Burns documentary about American country music coming to their TVs and PBS Passport-enabled devices.
What about those potential new donors in your market who aren’t hearing about upcoming programming from their local PBS station and aren’t already donors? How do you grow your audience of the documentary, news, and programming fans in your market ahead of calendar year-end and maximize new donor acquisition in a cost-effective way?
Allegiance worked with several clients to deploy Facebook email lead ads promoting Ken Burns’ Country Music ahead of and during the show’s airing. The strategy was designed to drive as many new potential donors onto client email files, welcoming them via an automated email series.
After being returned to the station’s main email file, ongoing client-managed emails grow the lead’s affinity for the station and its programming before the calendar-year-end campaign season when each acquired email lead would then be asked to give.
Ken Burns Country Music lead ads were a hit! Stations averaged 925 qualified donor leads from this campaign. Even more compelling, the average cost per lead from media spend was $2 with nearly a 4% average click-through rate. Better still, participating clients saw an average year over year growth rate in new donors at calendar-year-end of nearly 190%, with an average gift of $110!