Another way the ASPCA has integrated its online and direct mail campaigns is through the use of dedicated URLs, which are printed on every single piece of direct mail sent out and allow the nonprofit to track the offline donors it drives online. For instance, donors who responded to the first of its seven 2004 direct mail renewal efforts were directed to www.aspca.org/renew1, which took them to a landing page on the ASPCA Web site where they could renew their membership online. The first effort in the direct mail renewal series then received credit for these online renewals.
"We're pretty integrated from that capacity. We know what mail piece you came from or what e-solicitation you responded to," says Sullivan, who confesses she implemented the URL system without any testing.
"We knew we wanted to be able to give our members another option for giving, and I kept thinking trackability was the most important thing. I needed to understand if they came from an acquisition piece, a renewal or an appeal," she explains.
The gamble paid off. "We had no downgrades in mail response at all and maintained our numbers. We found the people who wanted to give online naturally gravitated there, but certainly not enough numbers to impact our predictable mail results," she adds.
Providing a Visual Reinforcement
Sullivan also has found the concept of dedicated URLS translates well to its DRTV efforts. This year, the ASPCA began running a 30-minute infomercial as well as 60- and 90-second spots on channels such as Animal Planet and CNBC. Donors are directed to a dedicated microsite, www.myaspca.org, that reinforces the DRTV message by featuring the same celebrity endorsements and premiums.
Sullivan finds reinforcing a big visual ask with a dedicated site gives donors the opportunity to give quickly without having to dig through other areas of content. "Not everyone wants to call an 800-number or write a check. Online donors want to [make a donation] quietly and in their own time," Sullivan reasons. The microsite has proven successful. Of its DRTV donors, 33 percent come through the Myaspca.org Web site.