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Karen Taggart 3 min read

Biggest Bang for Your Buck


A promising study by Marketing Sherpa shows online campaign increases ROI by 30% as compared to direct mail.

Challenge:  Recruit walkers to commit at least $95 to participate in a 3-day event to raise money to fight breast cancer.  Keep your cost down and response rates high in order to maximize your ROI.

What do you do?

A recent study conducted by Marketing Sherpa on behalf of the National Philanthropic Trust's Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk reports that email is the way to go.  The test took two cells of similar prospect groups and sent the control group their standard series of two self-mailers while soliciting the test group with a four-part email series.

In the end, Marketing Sherpa reports that nearly three times the number of walkers and donors were recruited via the email test series than the mail control – resulting in a 30% increase in ROI!

Like any fabulously interesting test, this one left me with a few burning questions:

  1. How were prospect names gathered for the test and control?  Were they from comparable markets?  Age groups?  Geographic areas?   How larger were the groups?
  2. Were other types of mailers used in the past ?  Self-mailers have a notoriously lower response rate in several markets.
  3. How were people who signed up via the internet but did not receive the email counted?
  4. Did they test combining direct mail and email?
  5. What costs were assumed in the ROI calculations?

I am a big stats girl and would have loved for the Sherpa to show me the numbers – quantities, costs, return rates, etc.  

Guess a girl can dream.  

Read the study and let me know if I am just being picky.

Karen Taggart , aka DMDivaGirl, is a Director of Nonprofit Services at Care2.