Posts Tagged Campaign

Rescue Mission Exceeds Campaign Donation Expectations


Shirley’s House of Hope is a mission that provides
emergency shelter and care for abused women and
children, and helps meet the physical, emotional,
social and spiritual needs of those who want to break
the cycle of abuse. The mission’s goal was to acquire
new donors through a direct mail campaign and
perhaps break even on this mailing with the idea of
cultivating those new donors in years to come. Their
house list consisted of 226 records.


Our first campaign was an acquisition year-end mailing
that dropped the first of November. The format was a
control package plus a premium package, which was a
Gift Labels product in a #10 display window. The
customer supplied their house list of 226 and the rest
were “cold” prospects. The database was divided
between gift labels and no premium for a total mailing
of 10,111 records, which were segmented by income


Of the 194 total gifts that resulted from the campaign,
156 were from the list of cold prospects and 38 were
from the from house list. The average gift on
Acquisition (first-time gift) was $56.35. The average
gift in Cultivation was $99.13.

At a nearly 2% cumulative response rate (1.6% on the
Acquisition and 17% on the Cultivation), and bringing
in donations that were almost twice the investment,
this campaign exceeded the mission’s expectations.
With the initial goal to acquire new donors and perhaps
break even on this mailing—cultivating those donors in
years to come—the results speak for themselves:
mission accomplished.

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Need a boost for your upcoming trade show?

Multi-Channel Campaign Helps Producers

Hybrids Compete for Trade Show Attendees


Producers Hybrids, a seed company, sells its products in eight Midwestern states. In business since 1987, Producers Hybrids is becoming one of the top 15 seed companies in the U.S. Preparing to exhibit at four farm tradeshows, in different locations, from late July to early September 2010, this client’s goal was to drive farmers who were past customers to their booth, along with prospects, and ultimately engage them to order corn seed from Producers Hybrids. In the process of communicating with their customers and prospects, they also solicited email addresses and cell phone numbers for future communications.


Producers Hybrids utilized Curtis 1000 to increase their trade show traffic and sales by engaging attendees prior to the show through a combination of direct mail and eMarketing efforts. Their data list, compiled by each of their district sales managers, was segmented into prospects and current customers. The first contact piece, self-generated, was a mailing with a Producers Hybrids logoed baseball cap. Curtis 1000 then timed a custom CreatiFont™ postcard mailing with personalized URLs (PURLs) to remind the attendees to visit the Producers Hybrids booth just prior to each show. The front of the postcard used a background image of dirt, specific to the regions, with each recipient’s name spelled out in corn seed. Each mailing was segmented into the two groups: prospects and customers.

The PURLs, which were highlighted on the back of each postcard, drove the recipients to a personalized landing page, welcoming them and promoting Producers Hybrids products through text and an animated glider. In addition, there was a link to sign up for a free Producers Hybrids pocket knife, produced by Curtis 1000. The link took the recipient to a second landing page, where they could register by submitting their contact information and details regarding their farming and seed needs. This led them to a thankyou page with a unique confirmation code, enabling them to pick up their pocket knife at the show, and a link to sign up for free market updates. Also, carried throughout the PURL was a button to “Tell a Friend.”

The postcard mailing and PURL were updated for each show location, changing regional copy, including a customer testimonial, and images to match each show location. In addition, the PURL was set to send a lead trigger email to the sales managers of Producers Hybrids after each recipient completed their information on the PURL.


In the past, with competition from the big tractors and farm equipment, Producers Hybrids had difficulty attracting show attendees. This year, however, Producers Hybrids had great booth traffic and feedback from the attendees on the pre-show communication. The PURL returned a unique visit rate of more than 9% with a 100% completion rate from the 98% of visitors who continued beyond the welcome page.

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University enjoys double-digit response rates

Alumni Relations Multi-Channel Case Study

Xavier University – Cincinnati, OH


Xavier University is a Jesuit, Catholic university in Cincinnati, Ohio, with a powerful network of more than 60,000 alumni members across the globe. Following a Curtis CampusWise™ workshop, the Annual Funds Coordinator reached out to the local Curtis 1000 Direct Marketing Consultant. After a presentation and discovery meeting, a campaign was created for the Alumni Relations Department to target young alumni to update their contact information and make a soft ask for donations to the annual fund.


