The Cooperstown, NY-based National Baseball Hall of Fame (NBHOF) needed to raise $1.25 million in a capital campaign to fund “One for the Books,” a landmark exhibit designed to tell the stories behind baseball’s most cherished records. In order to increase donor engagement they encouraged donors to make gifts in honor of their favorite team or player.
Curtis 1000 has been working with the National Baseball Hall of Fame for over 15 years and, based on a strong track record of previous successful campaigns, was a natural fit to enhance and run the “One for the Books” campaign. The program launched in the fall with a traditional direct mail appeal, followed up by a personalized postcard that featured design elements from the first mailing. The call to action drove donors to a personalized URL (PURL) that was populated with copy about their favorite player or team based on information in the NBHOF database. From their personal landing page, donors were encouraged to donate in honor of their favorite Hall of Famer, explore exhibit information, view the top 10 players honored by donations at that point in the campaign, and share with friends through social networking tools.
A second postcard to both donors and non-responders encouraged additional gifts and increased constituent engagement. NBHOF also sent a number of carefully timed emails to donors and non-responders that shared campaign progress and encouraged additional gifts. The multi-channel campaign included 10 touch points with each constituent, including traditional direct mail, postcards promoting a PURL and email. After successfully reaching their fundraising goal, the NBHOF turned to Curtis 1000 to produce a DVD of the exhibit opening celebration. This was sent to donors to thank them for their support and continue the high level of engagement.
Curtis 1000 helped the NBHOF exceed the $1.25 Million goal by 12%, with over $1.4 million in donations. NBHOF had a 4.92% donation ratio on the PURL sites — more than twice the industry average conversion rate of 1.73% [according to the Direct Marketing Association 2010 “Response Rate Trend Report”]. In addition to raising funds, the PURL sites helped to further engage donors in the project, with 38.46% clicking on the favorite record holder and 27.97% clicking to learn more about the exhibit. Knowing which areas of the PURL were of greatest interest to donors can help the NBHOF with future campaigns. In addition, 99 people, or 3.53%, shared the information either through Facebook, Twitter or “send to a friend.” The NBHOF was extremely happy with the results of this successful campaign.
Ken Meifert, Senior Director of Development at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, had this to say:
We were extremely pleased with the multi-channel approach that Curtis 1000 recommended for our ‘One for the Books’ campaign. Leveraging their expertise in multi-channel marketing we developed a very personalized approach, using a variety of marketing channels including direct mail, email and PURLs. All of these channels were then implemented so that they supported and enhanced each other to achieve outstanding results. This was our first use of PURLs in a campaign and Curtis 1000 seamlessly took care of all of the details. Due to the success we had in working with Curtis 1000 we will certainly be utilizing this solution again on future campaigns. The Curtis 1000 team is fantastic to work with as they focus on our success by bringing value-add programs to the table that meet our specific needs.