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Project garners 10% response rate and $86,000 for school

Challenge:

Furman University is a private liberal arts university in Greenville, South Carolina. The purpose of the school’s Development Program is to create opportunities for meaningful participation with the university, to build positive relationships, and to promote financial commitment. Furman’s Annual Giving department planned to kick off a year-long campaign with the goal of gathering updated contact information for its alumni and boosting donor participation.

Solution:

Curtis 1000 met with the customer to nail down a multichannel direct marketing campaign that included a series of direct mail touch points and a PURL, or personalized URL.

  • The initial CreatiFont™ postcard, mailed to 15,000 alumni, showcased the university’s bell tower with recipients’ names spelled out in clouds and encouraged them to visit their PURL to update their contact information.
  • The PURL provided the opportunity to update contact information; data already on file was pre-populated to make the update fast and easy. A thank you page provided a link to the university’s online giving page as a soft ask.
  • The second stage mailing was sent to 12,500 recipients and was divided into 12 variable segments. A third component was a holiday mailing to 6,000 alumni that
    included holiday gift labels.

Results:

Furman University realized significant response to this creative campaign.

  • The CreatiFont™ postcard with PURL garnered over 1,500 updated alumni contact submissions, a response rate of 10%.
  • The second mailing resulted in 310 gifts for a 2.5% response—and a total of $65,000 in donations.
  • The holiday mailing netted the university 121 gifts for a total of $21,000, another 2.5% response.