Xavier University’s Alumni Relations Department utilized Curtis 1000 to put together a four-part campaign to two young alumni segments: 1-5 years out of school and 6-10 years out of school. The campaign dropped in June and consisted of approximately 8,000 postcards with a PURL and two follow-up email campaigns to non-responders. Xavier University designed all of the pieces, with help from Curtis 1000, and did an outstanding job of capturing a recipient’s attention and appealing to young alumni.

The first piece the target audience received was the postcard with PURL. Upon visiting the PURL, the recipient would first see a short message and be asked to update their contact information. The short message was unique to each segment and addressed their stages of life after graduation. Any contact information currently on file was pre-populated in the fields to make the process faster for the alumni. After updating their contact information, each visitor was taken to a thank-you page with two links: Make a Donation or Visit the Young Alumni Site. Follow-up emails were sent, initiating a spike in visits to the PURL each time.


Xavier University was so happy with the results—a 12% response rate on the PURL, a 13% open rate on the first email, and a 14% open rate on the second email—they have already begun discussions about follow-up campaigns with the updated data received.

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New Approach Nets University Donations and Updated Information

Annual Giving Multi-Channel Case Study

Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion, IN


Indiana Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered academic community committed to developing students in character, scholarship and leadership. The Annual Giving department was already using Curtis 1000 for direct mail campaigns. The Director of Annual Giving was interested in trying a new approach to reach out to alumni, get updated contact information, and solicit donations.


The Annual Giving department utilized Curtis 1000 to put together a four-part campaign to four segments: traditional student alumni, non-traditional student alumni, family, and friends. The campaign dropped in late May and consisted of approximately 20,000 postcards with a personalized URL, a follow-up email campaign, and a follow-up letter campaign. Curtis 1000 designed the full campaign and created high-impact pieces.

The first piece the target audience received was the postcard with personalized URL. Upon visiting the PURL, the recipient would first see a letter from the Dean of the Chapel, and then they would be taken through two survey landing pages, a story request to share a memory, and lastly a thank-you page with a link to Donate Now. Two weeks following the postcard, a follow-up email was sent to anyone who did not respond, which generated a big spike in activity. Later that month, a follow-up traditional direct mail response-marketing piece was sent, still highlighting the PURL but also including a donation form and business reply envelope.


The Annual Giving Director was thrilled with the survey response and the information that was gathered. In the past, they had paid outside firms more and received a lot less information.

Customer Feedback:

Annual Giving Director Kevin Stirratt was impressed with the campaign creativity, commenting that “you get it” and “your design was as creative as anything we have ever produced.”

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Survey enables new marketing view

Curtis 1000 Gives Credit Union Fresh

New Look at Marketing to Members


Members First Credit Union of Manchester, New Hampshire, has three branches and approximately 13,000 members. The demographics of the credit union membership are mostly middleclass, highly blue collar, with moderate incomes. Members First was looking to put together their yearly marketing strategy. To help them with this process, the Curtis 1000 MarketWise Group ran a geodatabase demographic report and built an executive summary  of the findings. Members First was eager to incorporate this information into their plan, but they also needed a better idea of what their current members thought of the credit union.


Curtis 1000 helped the credit union put together a customer satisfaction survey. The multi-channel campaign consisted of a direct mail postcard with a personalized URL (PURL), printed surveys for inside the branches, and signage to promote the survey. The goal of the survey was to define how Members First should position themselves throughout the upcoming year, what products and services to promote, and any changes that should be made inside the branch locations. The postcard and corresponding PURL survey were divided into two distinct age segments: 18 to 39 and 40 plus. Both groups saw the same message, but the images changed to better fit the target audience in each age segment. The postcard clearly displayed the PURL and the offer on the front and the back of the postcard for  high visibility and response rate. In addition to the postcard/PURL being sent  to all their members, signage was posted at each branch location promoting the  survey and offer. The members had two options to complete the survey —visiting their PURL or completing a printed copy at their local branch. In  return for completing the survey, the credit union’s members would be entered  in a drawing to win $1,000 toward their homeheating expense (or gas card if they were not a homeowner).


The survey was active for two  months. There were 702 visits  to the PURL survey (5.1% visit  rate) and 645 completed  responses to the survey (4.7%).  Based on the two age  demographic segments, 152  (24%) of the responses were from the 18-39 age group and 493 (76%) responses  were from the 40+ group.


Marcell Cruz, Director of Sales and  Marketing for Members First Credit Union, says, “Working with Curtis 1000 has given our credit union a new, fresh look on how we should be marketing to our members to bring in the business.”

