With charities under a seemingly constant press barrage for exploiting donors, for once DecisionMarketing can report on one organisation which is using direct response techniques to really make a difference.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has worked with brand response agency Burn for a number of years and briefed the business to recruit new members to its Heart Matters programme.
A free membership scheme, the programme offers information that encourages a heart-healthy lifestyle. Previously, the BHF had relied on more traditional channels for recruitment such as direct mail, email and inserts to acquire new members.
But Burn was looking for a fresh approach. The agency was set up in 2005 by former RMG Connect managing partner Julie Cheetham and Guy McConnell. They had worked together at Black Cat, only to go their separate ways when the agency was sold to JWT in 2003. Cheetham stayed on but McConnell went on to set up a creative and strategic marketing consultancy, Firespark.
Recognising that mobile marketing was being underused despite its potential, Burn appointed mobile partnership Weve to deliver the campaign.
A successful test was run late last year which identified the messaging, imagery and forms that performed best. These learnings were incorporated into the countrywide campaign which ran in February and delivered stronger than expected results.
The acquisition campaign targeted men and women over the age of 55 in the BC1C2D category through their smartphones. Mobile messages were sent to handsets encouraging owners to complete a sign-up form on their mobile.
McConnell explained: “We’ve been encouraging the BHF to trial the mobile channel. Not only is mobile usage virtually universal these days, but the channel is also highly targetable so we felt confident that it would work.”
And work it certainly did. The campaign generated nearly 1,500 new sign ups to Heart Matters, achieving an overall click to sign up rate of 44%. And while users across all social groups were highly responsive, females 55-64 engaged the most with the campaign.
BHF head of marketing and brand Nick Radmore said: “The results are fantastic. This new approach has helped us reach people who most need to hear from us, in a cost-effective way – people who either have a heart condition or are at risk of heart disease.”
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