Cover Story: Cancer Survivors Pay It Forward
"I think that creative is not just about the way something looks or the way it's written," Chapman says. "It's actually the whole mindset of the way you look at the strategy, overall. And we really took a lot of time to think about … 'What is the way the patients look at the City of Hope?' and 'What's the way everyone else looks at the City of Hope?' and 'How can we make that message as targeted as possible to them within the constraints of [the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] and … respect for privacy? … ' And then also, it comes into the online and offline strategy and how we did do the targeting. And though it may sound to some people like a numbers game or a data game, we actually believe that to be creative, as well."
First, City of Hope had to have a file to segment.
Building the Email File
City of Hope's workhorse was and is direct mail.
"Direct mail is the first thought we ever have, because we have such a robust direct mail program here," she says.
City of Hope sends 85,000 to 100,000 pieces of direct mail every two weeks, mailing to hundreds of thousands of donors and prospects each year.
"Depending on what we're mailing and the ROI of the segment that we're targeting," Keim says, "we select … which groups of people, based on recency and monetary values, should get any particular piece."
So while the hospital already had a multichannel approach to fundraising prior to hiring CCAH, the partnership helped City of Hope step up its customer contact data gathering efforts.
Starting with the basics, the hospital had to build up its email file to complement its primary fundraising effort—the annual giving campaign that goes out through direct mail.