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Program keeps Celebrity Homes top-of-mind for prospects


Celebrity Homes is the largest new-home builder in the state of Nebraska. In their new-home communities, agents are staffed in model homes to show prospective home buyers the home options in the development.


Following a visit from a prospective home-buyer, agents key in name, address, email,  home preference and price point data into an excel spreadsheet. Celebrity Homes spends advertising dollars on TV, Radio and billboards to get prospects to the models. They wanted a solution that would allow this valuable data to be housed in one place and not lose touch with their prospective buyers.


Celebrity Homes utilized Curtis 1000 and its automated marketing program to get in control of their data and keep their prospective home buyers engaged. Our automated marketing program enables local users to easily implement a marketing campaign that delivers a series of contacts over a period of time.

Now with the new Curtis 1000 program implemented, each week agents in model homes enter the prospective buyer’s contact and interest information into the automated marketing program. From the same program, they then begin a nine-touch postcard mailing campaign. The postcards start with a “thank you for stopping by” message and then follow, at determined intervals, with reminder messages. Each of the postcards is personalized with the information specific to each prospective home buyer, such as price range, current home status, features they are looking for in a new home, and the agent they spoke to on their first visit—all information found in the program’s database. After entering the prospective buyer’s information and starting the campaign, the rest is hands-free for Celebrity Homes. Curtis 1000 pulls the data each week, prints and mails the appropriate communication piece—allowing Celebrity Homes and its agents to do what they do best.


With Curtis 1000’s automated marketing program, Celebrity Homes is able to keep their data in one central place, create one-to-one variable marketing communication pieces, and stay top-of-mind for prospective home buyers with a multi-touch campaign. In addition, their database of prospective home buyer’s continues to grow after two years. Although some prospective buyers may have gone through the initial communication cycle, Celebrity Homes is now working with Curtis 1000 to add more campaigns to their program and reactivate the data.

“This program has allowed Celebrity Homes to remain consistently in front of our prospects during their ‘decision’ and ‘fact finding’ stages. We have noticed a respectable enhancement of our conversion since this program was implemented. In our industry, it has also become a recruiting tool. Real Estate Sales Associates appreciate the ease of the system and the quality of the materials.”

Shawn McGuire, GRI, CRS, CSP

Sales Manager/Broker

Celebrity Homes

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“… it’s my favorite fundraising piece to date”

eCard with rousing music leads to online giving page 

The Challenge:

EMU Foundation is an institutionally related nonprofit corporation that solicits and manages funds on behalf of Eastern Michigan University. Its primary mission is to provide additional support to the students, programs, services and educational community of EMU.

In the fall of 2010 EMU Foundation wanted to kick off a new, year-long fundraising campaign that touched its complete alumni base and increased alumni giving.


In the spring of 2010, Curtis 1000 created and deployed initial and follow-up email campaigns to 60,000 records. After this successful campaign, the foundation utilized Curtis 1000 to craft and distribute an email that featured a custom ecard, a flash animation story.

EMU Foundation knew exactly the type of message they wanted to send and the emotion they wanted the recipients to feel. They also knew the perfect song to use as the audio accompaniment. Curtis 1000 worked to get permission rights to use the song in the ecard.

After the ecard—with its rousing music—finishes playing, there is a prominent “Donate Now” button that leads the recipient to EMU’s online giving page.

The campaign also included a direct mail piece to 16,000 alumni and friends of the university that featured personalized address labels, a first-time project for EMU. This dropped shortly after the ecard. One additional piece of direct mail was sent out 45 days later, following up to make sure the alumnus was enjoying the labels and given a second opportunity to donate if they have not already done so. The second mailing had an “invitation” style look to it with a note from the President of EMU.


Two versions of the personalized email were sent, divided equally among the target audience as an A/B test, to see which brought in a higher response rate. This information can be used for future follow-up emails. Both emails had similar open rates and click-through rates to the ecard—one with a 15.67% open rate and 16.85% click-through rate, and the other with an 18.13% open rate and 11.88% clickthrough rate.

When asked about this experience, Jackie Thorpe, Director of Annual Giving with the Eastern Michigan University Foundation, replied: “The idea for this ecard was to create a poignant message to inform our constituents of our upcoming annual fund campaign. The music and the messaging paired with the production strategy of Curtis1000 resulted in a piece that exemplified the momentum on campus. Curtis1000 took my idea and turned it into the exact piece I had imagined … it’s my favorite fundraising piece to date.”

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