VPM, Virginia’s home for public media, broadcasts PBS, NPR and a mix of classical, jazz and world music programming to 2 million people in Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. The station has mailed Allegiance’s bi-monthly newsletter for many years. While the content of the newsletter is predominantly about television programming highlights, as a joint licensee, they include radio content, as well as information about membership, station events, and other topics of interest to their supporters.
The newsletter provides a strong cultivation and stewardship touch. However, unlike a typical cultivation and stewardship program, the newsletter generates positive net revenue for the organization.
When Allegiance introduced a digital component to the newsletter program, the station was eager to try it!
Allegiance added a series of three e-mails timed around one mailing of the printed newsletter. Each e-mail includes a link to an electronic version of the newsletter, along with a message that shares some of the upcoming program highlights and program images, with an ask for a donation.
In addition to a donation link in the e-mails, there is QR code and dedicated URL in the printed piece, providing additional pathways for members to make an online donation.
After two years of incorporating the e-mails in the newsletter program, the results have been phenomenal – with a two-year return of investment of 255%!
The lift in revenue comes from members who receive both the direct mail and e-mail. And the increase in giving is largely seen in response to the direct mail newsletter. The addition of the e-mail serves to boost the response and giving through direct mail. It’s a great example of the continued value of direct mail and the importance of using all available channels.
Over time, the number of members contacted in the program has decreased, but the introduction of the email has driven a steep increase in total revenue and revenue per member generated in the program. The revenue per member increased 40% in the first year and an astonishing 60% in the second year of the e-mail newsletter program!
We are thrilled that the email metrics showed a high-level audience engagement in year one, and continue to get better with a 25% increase in open rates in year two.
If you’d like to see how you can increase your bottom line, contact Allegiance to find out how we can help.